Primus Power to provide battery storage systems for BPA experiment

Primus Power, which has a focus in grid-scale electrical energy storage, is partnering with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to deliver and support two 250-kW EnergyPods as part of a research and demonstration project.

This project would be under BPA’s Technology Innovation Program. BPA is funding roughly one-third of the total project with shared funding from Puget Sound Energy (PSE), the Energy Storage Program of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Primus. The consortium is studying the potential installation of grid-scale flow batteries in the electric distribution network of PSE.

Utility districts with a high percentage of wind power are seeking opportunities to enhance the integration of variable renewable resources, such as wind and solar, Primus noted in a June 20 statement.

“BPA has been collaborating with others in the power industry to help integrate wind into our region and stretch the benefits of our hydro system,” said Terry Oliver, BPA’s chief technology innovation officer. “We’re looking for innovative solutions that can help us better integrate renewables and improve how we operate the Northwest power grid.”

Patrick Leslie, emerging technologies program manager at PSE, said that “this project is an opportunity for us to understand the feasibility and cost-benefit of using grid scale battery arrays as well as to get our ‘hands dirty’, so to speak, with an installation.”

DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will develop models of the storage systems to assess their energy and economic benefits and make recommendations on where they should be placed. After the systems are installed, the PNNL team will also help evaluate actual performance.

Tom Stepien, CEO of Primus, said: “The Primus team is very fortunate to work with an excellent group of partners on this pioneering effort. Together we will learn the real-world value of storage in the PSE system and demonstrate the differentiation of our energy storage solution.”

Primus Power says it is a leader in cost effective, utility-grade energy storage solutions with a safe, scalable, distributed system that economically serves multiple storage applications. Primus is headquartered in Hayward, Calif.

BPA is a nonprofit federal agency that markets renewable hydropower from federal dams in the Columbia River Basin, operates three-quarters of high-voltage transmission lines in the Northwest and funds one of the largest wildlife protection and restoration programs in the world.

Washington State’s oldest local energy utility, PSE serves 1.1 million electric customers and more than 760,000 natural gas customers in 10 counties.

Interdisciplinary teams at the PNNL address many of America’s most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. PNNL employs 4,500 staff, has an annual budget of nearly $1bn, and has been managed for the DOE by Ohio-based Battelle since the laboratory’s inception in 1965.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.