The grid storage space is really starting to heat up. We’ve already featured a couple of promising-looking energy storage companies getting close to commercialization (and claiming to offer safe, reliable, nontoxic grid storage at very competitive prices). And we’ve got a handful of other companies and technologies we plan to highlight in the coming weeks. But the announcement late yesterday from PG&E caught me by surprise.
It and the California Energy Commission just yesterday “unveiled an innovative battery energy storage system pilot project.” There are no details on the cost (just a note that $3.3 million came from the Energy Commission), but the press release does note that it is a “utility-scale sodium-sulfur battery energy storage project” and that it has a capacity of 4 megawatts, with the ability to store more than six hours of energy.
Here are a few more details from the press release [PDF]:
PG&E is working in close coordination with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to study how sodium-sulfur battery energy storage can improve power quality and reliability, support greater integration of intermittent renewable power, and supply energy to California’s electricity market, overseen by the California Independent System Operator. EPRI’s reports will be made available to the public.
S&C Electric Company is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project and supplied the storage management system and power conversion equipment that control the battery’s AC input/output and its interface with the electric grid. NGK Insulators is the manufacturer of the sodium sulfur (NaS) battery system which includes the battery modules and control system for managing DC input/output and other parameters for maximizing module longevity.