Three Washington state utilities receive total of $14.3M in matching state grants for grid energy storage projects
Three Washington state utilities have been awarded $14.3 million in matching grants from the state’s new Clean Energy Fund to lead energy storage projects with ties to federally funded research at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The total cost for the three smart grid demonstration projects is $35.3 million, including more than $21 million in non-state funds.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and the state Department of Commerce announced the grants at the Mukilteo, Wash., facility of UniEnergy Technologies (UET) and which has licensed battery technology from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Two of the winning utilities will install UET’s all-vanadium redox flow batteries as part of their projects. PNNL developed the battery technology with six years of funding from DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.
The winning utilities’ projects and their ties to PNNL and DOE are:
Avista Utilities of Spokane, Wash., was awarded $3.2 million. Its project includes installing a 1.0 MW/3.2 MWh UET vanadium flow battery in Pullman, Wash., to support WSU’s smart campus operations. PNNL will collaborate with WSU to develop a control strategy for this project. Avista is participating in the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project and previously received a DOE Smart Grid Investment Grant.
Use cases include: (1) Energy shifting; (2) Provide grid flexibility; (3) Improve distribution systems efficiency; (4) enhanced voltage control; (5) Grid-connected and islanded micro-grid operations; and (6) Optimal utilization of energy storage.
Puget Sound Energy of Bellevue, Wash., was awarded $3.8 million. Its project includes installing a BYD 2 MW/4.4 MWh lithium iron phosphate battery. As part of a previous project that was jointly funded by the Bonneville Power Administration, Primus Power, Puget Sound Energy and DOE, PNNL analyzed the costs and benefits associated with installing energy storage at various sites within PSE’s service territory.
Use cases include: (1) Energy shifting; (2) Provide grid flexibility; (3) Improve distribution systems efficiency; (4) Outage management of critical loads; and (5) Optimal utilization of energy storage.
Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1 of Everett, Wash., was awarded $7.3 million. Its project includes installing a 2 MW/6.4 MWh UET vanadium flow system flow battery and a 1.0 MW/0.50 MWh lithium-ion battery system. This project builds on experience gained and equipment and technologies installed with a DOE Smart Grid Investment Grant.
Use cases include: 1) Energy shifting; (2) Provide grid flexibility; (3) Improve distribution systems efficiency; and (4) Optimal utilization of energy storage.
To support these projects, PNNL has worked with the state, utilities, technology companies and university researchers to develop detailed use cases of the various ways energy storage can increase renewable energy use and improve grid efficiency and resiliency. The utilities will consult these as they implement and evaluate their individual projects.
PNNL is also expected to provide analytical and technical support for the projects. PNNL will conduct benefits analysis, compile field data needed for use cases that help utilities and regulators understand the long-term benefits of new technologies, design plans for acceptance testing and strengthen control strategies. In addition, PNNL plans to collaborate with Washington State University to develop a battery control system for one project and intends to work with the University of Washington’s Clean Energy Institute to share benefits experienced during the projects.