Atlanta-based gas and electric utility Southern Company and its Gulf Power subsidiary has launched a two-year battery storage research project in in Pensacola, Florida.
The McCrary Battery Energy Storage Demonstration project will test and evaluate a 250 kW/1 MWh Tesla Powerpack lithium-ion industrial energy storage system, which shares the same battery chemistry used in electric vehicles and consumer electronics.
The McCrary system was developed by Southern and Gulf Power in collaboration with the US Electric Power Research Institute’s Integrated Grid Initiative and Tesla.
Southern said the project is designed to improve resiliency and potentially reduce energy costs for industrial and commercial applications. “Insights gained from the demonstration are expected to accelerate the development of battery storage technology across the Southern Company system,” the company said.
Southern’s executive vice-president and chief operating officer Kimberly Greene said: “This collaborative research project with Gulf Power will deepen our understanding of battery energy storage systems and the value they can provide.”
To date, Southern said it has managed about $2.3 billion in R&D investments, “leading to the development of technologies that will revolutionise the production, delivery and end-use of energy”.