A European R&D program called Night-Wind aims "to use industrial cold chambers as a virtual battery for storing wind production during off-peak demand, especially at night time," says Mónica Aguado of Spain's national renewable energy centre, Cener, one of the project participants. At night, electricity demand is low and wind generation can be high, complicating the task of matching supply and demand. Over the next two years, Night Wind will work on ways of offloading generation into large cold-stores, mainly operated by major food chains and air and sea ports. By using power during off-peak demand, cold systems can benefit from cheaper night time electricity and be turned off during much of daytime peak demand. The project is led by the Netherlands organisation for applied scientific research, TNO. In September it will begin using a large cold store in Holland as a test bed with Dutch TSO ESSENT Energy Trading providing grid architecture expertise. The other members are Denmark's R&D centre Risø and Bulgaria's Technical University of Sofia, which are carrying out studies and simulations with Cener. Night Wind, says Aguado, holds the promise of an immediate and economic new tool for load management.
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