REC and East Point Energy, a leading energy storage project developer, have announced commencement of the first grid-scale energy storage project by a Virginia electric cooperative.
The project has a peak capacity of 2 megawatts and a duration of 8 megawatt hours, or enough to power about 1,000 homes for 8 hours. Construction is expected to begin this fall, with full operation starting in early 2021.
The project will be located in Spotsylvania County and will provide multiple values to the grid, including:
- Providing resiliency to REC member-owners by temporarily providing electricity at times when the transmission system fails and the substation and the members served by it would otherwise be without power.
- Managing wholesale power costs by dispatching stored energy during peak times when electricity is more expensive for the Cooperative to purchase.
- Delaying the need for substation upgrades.
All of these uses help REC provide its member-owners more resilient, sustainable and affordable energy. Additionally, REC will use this project to learn how additional energy storage projects can be deployed on its system in the future.
"With more and more renewable energy on our system and with battery costs declining rapidly, energy storage is now a critical tool for our team as we work to connect our member-owners and communities with safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy solutions," said John D. Hewa, president and CEO of REC, who also serves as chairman of the board for the U.S. Energy Storage Association.
"REC looks forward to bringing this battery storage project online," said Lee Brock, manager of engineering and power supply at REC: "In addition to wholesale power costs reductions and increased reliability, this project will give REC real data on how battery storage can best be deployed in the future."