US utilities are meeting unique electricity demands with standardized battery energy storage systems that are quick to deploy
Power grid infrastructure in many parts of the United States is aging and struggling to meet increased electricity demand. In some specific areas, like ports and industrial facilities, high-powered equipment cannot be fully deployed because the grid cannot meet the intense but sporadic load demands.
The options for these necessary upgrades range widely, but can include protection equipment upgrades, pole replacement, communication networks, new lines for distribution of electricity, voltage support and system capacity increases. With their flexibility and innovative features, ABB’s state-of-the-art microgrids and battery energy storage systems (BESS), are providing utilities and industries with innovative alternatives.
In Baltimore, MD, in response to growth and increased demand for power, ABB is supplying a BESS to Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE). The utility was forecasting an increase in peak demand that would cause equipment to exceed its thermal capacity. BG&E had to evaluate the cost to perform a capacity upgrade of its substation equipment versus the costs of utilizing energy storage solution. ABB proposed a BESS solution that would be quick and cost-efficient to deploy.
The BESS, commissioned in March, is key for BGE, as it enables the utility to use electricity stored within the battery for the periods of this increased peak demand. The peak shaving made possible with the BESS gives the utility the power reliability needed through an alternative solution, one that is now being considered by more and more utilities across the continent.
Pier 300, a container terminal within the Port of Los Angeles, which is now owned by EQT and managed by P5 Infrastructure, will also install an ABB microgrid with flywheel energy storage later this year. Due to a lack of voltage support, the terminal had been unable to fully deploy their existing new high-powered cranes and could only operate them at a percentage of their design capacity, performance speeds, and acceleration rates. The ABB Ability™ PowerStore™ with an advanced automation solution and two flywheels, will provide high-intensity power for very short bursts of time when required. The addition of the subject PowerStore system facilitates not only the restoration of full performance for the existing high-powered cranes but will also support the addition of four new high-powered cranes at the same terminal that will be commissioned following the installation of the PowerStore solution.
“ABB can offer alternative solutions to power grid infrastructure challenges with microgrids and energy storage solutions across an array of applications including peak shaving, capacity firming, uninterrupted power supply and spinning reserve,” said Massimo Danieli, Head of ABB’s Grid Automation business unit, a part of the company’s Power Grids division. “The optimized systems enable fast response times to bridge variations in demand and supply, helping to maintain grid stability and ensuring reliable and high-quality energy supply to support the creation of a stronger, smarter and greener grid.”