US co-op develops state’s largest energy storage plant


In a statement, the Colorado-based utility cooperative said it will construct a 4MW/16MWh energy storage system in Firestone. The construction of the plant will start in the first half of 2018 and will be the utility cooperative’s first commercial energy storage system.

The energy provider claims its energy storage plant will be the largest ever to be operated and owned by a utility cooperative in Colorado.

John Parker, CEO of United Power, commented:  “As one of the fastest growing co-ops in Colorado, United Power wants to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to integrating new technology that can help boost reliability and keep costs down.  Energy storage will play an important role in the grid of the future, and we’re excited to be starting now.”

The plant will be sited at one of the utility’s offices and will comprise battery and operational technologies developed by Tesla.

The system will be used to store energy generated during the night when demand is low and integrate it back to the main grid during times when demand is high.

The project is expected to help United Power to reduce operational expenses associated with efforts to meet energy demands during peak periods.

“United Power was one of the first utilities in the country to experiment with the ‘community solar’ concept with our Sol Partners programme, and now there are community solar projects all over the country.  ‘Community batteries’ are the next big trend,” said United Power’s New Business Director, Jerry Marizza.

According to a statement, the development will help United Power to improve services to its 82,000 members by keeping their bills affordable. Consumers can buy energy stored in the system at very low prices at times when supply exceeds demand for prolonged periods.

Utility cooperative market and energy storage adoption

Utilities in the US have throughout 2017 increasingly participated in energy storage initiatives. In January, the Texas Electric Cooperatives (TEC) partnered with Advanced Microgrid Services (AMS) to help its member utility companies improve their operations through the use of energy storage systems. TEC is an association comprising 75 electricity cooperatives serving 2 million homes and businesses in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Read more…


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