In 2021, reliability is at the forefront of the energy industry’s mind. Throughout the past year, the U.S. energy trade has been rocked by extreme weather conditions, cybersecurity attacks, and an increased demand for residential power consumption due to stay at home orders. Traditional and renewable energy sources alike are looking to increase grid reliability. Today is Energy Storage Day, a day where we look at how energy storage solutions are becoming a vital tool in creating resilient energy infrastructure.
Energy storage systems are, simply, systems for capturing energy produced and storing it for later use. When energy supply is affected in some manner and causes disruptions to the power grid, energy storage systems (ESS) can be deployed to ensure an interruption doesn’t occur.
While ESS are often talked about in relation to renewable energy, they aren’t exclusive to the renewables market. Energy storage can be implemented to ensure reliability to both traditional and renewable energy sources. Energy storage is quickly becoming a popular option amongst uncertain conditions: in the second quarter of 2021, the U.S. market record an increase in energy storage capacity of 162% compared to the second quarter of 2020. 2020 estimates note the U.S. has over 23.2 gigawatts of capacity in energy storage, with much more to come online in 2021.
ECI and our sister construction management company, EPCS, have designed and built some of the nation’s largest energy storage projects to date. We’re responsible for the designs and programming of several ESS facilities throughout the United States, as well as the design of interconnecting substations, switchyards, and transmission lines for ESS sites. On this Energy Storage Day, we’re giving a rundown of some of our favorite ESS projects – so far!
GRAND RIDGE ENERGY STORAGE is an energy storage project containing three battery energy storage systems (BESS). The energy storage systems store 32, 3, and 1.5 megawatts of energy each. These systems are part of the Grand Ridge Energy Center, which at one time was the largest renewable energy center in the world with wind, solar and advanced energy storage in one location. ECI was the consulting engineer for all three Grand Ridge BESS systems and the wind farm for complete electrical and civil design, including BESS system integration, protection, and general arrangement.
SATICOY ENERGY STORAGE was a milestone ESS project for the state of California in 2021. Saticoy is a 100-megawatt storage system built in Ventura County, California. As of now, Saticoy is the largest BESS facility in the United States! ECI and EPCS provided interconnection design/build solutions for Saticoy site’s 34.5-66 kV Manitee Substation and Southern California Edison’s 66 kV Alisa Switchyard, interconnecting Manitee with underground collection feeder cables to the Saticoy ESS.
BEECH RIDGE BATTERY ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM is a 32-megawatt system primarily used for fast frequency regulating services in the PJM Market. This system consists of 18 lithium-ion battery storage containers with integral inverters. Located south of Beech Ridge Wind Farm, a 100-megawatt wind facility, Beech Ridge stores the site’s wind energy to create a more resilient power source for customers. As consulting engineer, ECI provided comprehensive electrical design, civil design, and integration of the Beech Ridge BESS, designing the storage site, integration, and interconnection to the grid.
PINAL CENTRAL SOLAR ENERGY CENTER opened as Arizona’s largest utility-scale solar energy center paired with a battery storage system, generating 20 megawatts of solar energy to power up to 5,000 homes. The facility’s BESS is capable of storing 10 megawatts of solar energy from the site. ECI provided designs to Pinal’s BESS facility, as well as critical interconnection elements such as Pinal’s 34.5-230 kV substation and 230 kV transmission line, connecting the project to the existing Pinal 230 kV Switchyard.