Southern California Edison (SCE) has agreed with the DOE to conduct a “comprehensive” demonstration of a lithium-ion battery storage system linking up with wind turbines. The utility will set up the demonstration in the Tehachapi region of Southern California, with the hope that the technology could help integrate more wind generation into the grid. SCE and partners will match the federal grant with $29.9 million, including a $1 million grant from the California Energy commission, to meet the overall $54.9 million project cost. “This grant will help SCE, our partners and the electric utility industry better understand the best use of large-scale batteries in grid operations,” says SCE VP of Transmission and Distribution Jim Kelly.
SCE says energy storage technologies will be able to support grid operations several ways, one of which was to mitigate the effect of unpredictable wind patterns on power generation. The utility said the Tehachapi Wind Energy Storage Project would spur broader demand for large batteries, and help it become more affordable as well as letting more intermittent renewable energy projects connect to the grid.
The energy storage equipment will be installed in early 2012 at an SCE substation serving the Tehachapi area, about 100 miles north of Los Angeles.
Testing should take until the end of 2014, and results available in early 2015.
SCE will work with U.S. battery manufacturer A123 Systems and the California Independent System Operator Corporation on the project. Quanta Technology and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, will provide engineering support and measurement-and-reporting services.
“We expect that dynamically managing the grid through large scale advanced lithium-ion battery will be a necessary innovation to realize the promise of a smarter, cleaner energy grid,” says A123 Systems VP Robert Johnson.
A123 Systems Inc
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