Duke charges up second 2-MW battery project at Beckjord coal plant site

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) said Nov. 18 that it, LG Chem Ltd. and Greensmith are bringing new technology to the site of a retired coal plant, announcing the completion of a 2-MW battery-based energy storage system designed to increase reliability and stability on the power grid.

The fast-response system is now actively regulating electric grid frequency for PJM Interconnection. Construction began in August 2015, at Duke Energy’s retired W.C. Beckjord coal-fired power plant in New Richmond, Ohio, and the system began operations on Nov. 17.

“Locating the storage system at our retired coal plant allowed us to take advantage of the grid infrastructure already in place and repurpose the site for use with new, relevant technology,” said Phil Grigsby, Duke Energy’s senior vice president of Commercial Transmission. “This system is another step for Duke in the development of turnkey energy storage solutions that benefit customers and demonstrate the potential for future applications, such as large-scale integration of renewable energy onto the grid.”

Improving the reliability and economic efficiency of the electric grid provides a unique service to grid operators. As customer demand fluctuates, accurate and rapid-response energy storage can instantaneously absorb excess energy from the grid or release energy in seconds – as opposed to a power plant that could take 10 minutes or more to ramp up.

LG Chem delivered the project’s energy storage operating system, comprised of advanced lithium-ion batteries.

“LG Chem is pleased to deliver this system to Duke Energy for critical grid functions,” said Sunghoon Jang, senior vice president of LG Chem’s Energy Storage Solutions business unit. “Beckjord 2 is the latest example of how LG Chem is meeting customer needs by rapidly deploying energy storage systems for critical, real-world applications.”

Greensmith provided its latest GEMS energy storage software platform to manage the system’s performance for PJM frequency regulation, ensuring precise and synchronized response to signals dispatched every two seconds.

“Maximizing an energy storage system’s frequency regulation score while minimizing battery degradation throughout the system’s life is no trivial task,” said Greensmith CEO John Jung. “However, our GEMS frequency regulation software module enables Duke to achieve superior PJM performance scoring while extending the life of the batteries, thereby helping them increase the long-term value of their energy storage investment.”  

Greensmith’s scope also included the design and configuration of the entire energy storage system, integration of the balance-of-plant components and site commissioning.

Parker Hannifin provided a 2-MW power conversion inverter.

The 2-MW project adds to Duke Energy’s installed base of commercially operating energy storage systems. With this project completion, the company will operate a total of 4 MW of energy storage at Beckjord, where a separate 2-MW battery system already exists. Duke Energy also owns and operates a 36-MW energy storage system at its Notrees Windpower Project in Texas. According to independent research firm HIS Energy, Duke Energy owns nearly 15% of the grid-connected, battery-based energy storage capacity in the U.S.

Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.3 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 23 million people.

LG Chem Ltd. is one of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery manufacturers with significant market share in consumer, automotive and stationary applications.

Greensmith’s mission is to make energy storage a fundamental component of a cleaner, more advanced energy infrastructure. Its intelligent and flexible GEMS software platform optimizes the performance of a grid-scale energy storage system’s batteries, inverters and other hardware, lowering costs and improving the system’s return on investment. Greensmith delivered one-third of the energy storage capacity installed in the United States in 2014.

With annual sales of approximately $13 billion in fiscal year 2015, Parker Hannifin is the world’s leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision-engineered solutions for a wide variety of mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. The company employs approximately 55,000 people in 50 countries around the world.

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.