Southern Company launches energy storage demonstration with Tesla and EPRI

In the US, energy provider Southern Company has launched its energy storage pilot programme in partnership with subsidiary, Gulf Power, EPRI and Tesla.

In a statement, Southern Company said it is partnering with its subsidiary Gulf Power, the Electric Power Research Institute’s Integrated Grid Initiative and Tesla in deploying the energy storage pilot.

Under the pilot, Southern Company in partnership with Tesla developed a 250KW/1MW-hour lithium industrial energy storage system at a technology research and development centre owned by Gulf Power in Pensacola, Florida.

The pilot will provide information on how battery energy storage systems can be sited, installed and operated by industrial and commercial customers to store energy during off-peak periods and use it during times when demand on the grid is high.

Southern Company says it will use the pilot to understand how energy storage can be used to help stabilise grid network through “peak shaving, demand management, ancillary services, energy arbitrage and backup power.”

On the consumer side, the pilot will demonstrate how they can take advantage of energy storage to reduce electricity bills and operational costs.

Southern Company in smart grid R&D

The project is part of Southern Company’s portfolio of smart grid research and development programmes under which the utility aims to develop new solutions and business models to improve its customer services to some 9 million customers. In total, the energy generation and distribution company says it has invested up to $2.3 billion in research and development programmes.

The results of the pilot will determine whether Southern Company should expand the deployment of energy storage systems for its commercial and industrial customers. An increase in adoption of energy storage systems will also help Southern Company to improve its renewable energy portfolio.

Kimberly S. Greene, chief operating officer at Southern Company, commented: “At Southern Company, we are constantly broadening our industry-leading expertise to harness new technologies that can deliver clean, safe, reliable, affordable energy to customers.”

Stan Connally, CEO of Gulf Power, added: “Throughout our history, we have been host to the development of energy solutions that have resulted in greater energy efficiency, cleaner energy production and value for our customers – and this commissioning event signals our ongoing commitment to build a better energy future.”


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.