Wärtsilä has reached commercial operation date for two interconnected energy storage systems in south Texas totaling 200 MW, the Finnish technology group said Monday.
It said the facility is the first-of-its-kind financed with investment tax credits available in the Inflation Reduction Act to provide dispatchable resource to meet demand for flexibility in the Texas power market. The storage systems are owned by Eolian, a portfolio company of Global Infrastructure Partners.
Construction on the two systems, know as the Madero and Ignacio energy storage plants, began in January 2021. They will use Eolian software to participate in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas market, adding year-round operational ramping capacity.
The facilities’ multi-hour continuous dispatch capability provides the longest duration of any energy storage assets operating in ERCOT. As a combined site, the project is the world’s largest in MWh fully-merchant and market-facing energy storage facility built to-date, Wärtsilä said.
“The exact MWh capacity per project site is confidential,” a spokesperson for Wärtsilä said. “But with each of the two phases being greater than 250 MWh and greater than 2 hours in duration, the project is well above 500 MWh in total,” she added. “The facility is already operating on the ERCOT grid and is providing vital and valuable daily ramping during the evening peak.”
“Texas needs more flexible capacity solutions like energy storage for grid support and energy resource optimization,” said Risto Paldanius, vice president Americas, Wärtsilä Energy. “This will help the state as it faces the natural replacement cycle of older inflexible generators and adapts to more frequent extreme weather events.”
The projects will use GEMS Digital Energy Platform, which monitors and controls the flow of energy, making it possible to provide grid support during periods of grid instability. The projects will also use Wärtsilä’s Storage+ Solution to deliver ancillary services such as fast frequency response and frequency regulation.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with additional comments from Wärtsilä.