The Energy Storage Report 2024

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SCE chooses Powin to build California storage system for CPUC’s emergency procurement

The award coems in response to the CPUC's emergency mandate to procure storage in record time after the Aliso Canyon gas leak. Flickr: Joe Wolf
US utility Southern California Edison (SCE) has selected energy storage manufacturer and developer Powin Energy, a subsidiary of Powin Corporation, to build a 2MW / 8MWh storage system for grid support and capacity services as a result of an emergency procurement call from the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC).

Concerns emerged this summer over a projected shortfall in energy supply in California during the winter months following the Aliso Canyon Gas leak. The leak resulted in a moratorium on gas injections at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility, one of the key power suppliers ot the region. CPUC then issued an unprecedented resolution to acquire energy storage capacity in record time, before 31 December this year, to alleviate this power deficit. This included an expedited direction to SCE to procure storage in this manner.

Powin’s project, to be installed in its Irvine Business District facility in the city of Irvine, will include 8MWh of LFP lithium-ion battery cells controlled by a Battery Pack Operating System (bp-OS). The project is located in the business district to prevent the threat of electricity service interruptions to what Powin described as a “critical load area”. 

The energy storage system will be able to generate 2MW of electricity over four continuous hours to help provide reliable power during peak demand periods. The project will include more than 2,500 Li-ion battery packs each with 3.7kWh of LFP Li-ion prismatic modules.

Powin is also working with engineering group Eaton to supply the power conversion, transformer and switch gear equipment.

Geoff Brown, president of Powin Energy, said: “This project will provide a valuable demonstration of the transformative potential of energy storage systems like ours to quickly bring clean, quiet, safe and firm energy service to areas where they are most needed.

“We are particularly eager to demonstrate how our bp-OS software and cell-level control will provide unparalleled insight into the system’s performance and maximize the system’s life.” 

CPUC’s emergency energy storage procurement has been cited as a major opportunity for developers to prove the benefits of energy storage technologies versus fossil fuels.

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