- Indianapolis Power & Light has brought a 20 MW storage facility online, with a goal of lowering emissions by enabling more efficient dispatch generation and helping to integrate intermittent resources.
- The project, which went into service in May, offers the equivalent to 40 MW of flexible resources and is located at IPL's Harding Street Generation Station.
- According to IPL's blog, the project is providing frequency control "far more efficiently than its predecessors of traditional generation," with the system reacting in fractions of a second without operator control.
The Midcontinent ISO has been working to reform market rules, aiming to entice storage providers to develop projects. IPL's facility, which has now been online almost two months, is the first project in the market to connect to the grid.
"IPL is committed to developing energy solutions that balance affordability for our customers and the impact on the environment," IPL President and CEO Rafael Sanchez said in a statement. "This array provides an innovative approach to helping address the challenges that come with diversifying our energy mix with more wind and solar resources."
IPL's "Advancion" energy storage platform was recognized with the 2016 International Edison Award for helping to accelerate the integration clean energy. Samsung SDI and Parker Hanfinn supplied components to the project, and Casteel Corp. constructed the remainder.
The storage will help IPL shift towards cleaner sources. The utility said that by next spring, the majority of its IPL's generating capacity will come from a combination of natural gas, wind and solar.
According to an IPL blog post, the project uses lithium ion batteries and eventually, the utility will use them to provide "additional services to support reliability while continuing to control frequency as part of providing reliable service to our customers."
"Historically, the functions of frequency and voltage control were part of the benefits of traditional generators such as those that are fueled by coal," writes Lin Franks, IPL regulatory affairs senior strategist. "Today and for the foreseeable future, more generators will be renewable resources. These greener resources, while they have many benefits, do not have the same capabilities as traditional generators and are not effective providers of frequency and voltage control services."