Saft Deploys Turnkey Energy Storage System in Alaska

Saft, a subsidiary of Total, has installed an energy storage system in the Alaskan city of Cordova to enable the community to make the most of hydropower generation and meet a seasonal step change in demand as the local salmon processing industry starts up in early summer.
Saft Deploys Turnkey Energy Storage System in Alaska
Cordova, Alaska (YouTube)

With no grid connection and a remote location, local utility Cordova Electric Cooperative recognizes the need for resilience, sustainability and holistic thinking. The operator wanted an energy storage system as a key building block of its RADIANCE (Resilient Alaskan Distribution system, Improvements using Automation Network analysis, Control and Energy storage) program. CEC’s objective is to enhance the resilience of its distribution grid in the face of harsh weather, cyber threat and dynamic grid conditions.

Delivered in April 2019, the ESS will minimize consumption of costly imported fuel and enhance the community’s self-reliance.

However, CEC also wanted an installation that was proven to work effectively in the harsh and unforgiving Alaskan climate. The operator turned to Saft to deliver the turnkey solution, including an ESS rated at 1 MW with 1 MWh energy storage capacity, integrated with an ABB power converter and control system.

Cordova is located at the mouth of the salmon-rich Copper River and has an extensive fish processing industry, which places extra load on CEC over the summer months. Before implementing the ESS, CEC had to deflect around 500 kW of hydro power to use as capacity to maintain frequency, in a similar way to spinning reserve in a conventional grid. In addition, as fish processors ramp up production in the spring, CEC had to operate a diesel genset at its minimum output of 400 kW to enable CEC to meet spikes in demand. As a result, the operator was losing almost 1 MW of renewable power capacity.

By using the ESS to provide frequency response and meet peak demand, CEC can make full use of its hydropower and postpone the need to use diesel generation.

At the ribbon cutting event Clay Koplin, CEO of CEC, said, “Saft provided a packaged solution based on the same technology that they have supplied to another community in Alaska – and this gave us confidence that it would deliver long-term value for our community. The installation will enable us to be more resilient and less reliant on fuel deliveries from the outside world. It is also a logical step in our proposed journey to meet 100 percent of our needs with local hydropower.”

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