The First Of Washington State’s Energy Storage Is Online

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Originally Published on the ECOreport

The first of Washington States’s Energy Storage is online. Four energy storage units were financed through Washington state’s Clean Energy fund. On Thursday, January 15, Governor Jay Inslee dedicated a 1-MW system at Snohomish County Public Utility District’s (SnoPUD) Everett substation. This is part of the Modular Energy Storage Architecture (MESA) 1 project, which will consist of two 1-MW, 500-MWhr lithium-ion battery based systems at one substation.  

Screenshot 2015-01-17 15.13.05

“The electrical grid needs to change to take on more renewable power, and standards-based storage and software will play major roles in that change,” PUD General Manager Steve Klein said.

Three Wind Farms feed electricity to Snohomish County:

  • Hay Canyon Wind Project, in North Central Oregon, has a name plate capacity of 100.8 MW and delivers an average load of about 29 MW.
  • White Creek Wind Project, in in Klickitat County, Washington, has a capacity of 204 megawatts and delivers an average of 68 MW comes
  • Wheat Field Wind Project, near Arlington, has a capacity of 97 MW and an estimated averge annual output of 28 MW.

Screenshot 2015-01-17 15.22.00

Much of this wind energy is produced during the middle of the night or day, when it is least needed. Energy storage units like the one at Everett will help utilities store this energy until it is most needed.

The energy storage system will also stabilize the region’s aging grid. Sudden drops and power surges are normal even with conventional generators. Batteries store the excess power and release it when needed. In contrast to natural gas plants, which take 10-15 minutes to ramp up, batteries deliver power almost instantaneously.

Snohomish will receive a second energy storage system (MESA 2) later this year. An advanced vanadium flow battery, rated at 2MW/6.4MWhr will be built in another location.

These were two of the four energy projects that Washington state’s Clean Energy Fund awarded $14.3 million last July.


A 1-MW, 3.2-MWhr UniEnergy vanadium-flow battery was recently delivered to Avista’s substation in Pullman, Wash.

Puget Sound Energy was awarded $3.8 million from the state to help deploy a 2-MW, 4.4-MWhr lithium-ion/phosphate battery assembly at Glacier. This will be used to provide Glacier with power during outages, stabilize grid operations and support greater integration of wind and hydro on PSE’s grid.

Images, in descending order:

  • Photo Credit: Governor Inslee in the Governors Office By Jay Inslee via Flicke (CC By SA, 2.0 License)
  • Photo Credit: IMG_6119a taken at Wishram, Washington by Sam Churchill via Flickr (CC By SA, 2.0 License)
  • Photo Credit: UET’s Uni.System product for grid-scale energy storage applications (UniEnergy Technologies)

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Roy L Hales

is the President of Cortes Community Radio , CKTZ 89.5 FM, where he has hosted a half hour program since 2014, and editor of the Cortes Currents (formerly the ECOreport), a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of British Columbia. He is a research junkie who has written over 2,000 articles since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.

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