SoCal Edison opens 32 MWh battery energy storage project, largest in North America; batteries from LG Chem
Southern California Edison (SCE) opened the largest battery energy storage project in North America—the Tehachapi Energy Storage Project—to modernize the grid to integrate more clean energy. The 32 MWh battery energy storage system features lithium-ion batteries from LG Chem housed inside a 6,300 square-foot facility at SCE’s Monolith substation in Tehachapi, Calif.
The project is strategically located in the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area that is projected to generate up to 4,500 MW of wind energy by 2016.
The demonstration project is funded by SCE and federal stimulus money awarded by the Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
This installation will allow us to take a serious look at the technological capabilities of energy storage on the electric grid. It will also help us to gain a better understanding of the value and benefit of battery energy storage.—Dr. Imre Gyuk, energy storage program manager, DOE
The project costs about $50 million with matching funds from SCE and the DOE. Over a two-year period, the project will demonstrate the performance of the lithium-ion batteries in actual system conditions and the capability to automate the operations of the battery energy storage system and integrate its use into the utility grid.
Primary goals of the project are to demonstrate the effectiveness of lithium-ion battery and smart inverter technologies for improved grid performance and to assist in the integration of variable renewable energy resources like wind and solar power.
The battery system supplied by LG Chem comprises 604 battery racks, 10,872 battery modules and 608,832 individual battery cells—the same lithium-ion cells installed in battery packs for General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt.
The successful commissioning of the Tehachapi Storage Project marks a key milestone for LG Chem in delivering large-scale energy storage solutions. As a turnkey solutions provider, LG Chem looks forward to its continued collaboration with SCE during the next two years of system operation. The role of energy storage in the electric grid will continue to increase with the growth of renewable energy and distributed energy systems and our collaboration with SCE will provide key insights for current and future energy storage projects.—Sung-Hoon Jang, vice president of the Energy Solution Company at LG Chem