30MW Battery Storage For Grid Services In Southern California

GE is to supply its largest storage system to date to Imperial Valley’s Imperial Irrigation District.
Published: Wed 26 Aug 2015

GE is steadily gaining prominence in the energy storage market, with the award of a third project, and the largest to date, within the last few months.

In April GE announced the supply of an 8MWh storage system utilizing its Mark VIe-based plant control system, Brilliance MW Inverters and packaged lithium-ion battery modules to Con Edison Development (CED) in Central Valley, California. This was followed in May with a 7MW/7MWh system for Convergent Energy + Power for Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) as part of its first phase of energy storage procurement for ancillary services. [Engerati-Ontario System Operator Procures 34MW Storage To Test In Grid Operation]

Storage for Imperial Irrigation District

The latest project award is for a 30MW system for Coachella Energy Storage Partners (CESP) as part of CESP’s supply contract with the Imperial Irrigation District (IID). The facility, to be located in California’s Imperial Valley, approximately 160km east of San Diego, will aid grid flexibility and increase reliability on the Imperial Irrigation District network by providing solar ramping, frequency regulation, power balancing and black start capability for an adjacent gas turbine.

The plant will be operated by ZGlobal, an engineering collaborator with CESP, for the first 18 months, after which control will transfer to the IID.

“We chose GE as the energy storage system provider for this project because they supplied the most comprehensive solution at a competitive price,” said Mike Abatti, president of CESP.

The solution, which is scheduled for operation in the third quarter of 2016, includes GE Prolec transformers and medium-voltage switchgear and will be housed in a purpose-built enclosure.

GE bets on Li-ion storage

GE has re-focussed its approach to the storage business, supplementing its Durathon sodium batteries with a lithium-ion offering.

“We believe in the space and its ability to grow,” Jeff Wyatt, GE's general manager for energy storage, told Reuters in a recent interview. “We think we can be a sizable player within it, and that’s really what we’re intending to do."

While well positioned on its own, Mr Wyatt didn’t rule out the possibility of acquisitions to enable GE to propel its new strategy.

With this new growth, further storage project announcements can be expected from GE in the coming months.

Further reading

Reuters: General Electric aims big in energy storage after battery step back