Dominion Energy Virginia announced four battery storage pilot projects to help pave the way for additional energy storage technology needed to support the company’s increase in renewables and to improve grid reliability.
The four utility-scale battery storage pilot projects totaling 16 megawatts are the largest projects of their kind in Virginia. The projects were filed with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) for approval Friday and are enabled by the Grid Transformation & Security Act of 2018, which allows Dominion Energy to invest in up to 30 megawatts 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.
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, which is expected to be in December 2020.
- Two battery systems totaling 12 megawatts 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. It would also help optimize the power produced by the solar facility.
- A 2-megawatt 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-megawatt battery at a substation in New Kent County serving a 20 megawatt solar facility will show how batteries can help manage voltage and loading issues caused by reverse energy flow, to maintain grid stability.
Separately, the company issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking bids for up to 500 megawatts of solar and onshore wind generation in the state.