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Imergy Power Systems’ vanadium flow batteries selected for Navy/California Energy Commission microgrid demonstration project

Foresight Renewable Solutions has selected Imergy’s ESP30 series vanadium-based flow batteries (earlier post) for a Smart Microgrid project sponsored by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and hosted by the US Navy.

To be deployed at the Navy’s Mobile Utilities Support Equipment (MUSE) Facility in Port Hueneme, California, the Smart Microgrid project will focus on developing applications and use-case scenarios to optimize power consumption at military bases, college campuses, industrial parks and other institutions. The project will include:

  • Demand charge management: The project will demonstrate how well the system can release short bursts of energy when demand peaks occur, enabling users to reduce their electricity bills by lowering their utility demand charges.

  • Load shifting: The project will prove how well the system can shift load from higher cost times of day to lower cost times of day, enabling users to reduce their electricity bills by shifting load to times when electricity prices are lower.

  • Solar firming and ramp rate control: The project will show how well batteries can smooth out the jagged nature of solar power production, helping solar power systems provide more consistent power throughout the day.

  • Island mode: The project will demonstrate how well a photovoltaic (PV) solar system and battery storage, disconnected from the grid, can provide energy for a user’s critical loads during a given time period, enabling similar systems to be securely deployed at remote, mission critical facilities.

Three Imergy ESP30 series vanadium-based flow batteries will be incorporated into the project, which will also feature a 50 kW PV solar panel system and GELI’s Energy Operating System (EOS) to automate the multiple applications. The ESP30 series has a capacity of up to 50 kW and can store up to 200 kWh of electricity.

Imergy produces its high-performance flow batteries using recycled vanadium from environmental waste, which is helping the company deliver the best performance and price points in the industry. Imergy says that it delivers the lowest Levelized Cost of Stored Energy (LCOSE) of any competitor in the market.

The Navy and US military have been at the forefront in the development of advanced energy technologies. The Navy currently produces 12% of its total annual energy needs from renewable sources. Microgrids at military bases could help the military lower energy costs, expand their use of renewable energy, and reduce their dependence on diesel and grid connectivity for mission critical assignments.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has mandated that the state’s three largest investor-owned utilities add a minimum of 1.3 GW of energy storage of energy storage infrastructure by the end of the decade. Worldwide revenue from energy storage for the grid and ancillary services is expected to grow from $675 million annually in 2014 to $15.6 billion in 2024, according to a report from Navigant Research.

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