- Energy storage developer GlidePath on Tuesday announced it acquired a 149 MW North Texas wind farm from Exelon, and plans to optimize the output of those eight projects through battery storage.
- The projects are all located north of Amarillo, Texas, and serve the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) market. "SPP includes some of the most robust wind resources in the country, but development has stagnated due to uncertainty and unsustainably low prices," Chris McKissack, chief operating officer at GlidePath, told Utility Dive in an email.
- There is an inherent need for storage in markets with heavy congestion and deep renewables penetration, said McKissack. That is especially true in Texas, where two emergency notices last week forced grid operators to rely on customer conservation and call on all available sources of generation, he said.
SPP's generation portfolio has changed dramatically over the past decade, with 50 GW of wind, 28.5 GW of solar and 5.7 GW of storage in its interconnection queue as of June.
"The high penetration of wind energy in North Texas offers us an excellent opportunity to pair these facilities with the latest battery storage technology," David Braun, president of GlidePath Asset Management, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, GlidePath, which recently acquired at 10 MW/MWh standalone battery project near Houston, believes that battery storage is the one of the solutions to the problems that plagued the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) last week.
"Last week's emergency notices are a prime example of how additional battery storage is necessary in a market such as ERCOT," McKissack said. "Batteries are able to respond quickly to events such as these and push energy onto the grid when it is needed most. They also have the ability to provide voltage and frequency stabilization, which are critical to reliability during grid events, particularly during times of low reserves."
"This event proves out GlidePath's thesis that the grid needs more battery storage and will benefit from having these resources distributed throughout the grid to avoid single-contingency events to bring the grid so close to emergency," he said.
McKissack also pointed to the recommendations of the SPP's Holistic Integrated Tariff Team (HITT), which is pushing the regional transmission operator to advance its marketplace and view of battery storage to level the playing field with other generators.
HITT, which is made up of 15 stakeholders, last month issued a report with recommendations for how SPP can prepare its grid for the future, including improvements to the wholesale energy market.
"Energy storage provides additional flexibility that we believe adds significant value to the market as well as to local and regional ratepayers," McKissack said.
GlidePath's acquisition brings its operating portfolio to more than 445 MW, which is in addition to its development pipeline of more than 1 GW of battery storage projects across the country. The developer declined to provide financial details of the sale.