By SOCAR USA

Los Angeles is trying a new approach to deal with the major shortcoming of renewable energy: its inability to provide power when the sun isn’t shining or the wind blowing.

The western part of the city will be installing 18,000 batteries to store solar energy when it isn’t needed and release it during peak demand times.

The batteries, which will collectively be the world’s largest storage battery, will prevent the city from having to fire up a gas-powered generating facility to meet early-morning and early-evening consumption peaks on the west side.

Europe, which has also been trying to figure out how to cover the daily gaps that renewable energy produces, will be watching the Los Angeles experiment closely.

It will also have a model closer to home. Britain is looking for a company that can provide it with peak-demand battery-storage units around London.

The Arlington, Virginia, firm AES won the Los Angeles storage contract. It has already built a battery complex to store wind energy.

Its batteries will store 100 megawatts of power when the sun’s rays are strongest in Los Angeles in the late morning and early afternoon. Some of the energy will be released when people come home from work, driving up demand. More will be released when they take hot showers and use appliances as they get ready for work the next morning.

In addition to Los Angeles and London, New York State, Hawaii and Chile are considering energy-storage complexes instead of building new power plants.

SOCAR USA is the U.S. representative office of SOCAR, the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic, and is headed by Director Rauf Mammadov. The office was founded in 2012 and is engaged in generating awareness of the company’s global activities in the United States and exploring U.S.-based energy-industry opportunities.