US utility ComEd launched a community energy storage pilot to reduce the occurrence and duration of power outages for consumers in Beecher, Chicago.Under the energy storage pilot, ComEd partnered with the Illinois-based manufacturer of electric equipment, S&C Electric Company, to test the ability of energy storage to avoid power interruptions to residential customers especially during harsh weather conditions.
S&C Electric installed its 25KWh 'PureWave' lithium battery storage system for storing energy and supplying it into ComEd's grid during power interruptions.
ComEd is using a $4 million grant which the utility received from the Department of Energy to develop and test an integrated grid system comprising solar energy, battery storage and microgrid systems to provide power to a community during times of emergency.
In a press statement, ComEd claims that it is one of the first utilities in the US to install a community energy storage system under efforts to improve the reliability of its system and customer services.
Michelle Blaise, senior vice president of Technical Services at ComEd, said: “Through grid modernisation and smart grid investments, our reliability performance has been best on record for five years running, and we’re committed to continuous improvement.
“We want all ComEd customers to experience great reliability and that’s why we’re innovating and piloting emerging technologies such as energy storage to bring new value to communities and help improve service for our customers. We’re excited about the potential that battery storage offers to minimize the impact of a power outage while we continue to make progress in preventing them.”
ComEd is planning to increase its community energy storage pilot projects to support the integration of renewable energy sources in its service territories.
Smart grid investments and power outages
In early February, ComEd announced the benefits of modernising its grid system using smart grid technologies toward reducing outages.
In a press statement, the energy provider said it witnessed a 34% reduction in the number of power outages due to its investments in smart grid technologies over the past five years.
The utility firm said its smart grid investments made since 2012 reduced the duration of outages in its grid system by 48%, helped to avoid 7.6 million customer interruptions and saved $1.4 billion in societal savings.
In 2016, consumers connected to ComEd’s grid experienced a 15% reduction in the frequency of power outages compared to 2015 levels. The energy distribution firm claims that more than 3 million of its customers experienced zero or only 1 outage last year. Read more...
Image credit: Energy Storage Update