U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced on Dec. 23 that a $17.1 million loan guarantee has been finalized for the AES Westover facility. The loan guarantee will support the construction of a 20- MW energy storage system using advanced lithium-ion batteries.

The AES project, located in Johnson City, N.Y., is the first battery-based energy storage system to finalize a loan guarantee.

"The AES project helps reduce carbon emissions and strengthens our energy infrastructure by allowing for more renewable energy sources like solar and wind to contribute to the electrical grid," said Secretary Chu. "Bringing more efficiency and reliability to the grid will help cut costs for consumers and power a cleaner energy future."

The AES technology can help reduce carbon emissions by 70% compared to frequency regulation provided by fossil energy suppliers, the Department of Energy release said. Traditionally, grid frequency regulation, which is needed to balance power generation and consumption on the grid, is maintained by burning additional fossil fuels at power plants. The AES project eliminates the need to burn fossil fuels and instead uses battery technology and new software that will provide the same regulation at a lower price. This advanced frequency regulation capability will allow renewable electricity generation to play a larger role in New York’s transmission network.

The AES project will include advanced lithium-ion battery cells from A123 Systems Inc. The contained battery and related electrical systems are assembled, tested, and validated in an A123 manufacturing facility in Hopkinton, Mass.

Source: DOE