EPB energizes giant battery as part of national research effort

By ALINA HUNTER-GRAH – Published on September 26, 2017


EPB recently energized a giant battery as part of a national research effort to find the best way to modernize power grids across the U.S.

The 100-kilowatt/400-kilowatt-hour vanadium redox battery has been installed alongside EPB’s field of solar power cells as part of a pilot project to determine how a large-scale energy storage unit can be used with a smart grid to keep a consistent flow of energy.

The battery could be used as a backup energy source for large areas if outages were to happen somewhere along the grid, or it could store energy during off-peak hours when fewer customers are using electricity.

“This project is the next step in EPB’s continuing effort to serve our customers by providing world-class energy solutions as the electric industry undergoes rapid change,” EPB CEO David Wade said in a prepared statement. “As it becomes possible to deploy large-scale battery storage throughout our system, I envision a time when we can further reduce the number of our customers impacted by power outages.”

The battery was put in place with the help of the U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and the Pacific Northwest Laboratory as part of the Department of Energy’s Grid Modernization Lab Consortium. EPB will work with these laboratories to hone strategies used to operate and maximize the value proposition for utilizing the battery systems.

“We’re all working together in the right direction,” U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann said at the unveiling of the battery. “We have key players in key positions. So my message today is, if you think the current is great, the future is even brighter.”

Click here for more about vanadium redox batteries.