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PG&E inaugurates 4 MW battery energy storage unit at San Jose, California

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 18:36 -- Editor

US power utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and the California Energy Commission has inaugurated a 4 MW battery energy storage system pilot project in San Jose, California.

The Yerba Buena Battery Energy Storage System Pilot Project charges batteries when demand is low and then sends reserved power to the grid when demand grows. The project is installed at HGST Storage’s (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies) headquarters.

S&C Electric Company is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project and supplied the storage management system and power conversion equipment that control the battery's AC input/output and its interface with the electric grid. NGK Insulators is the manufacturer of the sodium sulphur (NaS) battery system which includes the battery modules and control system for managing DC input/output and other parameters for maximizing module longevity.

The system comprises a utility-scale sodium-sulphur battery energy storage project. It has a 4 MW capacity, equivalent to six hours of power.  The project was made possible thanks to a $3.3 million grant from the Energy Commission to PG&E that will help fund the installation and evaluation of the system.

PG&E is working in close coordination with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to study how sodium-sulphur battery energy storage can improve power quality and reliability, support greater integration of intermittent renewable power, and supply energy to California's electricity market, overseen by the California Independent System Operator.

EPRI's reports will be made available to the public.