Southwestern Energy Corp., the second-largest U.S. energy producer, is preparing to enter a new era of battery storage, which promises to dramatically cut the energy bills of customers, boost electric vehicle production and reduce dependence on coal.
In a new strategy, the company is moving toward a battery system that it calls Advanced Energy Storage (AES), or batteries that can store a significant amount of energy.
The new strategy will put AES batteries in electric vehicles and other vehicles as early as next year.
The company has been working on batteries for decades, and is the largest U.s. battery producer.
The company plans to deploy them in EVs in 2019, and in 2020 in other vehicles and stationary energy storage.
AES batteries have become so big that Tesla Motors Inc., the largest maker of electric vehicles, has built its own battery factory in Texas to meet demand.
The AES battery systems will be built at Texas A&M University’s Advanced Energy Solutions Center.
A&M is a public university, and it has more than 6,000 students in the U. and abroad.
It has more students than any other university in the world, and has more power than any school in the nation.
A&.m. said the battery technology could save consumers up to $500 per year and save the company $3.6 billion in electricity costs annually.
A battery can store more than 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy, according to the company.
A Tesla electric car can run on a battery that is 10 times as efficient as a battery used to store electricity.
The batteries are smaller than traditional lithium-ion batteries, but can hold up to 1,000 kilowatts (kW) of electricity, said Josh Sussman, a senior associate director of strategic planning and innovation at A&m.
The batteries could be used in electric cars that are just a few years old and are not expected to become popular.
The battery technology, called lithium-polymer (Li-Po), has the potential to replace many batteries in the automotive industry.
The technology has the ability to store up to 500 megawatt-hour (kwh) of electric power, according the company, which has more electric vehicles on the road than any U..
A battery can also store about one gigawatt of solar energy, which is about the same as a conventional battery, Sussmen said.
The technology is not yet cost-competitive with battery storage in other industries, but the company said the technology could be ready for market within two to three years.