New 10 MW Saft ESS Unveiled at Bermuda Electric Light Company

Saft, a subsidiary of Total, delivered and installed a turnkey Energy Storage System to Bermuda Electric Light Company (BELCO). The system provides up to 10 MW power for spinning reserves and frequency response to maintain grid stability. The official ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on May 16.
New 10 MW Saft ESS Unveiled at Bermuda Electric Light Company
Courtesy of Saft

Like many islands, Bermuda has relied on imported fuel to generate its electricity. However, the island is modernizing its approach to generation, distribution and sales after the Government of Bermuda passed the Electricity Act in 2016. This prompted BELCO to develop a long-term plan, which includes measures to improve energy efficiency and energy storage.

Spinning reserves are essential to provide backup power in case a generator experiences a sudden outage. They are named after the historic practice of keeping generators idling (with their internal components spinning) so that they are ready to ramp up to full power within a few minutes.

The Saft ESS provides spinning reserves, allowing the operator to switch off generators and save fuel. In addition, the ESS provides frequency response services, by injecting or absorbing energy to or from the grid within seconds to maintain consistent frequency and grid stability. As the turnkey supplier of the ESS, Saft carried out the design, delivery and installation of the ESS and connection to BELCO’s grid.

Stephanie Simons, Mechanical Engineer at BELCO Power Generation said, "We selected Saft because of its long track record of creating energy storage systems for remote and island communities. The ESS for BELCO will integrate energy efficient power conversion equipment as a package with a 20-year asset life.”

Saft’s design meets the stringent set of requirements set by BELCO, including high reliability, low operating costs and guaranteed performance over the asset lifetime. It is capable of fast response to maintain grid stability and prevent load shedding in case a generator trips. The power conversion equipment can supply active power to support the grid frequency while simultaneously providing reactive power for voltage stabilization.

Alexandra Goodson, Director for ESS in the US, attended the ribbon cutting ceremony.

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