Are Rechargeable Batteries the best form of grid reserve power?

Utilizing Wind turbines and expandable lithium-ion batteries installed in mobile storage containers, AES Energy Storage is making a profit over an easy to deploy solution. By having the rechargeable battery banks installed in semi-truck containers, they can be easily be piggybacked upon an already up and running installation to provide more backup power as needed.

Laurel Mtn Energy Storage Containers (2)

Some experts consider Lithium-ion too expensive a solution for this type of power, but AES Energy argues that it’s solution is working and exceeding customer expectations.

As documented by Technology Review talking with Chris Shelton, the president of AES Energy Storage:

At the Laurel Mountain facility in West Virginia, the batteries, supplied by A123 systems, are capable of charging or discharging at the rate of 32 megawatts for up to 15 minutes. Because it’s connected to a wind farm, the energy emissions-free. But AES Energy Storage earns money on the flexibility and stability it can provide to the local grid operator. In contrast to many fossil fuel plants, the batteries are used continuously and can respond within seconds, says Shelton. The project was also helped by a change in FERC regulations that rewards power providers on their ability to supply services quickly. “You can’t just look at the cost in dollars per kilowatt. There are so many factors that apply,” he says.

For a easy to deliver on demand solution that is also Eco-friendly, AES Energy Storage is certainly on the right track vs utilizing costly fossil fuels as an alternative. You just can’t put a cost on a zero-emissions power solution when it comes to the impact on the local environment.

By Michael Nace


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