Powin Energy's 8 MWh storage project enters service for Aliso Canyon leak mitigation

Dive Brief:

  • Powin Energy announced that its 2 MW, 8 MWh battery energy storage system in Irvine, CA came online this week.

  • The storage system provides peaking capacity and grid support services to Southern California Edison.  

  • The storage project was installed in less than six months in response to the Public Utilities Commission’s request for storage resources that could be put in place to help alleviate constraints arising from the lack of gas-fired generation as a result of the leaks and subsequent closure of the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility.

Dive Insight:

The Aliso Canyon methane leak has proved to be a testing ground for the capabilities of energy storage.The methane leak was discovered in October 2015, and about a year later, gas-fired generation in the state was down about 20%.

In response to the leak, the California PUC required SCE to hold an expedited solicitation to procure storage capability to alleviate outage concerns stemming from the closure of the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility.

Among others, SCE tapped Tesla for an 80-MW storage facility as a result of the solicitation. And another battery storage project, the 20 MW AltaGas Pomona Energy Facility, came online last week. 

Powin’s storage facility is interconnected on the Virgo 12-kV distribution line out of the Estrella 66/12-kV substation and can deliver 2 MW of power for over four continuous hours. The system, comprised of over 2,400 Li-ion battery packs, will supply regulation and flexible capacity support as needed.

“The natural gas and resulting capacity shortages due to the Aliso Canyon emergency shutdown necessitated that we bring this project online by the end of 2016,” Geoff Brown, president of Powin Energy, said in a statement. “We strongly believe that deploying grid support resources in months rather than years and at a fraction of the cost of a gas peaker plant presents the power industry with an attractive alternative to serve their peak capacity needs.”

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Filed Under: Energy Storage Distributed Energy Regulation & Policy
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