Press Releases

Engineering expertise helps fast-track battery energy storage system

January 2017

HAILEY, Idaho (Jan. 27, 2017) ‒ POWER Engineers Incorporated (POWER) applied state-of-the-art engineering expertise to fast-track one of the largest lithium-ion battery energy storage systems (BESS) in the United States.

AltaGas Pomona Energy Inc. built the 20-megawatt (MW) battery storage project with a discharge capacity of 80 megawatt-hour (MWH).

“Deploying new technology in the power industry can sometimes take years,” said POWER project manager Steve Harris. “We’re pleased that POWER could help AltaGas bring this project online in less than four months, the industry’s fastest deployment of 20 MW to date.”

AltaGas built, owns and operates the storage project at its Pomona Energy Facility natural-gas fired peaking power plant in the east Los Angeles Basin, which has existing links to the grid. Southern California Edison will purchase energy from the project under a 10-year agreement, integrating more renewable energy into its system and helping its customers avoid costly outages. The BESS went online in December 2016.

BESS facilities can reduce the need to fire up natural gas generators to meet times of peak use in the early evenings. The battery system also provides the needed frequency regulation and power balancing to deal with fluctuations that come with integrating renewable energy sources.

The California Public Utilities Commission expedited deployment of energy storage systems after the shutdown of a leaking natural gas storage facility outside Los Angeles constricted fuel supplies for area plants. The commission feared power blackouts might follow and sped up procurement for local energy storage resources.

POWER provided detailed design for the project. This included architectural, structural and mechanical design for the new battery enclosure and electrical components, as well as fire protection system design. POWER also provided detailed electrical design for interconnecting the battery systems to the transmission grid.

POWER brought to the project its considerable experience with energy storage systems, which are critical to the effective use of renewable energy. POWER also has extensive expertise with renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. This expertise includes integrating renewable sources into microgrids, utility power grids and within regional transmission organizations across the country.