Duke Energy has been working with members of the Energy Innovation Task Force (EITF), an ongoing collaborative effort with the city of Asheville and Buncombe County, to plan how to take advantage of emerging technologies like energy storage to better serve the region.
"Duke Energy has experience with many battery storage projects around the nation," said Robert Sipes, vice president of Western Carolinas Modernization for Duke Energy. "Western North Carolina is an ideal spot to use this technology to serve remote areas, or where extra resources are needed to help the existing energy infrastructure."
In the city of Asheville, a 9MW lithium-ion battery system will be placed at a Duke Energy substation in the Rock Hill community – near Sweeten Creek Road. The battery will primarily be used to help the electric system operate more efficiently. It will provide energy support to the electric system, including frequency regulation and other grid support services.
In Madison County in the town of Hot Springs, the company is planning a 4MW lithium-ion battery system that will help improve electric reliability for the town, along with providing services to the overall electric system. The company is also considering a solar facility in the town to work in conjunction with the battery system.
The company’s Western Carolinas Modernization Plan aims to meet the region's power demand by balancing public input, environmental impacts and the need to provide customers with safe, reliable and affordable energy.
"These initial utility-scale energy storage projects represent an integral first step in upgrading and modernizing our grid infrastructure," said EITF Technology Working Group co-chair Ned Ryan Doyle. "Investments in energy storage are a key component to a more reliable and resilient grid. It provides a foundation for the expansion of true clean energy sources."
Further details on the projects will be filed with the North Carolina Utilities Commission in early 2018. Both projects are expected to be online in 2019.