RES selected to build solar, energy storage project in Texas

Energy storage can eliminate some of the variability of solar generation, providing more of a smoothing and firming of the solar asset, Tom Duckett, EVP of Emerging Business with Renewable Energy Systems (RES), told TransmissionHub on Aug. 30.

RES said recently that it has been selected by CPS Energy to build a solar and energy storage project to be located at 9800 W. Commerce in San Antonio, Texas.

RES said that the CPS Energy solar and energy storage systems consist of 5 MWAC of distributed solar capacity co-located with a 10 MW/10 MWh RESolve lithium-ion Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).

RES noted that the project takes an innovative approach in combining distributed solar generation with strategically sized and configured electrochemical energy storage, with both technologies interconnected at distribution voltage on a common feeder.

Once operational, the system will allow for peak mid-day solar production to be stored and injected onto the grid in late afternoon and early evening, resulting in reduced reliance of fossil fuel generators to meet peak demand during those periods, RES said. That represents a scalable approach to meeting peak system electrical demand with lower emissions and increased flexibility, RES said.

The project is among the first co-located solar and storage projects interconnected at the distribution level within ERCOT, RES said.

RES noted that it was selected through a competitive request for proposal and has been awarded the engineering, procurement, construction, and maintenance of the facilities. Construction will begin in October and commercial operation is scheduled for May 2019, RES said.

Duckett said that the project’s estimated total cost is $16.3m.

In RES’ statement, Duckett said, in part, “Having 3 GW of wind and 238 MW of solar already constructed or under construction in the state, this will mark RES’ first energy storage project in Texas and will utilize RES’ industry leading energy storage control platform, RESolve.”

He told TransmissionHub that RESolve is RES’ proprietary control platform that tells “the lithium ion system how to deploy and when to deploy – so, it’s essentially the brains behind the battery.”

He continued, “[O]ur system in RESolve is customizable to what the customers’ use case might be – so, they told us how they want to use the battery and we’ve designed our RESolve system to then operate and deploy that asset in the way that they want it to.”

Discussing the opportunities of energy storage in relation to electric transmission grid reliability, Duckett told TransmissionHub that one opportunity involves operational benefits for the transmission grid, such as “frequency regulation, ramping, voltage support [and] blackstart.”

Another opportunity involves infrastructure benefits, which include managing congestion and increasing the life of the equipment on the grid, so that it is not being used as frequently as it currently is, he said.

CPS Energy COO Cris Eugster said in the statement of the project: “This is an important project that brings together solar and energy storage whose combination is a key enabler to achieve a zero emissions portfolio. The project aligns with our Flexible Path strategy and gives us the opportunity to learn how to integrate these new technologies into our electric grid.”

According to CPS Energy’s website, the Flexible Path is a full reboot of how CPS Energy will prudently plan for, develop, and/or install new energy sources going forward. Highlights of the Flexible Path include that CPS Energy will favorably and prudently incorporate levels of renewable /non-emitting energy sources, the site noted.

RES said in its statement that the Southwest Research Institute will host the solar and energy storage systems on its 1,200-acre campus and help showcase the site as an example of energy innovation.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3058 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.