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A community-owned utility in Missouri partnered with energy storage company NorthStar to evaluate battery storage for increased reliability and cutting peak costs.

City Utilities of Springfield in Missouri is a community-owned utility serving southwest Missouri with electricity, natural gas, water, telecommunications and transit services. CU provides service to over 106,000 customers.

According to a release, the initial demonstration deployment in the Springfield electricity grid is aimed to evaluate how Springfield's energy supply can be made more efficient and sustainable, and will be using NorthStar BLUE+ batteries monitored by the remote management solution NorthStar ACE(TM).

"The ESS market is expected to grow to USD 200-400 billion by 2040 and represents a significant growth opportunity for NorthStar. In light of this global development, and given this partnership's importance specifically for Springfield, our joint project with City Utilities is very important," says NorthStar's CEO Hans Liden.

The battery storage array will be positioned next to a electrical substation in the southwest of Springfield and will be purposed to support a growing region and new business developments.

"We're very excited with this opportunity to work with our community partner NorthStar on this pilot project. The opportunity to provide a platform for research that supports
renewable integration options for our customers and potentially globally is something everyone at CU is excited about," says City Utilities' general manager Scott Miller.

"As an added differentiator, the NorthStar ACE(TM) battery monitoring system will be presented as another innovation to monitor the solution and extend battery life in ESS. This makes us a strong candidate on this market," added Liden.

The project  will enable City Utilities to investigate the possibility of a utility scale battery storage system and evaluate the benefits of battery storage with respect to managing future system peak loads for the utility.

ComEd energy storage

In related news, ComEd has embarked on a new project that brings energy storage to local neighbourhoods.

The utility deployed a 25kWh lithium-ion battery in Beecher, Illinois. If an outage occurs, the battery is able to supply an hour of backup power to the three homes selected for the project.

According to Midwest Energy News, the pilot project is part of a broader experiment in community energy storage (CES) defined as the "deployment of medium-sized  batteries in between those found in utility-scale applications and the kind of personal, home-battery systems offered by Tesla and others."

Midwest Energy News' David J Unger writes that when put together, these systems equate to the "scale of larger, more centralized energy-storage systems." Read more...

 

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