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A123 Systems to supply 1MW Li-ion grid storage system to Maui Electric Company; 2MW system for NSTAR demonstration
20 December 2011
Li-ion battery maker A123 Systems will supply a Grid Battery System (GBS) to Maui Electric Company (MECO), a utility serving residents and businesses on the islands of Maui, Lanai and Molokai in Hawaii. To be installed at MECO’s Wailea Substation on Maui, the advanced energy storage system will be designed to deliver one-megawatt (1MW) of power for a full hour to reduce the peak energy load on one of the substation’s transformers, which is expected to increase grid stability and improve power quality to help MECO meet the objectives of the Maui Smart Grid Project.
A123Systems is also launching a pilot project with NSTAR—the largest Massachusetts-based, investor-owned electric and gas utility— to study and showcase the performance and reliability benefits of implementing a GBS within a suburban electric grid. The system, NSTAR’s first battery energy storage project, is proposed for installation at a substation in Medway, Mass. and is expected to be operational in 2012.
Maui Electric. Led by MECO and the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, the Maui Smart Grid Project is designed to help MECO demonstrate and evaluate new technologies for operating the electric grid more efficiently. The project also aims to help residents better manage and reduce energy consumption during periods of high demand.
Specific objectives include reducing distribution circuit peak load, minimizing emissions, enabling greater utilization of renewable energy sources and improving power quality and grid stability.
A123’s GBS storage systems are designed to provide a complete, turnkey solution to help MECO meet these objectives by providing a number of services in addition to peak-load shifting, including regulating voltage fluctuation, reactive power (VAR) support and relieving wind curtailment.
NSTAR. Under the terms of the agreement, one of A123’s two-megawatt (2MW) GBS solutions is proposed to be interconnected to the power grid at NSTAR’s substation in Medway. It will be owned and operated by A123, and will be designed to provide area regulation services, which are used to address momentary differences between electric power supply and demand.
A123 expects to earn revenue from these area regulation services from ISO-New England (ISO-NE) as part of the Alternative Technology Regulation (ATR) Pilot Program, which allows “non-generating resources” such as advanced energy storage systems to receive compensation for area regulation and other ancillary services.
In addition, the pilot project is expected to allow A123 to learn more about how its GBS performs in real-world applications in order to facilitate further product improvements designed to reduce total cost of ownership.
GBS. A123’s GBS applies the technology used in hybrid electric transportation to meet the power sector’s growing need for energy storage. The GBS cales in modular increments of 500 kWh, and can support applications such as frequency regulation; spinning reserve; renewable integration; and smart grid implementation.
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