California utility meets demand with 30MW storage system

In the US, the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) announced the completion of its energy storage system purposed to boost reliability of its grid network.

The Imperial Irrigation District is a community-owned utility providing electric power and irrigation water to the lower southeastern portion of California’s desert.

The 30MW/20MWh battery energy storage plant is expected to help the IID to improve its customer services by providing affordable electricity to its 125,000 energy consumers in Imperial city, California.

In a press statement, the water and energy utility firm said it will use the new energy storage system to ensure its energy generation resources meet growing power demands, without assistance from external plants during peak periods.

The energy storage plant was developed by General Electric to help the IID increase its distributed energy resources and improve its energy mix.

The energy storage system will help the energy company reduce power outages and improve its power restoration capabilities when outages occur.

[quote] The system is made up of lithium-ion batteries and a battery management system.

Norma Sierra Galindo, president of IID’s Board of Directors, said: “The system will provide a much faster, environmentally friendly alternative than traditional generation.”

Ziad Alaywan, CEO of ZGlobal, project operator, added:  “This truly is a game changer for the energy industry.

“As one of the largest battery storage systems in the West, it is a key component in the evolution of the electrical grid in the 21st century.”

Coachella Energy Storage Partners which is responsible for developing solutions to help IID to implement cost effective solutions, provided consulting services for implementation of the project.

Energy storage plant development

In related news, US electric utility company Sterling Municipal Light Department (SLMD) selected NEC Energy Solutions for the development of an energy storage system.

NEC Energy Solutions will construct 2MW/3.9MWh energy storage plant for Sterling town’s utility firm by December, 2016.

The project is expected to help SLMD improve the reliability of its grid network by reducing power outages.

SLMD will use the system to increase its adoption of clean energy resources to reduce carbon emissions and provide consumers with cheap and reliable electricity.

The utility firm also partnered with the Clean Energy States Alliance and Clean Energy Group for technical assistance in developing the system with NEC Energy Solutions. [Southern California Edison expands energy storage portfolio].

The implementation of the project is being funded by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the US Department of Energy.

The DOER provided SLMD with $1,46 million for deployment of the project.


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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.