- Chugach Electric Association has contracted with Beacon Power to develop a hybrid energy storage project in Anchorage, Alaska, aimed at supplying power to the state's Railbelt Region.
- Chugach will also consider whether the project can be scaled up, to eventually help integrate increasing amounts of renewable power into the system.
- The project is funded in part by Alaska Energy Authority’s Emerging Energy Technology Fund, and also involves technological support from Spirae LLC.
Massachusetts-based Beacon Energy has agreed to supply flywheels for a hybrid energy storage
project in Anchorage that combines high-power flywheel energy storage technology with an existing conventional electrochemical battery for periods when additional energy is needed.
Chugach Electric Association will install the systems at a substation next to Chugach headquarters; the project is expected to go into operation later in 2015. Beacon and Chugach said they will test the 320 kW system to determine if the new storage solution can be scaled up in the future to enable increasing amounts of renewables to interconnect along the Alaska Railbelt, a region which stretches 500 miles north from the Kenai Peninsula to Fairbanks and is home to 70% of Alaska’s population.
"The project will also demonstrate a hybrid control system that will allow Chugach to maximize future
multi-stage energy storage system performance and minimize life cycle costs,” Dustin Highers,
director of power supply technical services at Chugach and the system’s project manager, said in a statement.
According to Beacon, this will be the third utility installation of its modular 160 kW energy storage system, and is a stand-alone configuration of a flywheel with the integrated power electronics and flywheel controls in a single unit, making the system easily scalable.
“Our new modular system is ideal for hybrid energy storage opportunities, enabling our flywheels to
work together with different storage technologies to realize the widest range of power system
benefits,” said Barry Brits, Beacon Power president and CEO. “Feedback from our plant operations and
customers has informed our product development efforts, resulting in a flexible power control module
for ease of system integration and reduction of capital and operating costs.”
Colorado-based Spirae LLC is also collaborating on the project and will provide the overall control system to manage output of both flywheels and batteries, as well as manage each system’s state-of-charge.