Dominion Energy Virginia has announced four battery storage pilot projects, designed to help pave the way for additional energy storage technology to support the company’s increase in renewables and to improve grid reliability.
The proposed utility-scale pilot projects, totaling 16 MW, were filed with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) for approval last Friday. They are enabled by the Grid Transformation & Security Act of 2018, which allows Dominion Energy to invest in up to 30 MW of battery storage pilot projects.
As Dominion Energy continues to increase its solar fleet, the company is looking for new ways to store the renewable energy it produces and maintain reliable service to customers.
“Energy storage is critical to providing continued reliability for our customers as we expand our renewable portfolio,” explains Mark D. Mitchell, vice president of generation construction. “Battery storage has made significant strides in recent years in both efficiency and cost. These pilot projects will enable Dominion Energy to better understand how best to deploy batteries to help overcome the inherent fluctuation of wind and solar generation sources.”
Pending SCC approval, the pilots would be evaluated over a five-year period, which is currently expected in December 2020. The proposed lithium-ion projects, to be located in central Virginia, will cost approximately $33 million to construct:
- Two battery systems totaling 12 MW at the Scott Solar facility in Powhatan County will demonstrate how batteries can 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 help optimize the power produced by the solar facility.
- A 2 MW battery at a substation in Ashland will explore how batteries can improve reliability and save money on equipment replacement by serving as an alternative to traditional grid management investments such as transformer upgrades, necessary to serve customers during times of high energy demand.
- A 2 MW battery at a substation in New Kent County serving a 20 MW solar facility will show how batteries can help manage voltage and loading issues caused by reverse energy flow, in order to maintain grid stability.
Separately, in October, the company issued a request for proposals seeking bids for up to 500 MW of solar and onshore wind generation in the state.