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Quickfire Aliso Canyon gas leak project completed by Powin

By Andy Colthorpe
Site of the Aliso Canyon leak in 2015. Image: wikimedia user: Earthworks.
Another energy storage system project expedited to meet the resource adequacy requirements of a California utility following the Aliso Canyon gas leak has been completed, Powin Corporation has announced.

Connected to a substation in Irvine, California, the 2MW/8MWh Millikan Ave battery energy storage system (BESS), originally called Grand Johanna, has been built for utility Southern California Edison (SCE). It joins a 20MW project by AltaGas and Greensmith which also publicised its completion this week and Tesla’s vast 80MWh project at the Mira Loma substation, which has been officially launched this week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

SCE CEO kicking off grand opening of Tesla Energy storage project @SCE Mira Loma facility. @RivcoRocks @CAGoBiz— Rob Moran (@RivCoRob) January 30, 2017

ACES high

These projects have all been awarded by SCE and another utility, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) in response to the Aliso Canyon gas leak and are among a total of over 70MW of battery storage projects in that Aliso Canyon Energy Storage (ACES) procurement ordered by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

The utility requests for proposals (RfPs) and subsequent contract awards were notable for the speed with which they were first awarded and then gotten underway, with Powin Energy also hailing its team for completing the project from conception to execution in less than six months. Greensmith similarly claimed it had achieved “record” project execution time with its project.

Grand Johanna project

Powin Energy Corporation’s project will provide critical peaking capacity and grid support services to SCE. Able to deliver 2MW of power continuously for four hours, it will be used to meet peak demand as well as providing grid regulation services and flexible capacity support as necessary. According to a lengthy document submitted for approval by the CPUC, the system is housed in a 35,000 square foot warehouse. SCE said it was “priced competitively with previous solicitations in which SCE has awarded contracts to energy storage resources”, while accounting for the expedited nature of the process.

The document also pointed out that the project meets the three goals of California’s state-wide energy storage procurement mandate for investor-owned utilities, AB2514. Namely, that the project contributes to the optimisation of the grid, aids the integration of renewable energy and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

As a flexible resource, it will also bid to participate in CAISO (California Independent System Operator) day-ahead and real-time markets for providing ancillary services to the grid.

“Fundamentally, the project can store electricity to be used at another time and provide ancillary services when needed. These attributes could potentially mitigate extreme market prices, provide necessary generation during high load scenarios, or integrate must-take renewable energy by charging its battery storage system from the grid,” SCE said.

The Grand Johanna/Millikan Ave project utilises more than 2,400 packs of Powin’s lithium-iron-phosphate batteries in 3.7kWh modules, and Powin’s battery management system. Integrated on a 12kV distribution line from the Estrella 66/12kV substation, it uses power converter, switchgear and transformers from project partner Eaton.

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