Dominion Energy Virginia has opened its largest operational battery energy storage pilot project, which was recently energized at the Scott Solar facility in Powhatan County. The company has two other battery storage pilot projects in its portfolio: a 2 MW battery in New Kent County that was commissioned in late February and a 2 MW battery in Hanover County that is scheduled to become operational later this year. All three projects were approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) in February 2020.
The three utility-scale battery storage pilot projects totaling 16 MW are the first of their kind in Virginia. Dominion Energy is using lithium-ion batteries to better understand how this emerging technology can be integrated into various applications to benefit customers.
“Battery storage is an integral component to the clean energy transition in Virginia, supporting grid reliability for our customers during periods of high demand and by helping to fill gaps due to the inherent intermittency of solar and wind power,” says Ed Baine, president of Dominion Energy Virginia. “These battery systems will help us better understand how best to deploy utility scale batteries across our service territory to support our goal of net zero emissions by 2050.”
The three central Virginia-based projects provide key information on distinct use cases for batteries on the energy grid. Annual updates on the pilots’ performance will be reported to the SCC.
Three independent 4-hour battery systems totaling 12 MW at the Scott Solar facility will provide valuable information on the proficiency of battery technology to store energy generated from solar panels during periods of high production and release energy during periods when load is high or solar generation is low. It would also reveal how well a battery can optimize power production of the solar facility.
A 2 MW, 2-hour battery at a substation in the Town of Ashland, Hanover County, will bolster the existing grid capacity to serve customers during times of high energy demand without the need to engage in wholesale equipment upgrades.
A 2 MW, 2-hour battery at a substation in New Kent County serving a 20 MW solar facility will demonstrate how batteries can help manage voltage and loading issues caused by reverse energy flow, to maintain stable power delivery to customers.
In addition to these three pilot projects, Dominion Energy has received regulatory approval from the Virginia SCC for the 20 MW Dry Bridge storage in Chesterfield County and 50 MW of storage at Dulles International Airport in Loudoun County.