- Southern California Edison has selected GE to partner on a new battery energy storage system (BESS), the latest of several it is developing to help avert grid issues related to gas shortages at the Aliso Canyon storage facility.
- The project will utilize a 10 MW battery energy storage system supplied by Current, and an existing gas turbine with control system upgrades provided by GE’s Power Services.
- The battery system will eliminate the need for gas turbines to run at minimum loads to maintain spinning reserves, saving fuel, maintenance costs and cutting emissions.
In recent months SCE has announced several storage projects, including an 80 MWh battery project with Tesla and a 50 MW virtual power plant with Nest. The 10 MW battery announced this week will qualify for the California ISO contingency reserve tariff, and helps address changing regulations on gas usage in the region.
Earlier this summer, state regulators authorized additional funding for demand response programs to deal with the natural gas leak. California has been rushing to approve storage assets to stave off possible blackouts as well. The methane leak, described as the worst in U.S. history, has left SCE trying to power the region while having access to 97,100 metric tons less gas, bringing up questions of grid stability.
GE Power Services President and CEO Paul McElhinney called the project a “hybrid solution," and said it would help California increase its grid efficiency. The project, known as the "LM6000 Hybrid EGT," can provide ancillary and grid support, 50 MW of carbon-free spinning reserve, flexible capacity, and peaking energy, in addition to providing other grid services.
SCE said the BESS is expected to be installed and operational by the end of this year, and the updated and integrated turbine controls are scheduled to be operational in early 2017.
The LM6000 Hybrid EGT is scheduled to be deployed at two SCE sites. The companies said it was developed in response to "changing regulations and grid requirements in the wake of California’s Aliso Canyon energy crisis," but it will ultimately support integrating renewable energy onto California's grid.