Illinois’ 31.5 MW Grand Ridge Energy Storage At Solar Site Goes Online

Invenergy has announced the start of commercial operations of its 31.5MW Grand Ridge energy storage project in La Salle County, Illinois.
Published: Tue 19 May 2015

US renewable energy developer Invenergy has brought a 31.5MW energy storage facility online to provide frequency regulation for the grid, near to 230MW of renewable energy generation assets.

The 31.5MW Grand Ridge Energy Storage project , located about 130km (80 miles) southwest of Chicago at Invenergy's Grand Ridge Energy Center, is comprised of a 210MW wind farm; a 20MW solar project; and an existing 1.5MW energy storage unit.

Invenergy has selected BYD's energy storage system, which features their proprietary lithium‐ion iron‐phosphate battery chemistry. Stella Li, Senior Vice President at BYD Company Ltd, says that the technology is a world-first when it comes to environmentally‐friendly battery chemistry.

Fast-response regulation service to PJM market

The Grand Ridge Energy Storage system is expected to provide a fast‐response regulation service to the PJM market. Kris Zadlo, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Transmission at Invenergy, says that energy storage has the potential to be a transformative force in the evolution of the electric grid.

Two and a half years after it was restructured to provide better payments for fast-ramping energy storage resources, PJM Interconnection continues to be the leading marketplace for utility-scale storage in the US.

Headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, this wholesale electricity market (currently the largest in the world) is paving the way for how other regulation markets can expand the revenue streams for the nation’s developing energy storage sector.

Two thirds of the 62MW of storage deployed in the US in 2014 was located in PJM territory, according to new data released in March by GTM Research.

Energy storage has been on the rise in the PJM territory since the independent system operator (ISO) revamped its wholesale electricity market in October 2012 to meet a new FERC mandate that ISOs/RTOs pay fast-responding frequency regulation sources, such as batteries, flywheels and demand response, based on their performance following the frequency regulation dispatch signal.

FERC Order 755, as it is known, provides performance payments for faster, more accurate and higher MW-mileage resources.

Fast-ramping resources, in particular, have increased their share of the PJM market from 11% at the start of the performance-based regulation to 38% in October 2014, according to the 2014 State of the Market Report for PJM, released in March by Monitoring Analytics, the independent market monitor for PJM.

PJM serves 13 near Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states, as well as Washington, D.C., and manages the world’s largest competitive wholesale electricity market serving 61 million people.

Invenergy’s operational storage capacity grows

Grand Ridge is the first of two 31.5MW storage facilities Invenergy is to bring on line this year with the Beech Ridge energy storage project, located in West Virginia, also due to completed in 2015.

The facility takes Invenergy’s operational storage capacity to more than 100MW, adding to its 9GW renewable energy portfolio throughout the US.

Earlier this month the company sold 25MW of solar assets – the 13MW Sandringham Solar Energy Center and 12MW Woodville Solar Energy Center in Ontario, Canada – to SunEdison yieldco Terraform Power.

In all, Invenergy has more than 100MW of energy storage projects in operation, in construction, and in development in the US.