Largest Grid-Connected Energy Storage Purchase In US History

By: | November 19th, 2014

Energy plants of whatever kind are just like people, they have a finite lifetime and eventually are decommissioned. California’s Southern California Edison (SCE) typically awards contracts, called Power Purchase Agreements, to energy suppliers, often for long periods of time, say 20 years. These contracts are necessary as a matter of business but also to meet California Utility Commission’s minimum energy requirements.

Renewable Energy Stored In Batteries

A new type of energy supply is now coming online and its called an “energy storage project.” This new source of energy comes from alternative energy sources such as wind and solar and is stored in batteries.

SCE has just awarded a contract to AES Southland to provide 100MW of interconnected battery based energy storage, equivalent to a 200MW of flexible energy storage. SCE is already one of the nation’s leaders in renewable energy and is the primary electric supplier for Southern California.

What Is Grid-Connected Energy Storage?

Grid connected batteries both discharge or supply energy and absorb energy or charge from the electric grid. This allows utilities to be more resilient, responsive and flexible in the face of natural events and outages. These batteries also help manage the flow of electricity as more and more renewable energy is added to the grid. This type of energy storage allows utilities to minimize critical peaks by managing fluctuations in the daily demand cycle.

The following video explains “vanadium redox batteries”, the second generation of this type of technology for renewables that doubles the energy density and increase the temperature range at which the batteries can operate.

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David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

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