Younicos upgrades 3-MW battery-based storage & renewables system on Kodiak Island

By Michelle Froese for Windpower Engineering & Development

Younicos has completed the installation and commissioning of an upgraded 3-MW battery-based energy storage system on Kodiak Island, Alaska. The energy storage pioneer replaced previously deployed lead-acid systems with advanced lithium-ion batteries, significantly extending the resource’s operational lifetime and enhancing performance and reliability.

Since 2015, Kodiak Island has been one of only five U.S. cities to achieve over 99% of its generation through renewable resources. The use of increased amounts of wind energy to reach the goal, while maintaining reliability, was enabled by the intelligently controlled battery system originally designed – and now upgraded – by Younicos.

In fact, according to the Sierra Club, the island’s 15,000 residents were receiving 99.7% of their power from wind and hydropower by 2014. Before it added wind energy, KEA was burning approximately 2.8 million gallons of diesel, annually.

“Younicos is a forward-thinking organization with proven technology that shares our belief in clean and affordable energy,” said Darron Scott, President and CEO of Kodiak Electric Association (KEA). “As a cooperative, we’re owned by the island’s residents – who care about the environment and electricity rates. This upgraded battery system will ensure continued use of renewable energy, keeping our grid reliable and our costs down.”

In 2007, KEA set a goal to produce 95% of Kodiak Island’s energy from renewable sources by the year 2020, to greatly reduce reliance on diesel fuel and lower the cost of generation to customers. The utility reached that goal ahead of schedule in 2012, a fact highlighted in Al Gore’s recent “An inconvenient sequel.”

“We’re delighted to have worked again with KEA to upgrade this system and help support 100% renewables on the island,” said Jayesh Goyal, Younicos Managing Director. “This implementation of lithium-ion batteries greatly enhances the system’s performance and flexibility, while providing grid services and improved resiliency. We’re grateful for the continuing trust that KEA has placed in our engineering capabilities and storage solutions.”

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