Southern California procures country’s first of its kind energy storage system


A subsidiary of AES Corporation has partnered with Fluence to develop a 400MWh battery energy storage system in Southern California.

The energy storage plant is being installed at Alamitos Energy Center to modernise the existing AES Alamitos Generating station.

The energy storage system will help ensure grid reliability and the provision of affordable energy for customers of Southern California Edison (SCE).

SCE signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with AES in 2014, as part of a $2 billion initiative to replace aging energy infrastructure with a combination of cycle gas and battery energy storage.

The project will help the state to achieve its 100% renewable energy goal by 2045.

The energy storage system will comprise 5 Advancion batteries and control systems, when fully charged will provide  power to tens of thousands of homes in milliseconds.

The combined cycle gas and energy storage system will result in more than $132 million in local purchases, 1.48 million hours in construction-related work, and a payroll of over $315 million.

Once completed in 2020, the plant will contribute between $12.3 and $14.6 million annually to the local economy.

Ken Zagzebski, president of AES Southland, said: “California’s goals for a cleaner, more sustainable energy future are fundamentally changing the use and design of the electric grid.”

John Zahurancik, COO at Fluence, added: “Alamitos energy storage will stand as the first of a new generation of energy storage procured as stand-alone alternatives to new gas plants. It represents a whole new way to think about capacity and reliability.

“Its size, flexibility and long duration stand as a benchmark, and showcase energy storage as a mainstream option for peaking power and grid support. Energy storage market growth and innovation can only accelerate from here, and we will continue to partner with industry leaders like AES and Southern California Edison as together we transform the way we power our world.”

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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.