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World’s biggest battery storage facilities

Byomakesh Biswal Published 06 April 2017

Electricity can't be bottled like natural gas. Since the invention of electricity, there is always a challenge to store it for future use. With the technological advancement, battery storage has offered a way to store energy chemically-especially renewable energy, so that it can be used at the point of demand or to balance grid. Amid surge in solar and wind power generation and their intermittent nature, the battery storage demand has increased manifold, and now batteries are big enough to give power backup to mega cities.

As the renewable energy share rises in the energy mix, there is an increased focus on energy storage projects in recent years. They are expected to play a key in the global transition to renewable energy.

In a report by GlobalData estimated the installed capacity of global battery energy storage system (BESS) from 1.5 Gigawatts (GW) in 2015 to over 14 GW by 2020, as many projects are scheduled to be commissioned over the period.

The report projected the US to continue to lead the BESS market over the next five years, reaching a market value of approximately $1.7bn by 2020.

BESS prices are also forecast to decline by about 50% over the 2015 to 2020 period, due to technological innovations, improvement in manufacturing processes, and increase in competitiveness.

Here are the biggest battery storage projects across the globe:

1. The Alamitos Battery Energy Storage System

AES is planning to build the Alamitos Battery Energy Storage System in Long Beach, California. It will have 300 MW of interconnected and 600 MW of flexible, zero-emission battery energy storage.

The company claims it as the world’s biggest storage resource, which is expected to enable efficient use of renewable energy resources, lowers costs and emissions, and offer increased reliability to the electrical grid.

The company is already developing a 100MW battery storage facility at the Alamitos Power Center. In November 2014, AES Southland was awarded a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) by Southern California Edison (SCE) for the storage plant.

2. EDF Energy Renewables West Burton 49MW Battery Storage Project

In August last year, EDF Energy Renewables has secured a contract from the UK’s National Grid to build 49 MW of battery storage project at its West Burton Combined Cycle Gas power station in Nottinghamshire.

The contract was part of a new 200 MW frequency response system to improve the reliability of the UK grid. EDF Group has applied for planning permission for the battery storage units at EDF Energy’s West Burton.











Image: An example of battery storage at EDF Energy's McHenry facility in the US. Photo courtesy of EDF Energy.

3. Centrica’s 49MW Battery Storage System

Centrica confirmed its plans in December last year to build a 49MW battery storage facility Roosecote coal and gas-fired power stations in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, UK after securing 15 year agreements for over 500MW of new capacity.

The storage facility will be capable of holding enough power to meet the needs of around 50,000 homes. It will have a capacity to respond to fluctuations in power demand in under a second.

Centrica has selected the German-American company Younicos to design and deliver the lithium-ion battery energy storage systems, which will be completed by winter 2018.

4. Tohoku Electric Power Company 40MW Battery Energy Storage System

In February last year, Tohoku Electric Power Company started operating 40MW-40MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) in a power transmission substation in Minami-Soma, on Japan’s east coast in Fukushima prefecture.

Toshiba was the supplier of BESS to the project. Earlier, the company had also supplied energy storage system to Tohoku Electric Power Company’s 40MW-20MWh Nishi-Sendai Project in 2014.

5. San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) 37.5MW Battery Projects

In August 2016, SDG&E received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to build two new energy storage projects in San Diego County. The utility signed an agreement with AES for a total of 37.5MW of lithium-ion battery storage projects.

They are planned to come up in Escondido and El Cajon, with the larger of the two having a capacity of 30MW. The projects were scheduled for completion in early 2017.

AES secured contracts to install and commission two energy storage arrays for SDG&E. The Advancion arrays supplied by the company were claimed to be able to provide 37.5MW of power for four continuous hours and serve as a 75MW of flexible resource to the grid.

The CPCU requires SDG&E to obtain a total of 165MW of energy storage by 2020, to be operational by 2024.











Image: Large-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) for the Nishi-Sendai Project. Photo courtesy of Toshiba Corporation.

6. Duke Energy’s 36MW Notrees Battery Storage Project  

The Notrees Battery Storage Project, which has been operating since 2012, stores electricity produced by our 153-MW Notrees wind farm in west Texas. Duke Energy received a funding of $22 million grant from the US Department of Energy to install large-scale batteries for the project.

The energy storage system was constructed using advanced lead-acid batteries configured to offer a storage capacity of 24 MWh.

In June 2015, Duke Energy, Samsung SDI and Younicos partnered to update the Notrees Battery Storage Project by replacing lead-acid batteries with lithium-ion technology. 

7. AES 32MW Laurel Mountain Battery Energy Storage

AES has developed a 32MW/8MWh grid energy storage solution at the Laurel Mountain facility. The storage system uses A123 System’s advanced lithium ion battery technology.

The system allows AES Laurel Mountain, which is a 98MW wind power generation plant, to offer frequency regulation services to the PJM market.

 AES said that the emissions-free operating reserve capacity plays a key role in maintaining overall grid reliability.

8. Invenergy’s 31.5MW Grand Ridge Energy Storage 

The facility, which is located in LaSalle County, Illinois, started commercial operation in May 2015. It utilizes BYD America's Containerized Energy Storage System.

Grand Ridge also houses a 210MW wind farm, a 20MW solar project and a second 1.5MW energy storage project. In March 2016, the company expanded the Grand Ridge storage capacity by 3MW. The expansion increased Invenergy’s total operating storage capacity to more than 68 MW.

Invenergy also operates 31.5MW Beech Ridge Storage Facility in West Virginia.













Image: Invenergy also operates 31.5MW Beech Ridge Storage Facility in West Virginia. Photo courtesy of Invenergy.

9. AltaGas Pomona Energy Storage Facility

With 20MW of capacity, the AltaGas Pomona Energy Storage Facility is among the largest battery storage facilities in North America. The facility can provide 80MWh of electricity for a continuous four hour period.

In January, AltaGas opened the facility at the site of its existing Pomona generation facility in the East Los Angeles Basin of Southern California. It claims to have completed construction of the lithium-ion battery system in less than four months.

AltaGas' subsidiary, AltaGas Pomona Energy Storage, signed a 10-year Energy Storage Resource Adequacy Purchase Agreement (ESA) with Southern California Edison (SCE) for the facility in August 2016.

10. Southern California Edison (SCE) 20MW Mira Loma Battery Storage Facility

Built by Tesla, the lithium-ion battery storage facility can store up to 80MWh energy, which is sufficient to power 15,000 homes for four hours. The battery storage contains two 10 megawatt systems, each containing 198 Tesla Powerpacks and 24 inverters.

In September last year, SCE selected Tesla for the project. The Mira Loma Battery Storage Facility was commissioned by the California Independent System Operator just 88 days after groundbreaking.