Kentucky utilities team up with EPRI for battery storage testing
Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities Company are launching an energy storage research and demonstration site at the E.W. Brown Generating Station near Harrodsburg, Ky.
The first energy storage system installed on the site consists of a 1 MW lithium-ion battery system, a 1 MW smart power inverter and an advanced control system. Energy (MWh) specifications for the battery were not given.
- The project, which entered service in January, was developed in collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute and is designed to allow the utilities to develop, test, and evaluate the potential benefits of utility-scale battery technologies.
EPRI’s Integrated Grid project is designed to facilitate the spread of distributed energy resources, and the new testing site in Kentucky will enable researchers to study how multiple storage technologies can help integrate more customer-sited resources and optimize grid operations.
The site will also allow researchers to evaluate and identify potential grid integration challenges as the systems work together. The research team expects the test project to last about three years.
Equipment suppliers for the project include LG Chem, Dynapower and Greensmith Energy.
“Energy storage is a viable way for grid operators to enhance resiliency, manage costs, and optimally incorporate distributed energy resources on an integrated grid,” Mark McGranaghan, vice president of distribution and energy utilization at EPRI, said in a statement.
Utilities in Kentucky and the rest of the South have been slower to pick up energy storage than their counterparts in regions with high renewable energy penetrations, like California, or well-developed ancillary service markets, like the PJM region. But the new project is another indication the technology may be catching on.
In 2015, the Glasgow Electric Plant Board teamed up with Sunverge to provide batteries for its demand response program, and Greentech Media reports that high demand charges in much of the state make energy storage a viable option for commercial consumers.
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