Dominion Energy Virginia has plans for four battery storage pilot projects in the state aimed at paving the way for additional energy storage technology needed to support the company's increase in renewables.
Dennis Schroeder / NREL
The four utility-scale battery storage pilot projects totaling 16 MW are the largest projects of their kind in Virginia. The projects were filed with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) for approval and are enabled by the Grid Transformation & Security Act of 2018, which allows Dominion Energy to invest in up to 30 MW of battery storage pilot projects. As Dominion Energy continues to increase its solar fleet the company is looking for new and innovative ways to store the renewable energy it produces and maintain reliable service to customers.
"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," said Mark D. Mitchell, vice president – generation construction
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.
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.