Dominion Energy Virginia sets up 16 MW of energy storage to support growing solar deployment
In addition to requesting proposals today for 500 MW of new solar in Virginia, Dominion Energy Virginia has announced four energy storage pilot projects to explore the technology in order to support the utility’s increased desire for renewable energy on the grid.
Four utility-scale battery projects totaling 16 MW were filed with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) for approval last Friday and are enabled by the Grid Transformation & Security Act of 2018, which allows Dominion Energy to invest in up to 30 MW of energy storage pilot projects.
“Energy storage is critical to providing continued reliability for our customers as we expand our renewable portfolio,” said Mark D. Mitchell, vice president of generation construction for Dominion Energy Virginia. “Battery storage has made significant strides in recent years, in both efficiency and cost. These pilot projects will enable Dominion Energy to better understand how best to deploy batteries to help overcome the inherent fluctuation of wind and solar generation sources.”
The four proposed Central Virginia-based lithium-ion projects will cost approximately $33 million to construct and will provide key information on distinct use cases for batteries on the energy grid. Pending SCC approval, the pilots would be evaluated over a five-year period once operational as currently expected in December 2020.
- Two battery systems totaling 12 MW at the Scott Solar facility in Powhatan County will demonstrate how batteries can store energy generated from solar panels during periods of high production and release energy during periods when load is high or solar generation is low. It would also help optimize the power produced by the solar facility.
- A 2-MW battery at a substation in Ashland will explore how batteries can improve reliability and save money on equipment replacement by serving as an alternative to traditional grid management investments such as transformer upgrades, necessary to serve customers during times of high energy demand.
- A 2-MW battery at a substation in New Kent County serving a 20-MW solar facility will show how batteries can help manage voltage and loading issues caused by reverse energy flow, to maintain grid stability.