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Published on December 22nd, 2015 | by Jake Richardson

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AES Reveals Another Energy Storage Alternative To Peaking Power Plants

December 22nd, 2015 by  


Energy storage leader AES recently revealed its new energy storage platform for commercial deployments. AES installed one of its systems in Maryland, and it is the largest grid-scale battery in that state. Brian Perusse, VP of International Market Development for AES, answered some questions about the platform for CleanTechnica.
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In what ways is the Advancion 4 system a better alternative to peaking power plants?

Advancion 4 saves customers money, reduces emissions, provides more flexibility, and is more reliable than a peaking power plant. Advancion arrays are continuously and instantly available without burning a fuel in “standby mode” and can deliver cheaper energy than a peaking power plant. The arrays serve as both generation and load, marking a turning point in grid flexibility and renewable integration, by giving power producers more than twice the flexibility compared to a gas peaker plant on the same interconnection. Advancion can deliver power significantly faster, more reliably and with more accuracy than a gas peaker and thus helps improve both the reliability and efficiency of the whole power grid.

What is the capacity in megawatts and megawatt-hours?

Advancion 4 has a unique scalable design that allows for standard configurations from 100kW to over 1,000 MW, and from 15-minutes of duration to over four hours without any reengineering. The largest AES Energy Storage project to-date is a 100 MW Advancion Array, that will deliver 400 MWh of energy to Southern California Edison.

What is the cost of a system?

System costs vary depending on the size, duration, and online date of the project.

Does it work well with renewable energy like solar power?

Yes, Advancion provides flexibility, peak capability, and grid-stabilizing capabilities that are critical for integrating renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, into our electric grid. Even better, Advancion does not need to be collocated with renewable generation; it can be sited at critical points on the grid, and still deliver the same benefits to renewable energy.

What makes the Advancion system suitable for commercial operations like utilities?

Advancion 4 is among the most proven energy storage platforms available, resulting from AES’ more than eight years of commercial experience operating grid-connected energy storage. AES developed, owns and operates the largest fleet of grid connected energy storage, with nearly 3 million megawatt-hours of service delivered. Advancion 4 delivers the highest reliability, has the lowest total cost of ownership, and is available to utilities, developers and power system operators to own directly or through a managed service contract.

Do you anticipate installing any that are 100 MW or larger?

Yes. AES has been awarded a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) by Southern California Edison (SCE), to provide 100 MW of interconnected battery-based energy storage. Advancion 4 is also being evaluated for other projects larger than 100MW in several markets and countries.

Is the Advancion system containerized, or is it located within some other structure?

The Advancion solution can be deployed either in containers, or for larger scale projects, in a building.

What type of batteries are used?

As part of the Advancion solution, AES has developed relationships with the world’s leading battery manufacturers to supply the most advanced and highest quality batteries on the market. The current preferred technology is Lithium Ion, but as battery technology evolves, Advancion’s certification process will allow for these new technologies to be incorporated – effectively future proofing Advancion.

Who is the battery manufacturer?

Advancion has relationships with the world’s leading battery manufacturers, supplying the most advanced and highest quality batteries on the market.

What does it mean that the Warrior Run Advancion Energy Storage Array has 10 MW of capacity that is equivalent to 20 MW of flexible resource?

Batteries can either charge or discharge, both of which are valuable to the grid operator for stabilization of the grid. The grid operator can use batteries to absorb up to 10 MW of excess power from the grid, or supply up to 10 MW of power to the grid. Both of these services are considered a valuable resource to the grid, and this -10 MW to +10 MW range is considered a 20 MW resource.

Once the system is installed, who monitors its performance, and is that done with software and real-time analytics?

The Advancion system has sophisticated software that can, in real-time, monitor the health and capability of the battery system. For example, the Warrior Run installation regularly measures and records nearly 80,000 separate data points, representing more than two terabytes of data per year. This data is evaluated and used to make real-time and longer term decisions over the life of the system.

What kind of maintenance is required?

AES operates the largest fleet of battery based energy storage projects in the world and has a proven track record of safely operating and maintaining these systems. The systems require scheduled maintenance such as changing air conditioner filters to replacing parts as needed. The Advancion architecture allows for segmented battery maintenance. This feature maximizes system availability even while maintenance activities are being performed.

Image Credit: AES


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