WGL Holdings Inc., through its subsidiary, Washington Gas Energy Systems (WGESystems), announced an agreement with Southern Company and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to test and evaluate a battery storage system at a 1-megawatt (MW) solar array in Cedartown, Ga. The project will analyze a 1-MW/2-MWh lithium ion battery energy storage system to establish a technical and economic foundation for future grid deployments, with a specific focus on renewable integration.
“The continued research and evaluation of battery storage is a key component to increasing the feasibility of solar energy for individuals, businesses and municipalities,” said Sanjiv Mahan, chief operating officer of Washington Gas Energy Systems. “We are committed to renewable energy innovation and look forward to teaming with Southern Company and EPRI to test the battery energy storage system in Cedartown.”
Energy storage systems provide collected electricity to the grid on demand to compensate for the intermittence of solar, stabilizing power output from solar arrays and other renewable energy sources. The ground-mounted solar array consists of 3,388 solar panels with an expected annual output of more than 1.5 million kilowatt hours, and covers approximately 6 acres of land. The Cedartown energy storage system is scheduled for commissioning in the second quarter of calendar year 2015.
“We are at a stage in the industry where we need to develop the integration requirements for energy storage systems – the control system requirements, the protection requirements and the modeling requirements – to make them part of system planning and operations,” said Mark McGranaghan, vice president of power delivery and utilization research at EPRI. “This has to happen before they are needed for widespread deployment. Demonstrations like this are absolutely key to establishing these models and requirements.”
The Cedartown solar photovoltaic (PV) facility is part of Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power’s Advanced Solar Initiative, which was designed to tap into Georgia’s competitive solar marketplace and cultivate cost-effective options for Georgia Power customers. Washington Gas Energy Systems owns and operates the array under a 20-year power purchasing agreement. Inman Solar designed and installed the system. Polk County owns the property on which the systems are built. The solar array is located at 151 N. Park Blvd. in Cedartown.
— Solar Builder magazine