Duke Energy announced the completion of a 2-MW battery-based energy storage system that has been installed to increase power grid reliability and stability for the PJM regional transmission organization.

Installed at its retired W.C. Beckjord coal-fired power plant in New Richmond, Ohio, construction began in August, and the system was placed in operation on Nov. 17. The fast-response system will actively regulate electric grid frequency in the area.

“Locating the storage system at our retired coal plant allowed us to take advantage of the grid infrastructure already in place and repurpose the site for use with new, relevant technology,” said Phil Grigsby, Duke Energy’s senior vice president of Commercial Transmission.

The 2-MW project adds to Duke’s installed base of commercially operating energy storage systems. With the completion of the new project, the company operates a total of 4 MW of energy storage at Beckjord, and it also owns and operates a 36-MW energy storage system at its Notrees Windpower Project in Texas. All told, Duke is said to own nearly 15% of all the grid-connected, battery-based energy storage capacity in the U.S.

Energy storage systems provide a unique service to grid operators because they can instantaneously absorb excess energy from the grid or release energy in seconds. Although the economics of storage are often handicapped by rate structures and market restrictions that interfere with their ability to capture all of the value that a storage system is capable of providing, some groups are trying to change that. The addition of systems, such as Duke’s in the PJM market, show that the benefits can be realized.

Greensmith Energy Management Systems provided the energy storage software platform to manage the system’s frequency regulation performance. The system is designed to provide a precise and synchronized response to signals dispatched at two-second intervals. Greensmith’s scope also included the design and configuration of the entire energy storage system, integration of the balance-of-plant components, and site commissioning.

Greensmith noted that it is becoming easier to quickly develop and commission grid-scale energy storage projects (Duke’s was completed in less than four months). The company said its software maximizes the system’s frequency regulation score while minimizing battery degradation, both of which increase the value of energy storage systems (Figure 1).




1. Energy storage system interior.
Greensmith’s GEMS energy storage software platform manages the 2-MW energy storage system at Duke Energy’s Beckjord Station in New Richmond, Ohio. Courtesy: Duke Energy

LG Chem delivered the project’s energy storage operating system, comprised of advanced lithium-ion batteries, while Parker Hannifin supplied a 2-MW power conversion inverter for the project.

“This system is another step for Duke in the development of turnkey energy storage solutions that benefit customers and demonstrate the potential for future applications, such as large-scale integration of renewable energy onto the grid,” Grigsby said.

Aaron Larson, associate editor (@AaronL_Power, @POWERmagazine)