AES Gener and AES Energy Storage have begun commercial operation of the second energy storage project in Northern Chile, integrating 20MW of Li-ion battery-based energy storage (BESS) with a 544MW thermal power plant. The BESS comprises approximately one million lithium-ion battery cells, divided between ten 2MW battery containers, and five 4MW power controls containers. A123 Systems supplied the energy storage systems for the project. The power controls modules were provided by ABB.
The project is owned by AES Gener, the second largest power generator in the country, and will operate through its subsidiary, Empresa Eléctrica Angamos S.A. (Angamos). AES Energy Storage, a leader in energy storage partnerships, marks another commercial project to employ the company’s advanced reserves product.
This project builds on the success of an initial partnership between the two companies, both subsidiaries of the AES Corporation, to develop a 12MW energy storage system integrated with AES Gener’s Norgener power plant. Located at an electrical substation 172 kilometers (107 miles) from Antofagasta, Chile, the Los Andes Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) has been delivering a similar reliability service since 2009.
Much like a hybrid electric vehicle incorporates a battery component to improve efficiency, combining battery storage with a traditional power plant allows the plant to more effectively use its own generated power while continuing to provide essential spinning reserve services.
The advanced reserve capacity provided by the storage technology will enable the Angamos plant to generate an additional 20MW of energy at virtually all times throughout the year, which would otherwise be tied up to maintain the plant’s grid reliability responsibilities in the case of unexpected transmission loss, the failure of a power generator, or another accident that might otherwise necessitate reduced power to customers. As a result, this newly available energy will increase power generation from the Angamos plant by 4%.
Designed, built and operational in just fifteen months, the energy storage system provides superior speed and response to any system reliability event such as loss of transmission, or loss of a power generator. Fast response enables the power system operator to maintain and restore the grid with less shedding of load from customers or other disruptive actions. In 2011, the first 12MW project in Los Andes was noted by the region’s grid operator, CDEC-SING, as one of the best performing reserve units in Northern Chile.
AES Energy Storage worked with AES Gener throughout the design, development, and installation of the Angamos BESS. AES Energy Storage worked with CDEC-SING, AES Gener and its partners to configure the parameters of the advanced reserves product enabling the Angamos BESS to meet the performance requirements of the electrical system operator and respond autonomously within established parameters. The advanced reserves product also features system monitoring, SCADA and integration with other operational systems to ensure product performance and high reliability.