Virginia-based Greensmith Energy, acquired by Wärtsilä Company in July, 2017, and American Electric Power will partner to install a 4 MW energy storage system integrated with the Buck and Byllesby hydroelectric power plants. The plants are located on the New River in Carroll County, Virginia.
The integration of advanced energy storage and software with hydroelectric generation is seen to be a world's first hybridized system of its kind to provide ancillary services.
The system is scheduled to begin operation in the first quarter of 2018 and is expected to run for 20 years. It will utilize Greensmith's GEMS software platform which offers multiple storage applications.
The project will serve both of PJM's (Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland) frequency regulation markets, including traditional regulation known as RegA and dynamic regulation known as RegD.
"The advent and growth of hybridized power, enabled by the integration of intelligent energy storage, has always been a key part of our technology vision," said Greensmith CEO John Jung. "Although we've delivered six grid-scale energy storage systems to the PJM market, this innovative hybrid project will see AEP raise the standard for hydroelectric use-cases globally."
Buck and Byllesby are operated by Appalachian Power, a utility subsidiary of AEP. Situated about four miles apart, the Byllesby reservoir is approximately three miles long, while the dam at Buck forms a reservoir about one-mile long. The Byllesby Plant is capable of generating 20 MW while Buck can generate 10 MW. In the first year of operation,1912, the plants provided electricity to more than 1,500 customers, according to information on the American Electric Power website.
Photo: Appalachian Power Company’s Buck hydroelectric facility.(American Electric Power)