Axion Power seeks PJM approval for 12.5-MW battery project in Pennsylvania

Axion Power International Inc. (Nasdaq: AXPW) said Jan. 11 that it has filed an interconnection application with PJM Interconnection for a site in Sharon, Pa., where the company has a lease option agreement and plans to deploy a 12.5-MW battery energy storage system that will be used for frequency regulation.

The proposed project site is a former steel fabrication facility in Sharon, which is about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh and twenty minutes from the Axion technical center in New Castle, Pa. The successful issuance of the interconnection agreement would allow Axion to participate in the PJM regulation market. The application is currently moving through the PJM review process, and Axion is evaluating project financing options for this major commercial project.

Axion will also apply for site permits, complete preliminary engineering and establish the project rollout plan. Jack Shindle, Axion Engineering VP, said the project can be installed and operated with 1.25 MW modules engineered with similar technology and components used in Axion’s successfully demonstrated PowerCube battery storage system, which has been part of the PJM system for over two years. Each module will be powered by the Axion advanced carbon-lead (PbC) batteries.

Shindle said these batteries are particularly well-suited to frequency regulation due to their high efficiency at partial state of charge, symmetric charge/discharge profile and long cycle life. Construction and battery manufacture could commence in the latter part of 2016 and startup is scheduled in mid-2017, pending timely regulatory approval.

Frequency regulation provides a variable amount of on-demand storage or generation that is under automatic control that bridges short-term changes in demand and generation that affect the stability of the power distribution system. As the demand for electricity varies throughout the day utilities, in coordination with PJM, are required to purchase their pro-rata share of regulation in order to maintain stability of the grid, Axion noted. Due to the rapid increase in generation from renewable resources like wind and solar, the grid must be able to dynamically balance these variable inputs along with the change in demand due to seasonal and climatic factors.

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.