Jamaican and US utilities work to stabilise grid networks

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The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) is planning to develop an energy storage system under efforts to stabilise its grid network during peak periods.

According to a statement issued by the utility firm on its website, the 24,5MW energy storage plant will be constructed at the company’s sub-station at Hunts Bay Power Plant.

The energy storage plant will combine low-speed flywheel and lithium-ion battery energy storage technologies into a single system.

JPS says it will use the plant to store electricity generated from solar and wind energy resources and integrate it into the company’s energy distribution system during times when energy demand is high.

The project is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2018, once it secures regulatory approval from the Office of Utilities Regulation, to enable JPS increase its portfolio of renewable energy resources.

The development of the energy storage system will help JPS to convert majority of its energy generation resources into plants powered by liquefied natural gas.

Currently, JPS owns four power stations and nine hydroelectric plants to generate electricity to serve the company’s 600,000 consumers.

The utility is confident energy storage will help in improving customer services by providing consumers with affordable energy and reducing the occurrence and duration of power outages. [Jamaica sets budget to expand energy efficiency initiatives].

Energy efficiency and stability of energy distribution system

Meanwhile, in the US state of Missouri, Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L), a provider of electricity to more than 800,000 customers in 47 counties in Missouri and Kansas, said it will help its 35,000 consumers improve their energy efficiency.

KCP&L will equip the 35,000 consumers with free NEST smart thermostats to help them improve their energy management and reduce energy costs. Consumers will be able to control how their thermostats consume energy using a mobile application even when they are not at home.

The energy conservation project falls under efforts by KCP&L to reduce energy usage during summer and peak demand periods.

Under the programme, Rush Hour Rewards, participating consumers will receive incentives for reducing their energy consumption during peak periods.

Commenting on the programme, Brian File, a spokesperson for KCP&L, said: “Think about during rush hour, you don’t want to have everyone be on the highway at the same time. Similar with the electric grid, you don’t want everyone to have all their ACs on at the exact same time, so this allows us to help manage the electric grid,” said File.

Barry Ledford, a customer of KCP&L, was quoted by 41 KSHB, saying: “They say it will save you 15 to 20 percent on your energy bills and you know just talking to my neighbors around here that have similar-sized homes and different things like that, our energy costs are much lower than theirs,” said area resident Barry Ledford.

 

Image Credit: 123rf.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.