Alternative Energy Storage Projects in the US

Interest in other energy storage technologies has been led by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the Electric Power Research’s Institute (EPRI). The former is the US’s largest state-owned public power utility and the latter is an international, non-profit company performing RD&D in the electricity sector for the interest of the general public. For example, the NYPA has finished a USD 135 million 120 MW upgrade at its Blenheim-Gilboa Pump Storage Project; both organisations are considering using CAES to enhance the integrate of wind power into the grid, and plan to demonstrate grid-scale lithium batteries; and both organisations are part of a collaboration to test a 1 MW, 6.5 MWh NaS battery at a natural gas bus refuelling station at Garden City on Long Island.

A total of USD 185 million worth of funding has been awarded to smart grid energy storage projects from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. To date funding has been awarded to two compressed air projects with a combined capacity of 450 MW; three large battery systems with a combined capacity of 53 MW; a frequency regulation project with a capacity of 20 MW; five distributed projects with a capacity of 9 MW; and five technology development projects.

Small trial applications of lithium ion batteries are underway for distributed systems (5 to 10 kW/20 kWh batteries) and for frequency regulation (1 MW/15 minute batteries). Larger kilowatt batteries are planned for distributed systems. Altair Nanotechnologies has installed a 1 MW/250 kWh Li-ion battery in conjunction with AES and PJM; and A123 Systems has installed a 2 MW Li-ion battery in California. The utility, Southern California Edison (SCE) has announced that it will receive a USD 25 million stimulus grant from the DoE to develop and demonstrate lithium-ion batteries for its wind projects. A123 System batteries will be installed in a substation in the Tehachapi region of Southern California in 2012. Quanta Technology and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, will provide supporting services.