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'Battery Farm' Could Help Power 15 States

Joe Strupek

Indianapolis Power and Light has broken ground on what it says will be one of the largest energy-storage facilities in the Midwest. IPL will use interconnected, advanced batteries to store up to 20 megawatts of energy.

Ken Zagzebski, president of IPL parent company AES, says the battery array will make the power grid more reliable by smoothing out variations in supply and demand.

And he says the lithium-ion batteries will reduce emissions. He says only recently have electric companies cracked the long-standing dilemma of how to store energy for when it‘s needed.

Governor Mike Pence attended the groundbreaking and says he thinks the batteries will help spur the growth of alternative energy technology.

The Indianapolis facility is part of a larger network that sends electricity to 15 states and parts of Canada.

When it‘s completed next year, the storage system will be the largest in the area covered by the Carmel-based Midcontinent Independent System Operator power grid. AES has similar units in Ohio and West Virginia.