- Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) has initiated work at a Washington state substation on the first energy storage project incorporating Modular Energy Storage Architecture (MESA). By establishing non-proprietary standards, MESA design allows a storage system to be scalable through the addition of components.
- Funded in part by $7.3 million from the Washington Clean Energy Fund, the PUD system is the first of several MESA energy storage projects the utility will build in 2015, T&D world reports. The MESA standards-based storage and software incorporated in the PUD’s energy storage program will be built around two large-scale lithium ion batteries, one from Mitsubishi and GS Yuasa and another from LG Chem.
- In addition to the lithium batteries, 1Energy Systems, the architect of the MESA software controls, will build in a Parker Hannifin Power Conversion System and Alstom Grid EMS, SCADA & DMS platforms.
The U.S. Department of Energy Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will study ways the PUD MESA energy storage can integrate higher levels of renewables into the utility’s grid without to enhance efficiency or resiliency.
PUD and UniEnergy Technologies will deploy advanced vanadium flow batteries at another substation in a second application of the MESA open standards-based software.
Grid-connected energy storage promises huge benefits but electric utilities and technology suppliers face technical challenges. The lack of standardization in the storage sector is an obstacle to resolving those challenges.
Standards are necessary to scale any technology. The personal computer grew to millions of units per year, while driving down prices, after software and hardware components were standardized. To scale energy storage, a similar maturation is needed. It will require an agreed-on industry vision and technology standards.
MESA Standards will allow connections between energy storage system components, freeing utilities and vendors to grow storage through market processes.