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Dominion Energy Virginia recently celebrated the completion of its largest-ever operational battery storage pilot project. This was done at Scott Solar in Powhatan County. It paved the way for additional energy storage technology to be developed to meet the company’s goal to reach net zero carbon and methane emissions, increase renewable generation, and improve grid reliability.
Two other battery storage pilot projects are included in the company’s portfolio: a 2-megawatt battery in New Kent County, which was commissioned in February, and a Hanover County battery of 2 megawatts that will be operational later this year. The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), approved all three projects in February 2020.
These three pilot projects, which total 16 megawatts each, are the first in Virginia to use utility-scale battery storage. Dominion Energy uses lithium-ion batteries like electric cars to understand how this technology can be used in various applications that will benefit our customers.
President of Dominion Energy Virginia, Ed Baine stated that battery storage is an essential component of the clean energy transition in Virginia. It supports grid reliability for customers during times of high demand as well as filling gaps caused by the inherent intermittency between solar and wind power. These battery systems will allow us to better understand how to deploy utility-scale batteries throughout our service territory in support of our goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
These three projects, all located in Central Virginia, provide important information about different uses for batteries on an energy grid. The SCC will receive annual updates about the performance of the pilots.
- 1. The three independent, 4-hour battery systems that total 12 megawatts will be monitored at the Scott Solar facility located in Powhatan County. They will give valuable information about the ability of battery technology to store solar energy during high production periods and release it when solar generation is low. This would reveal how a battery can maximize power production at the solar facility.
2. The existing grid capacity will be boosted by a 2-megawatt battery that can run for 2 hours at a substation in Ashland, Hanover County. This will allow customers to have access to high-energy demand times without having to upgrade their equipment wholesale.
3. The 2-megawatt, 2-hour-lasting battery located at a New Kent County substation serving a 20-megawatt solar facility will show how batteries can be used to manage voltage and load issues due to reverse energy flow. This will allow us to keep our customers’ power supply stable.
Dominion Energy also received regulatory approval by the Virginia SCC for the Dry Bridge storage of 20 megawatts in Chesterfield County, and storage of 50 megawatts at Dulles International Airport, Loudoun County.
The company is expanding its solar fleet, which currently ranks second in the country, and building out offshore wind development off Virginia Beach. It is also exploring ways to store energy to ensure reliable service to customers during times of high demand.