Stakeholders gathered at the Solar Share community solar array in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as the city’s Electric Power Board utility energized a new 100kW/400kWh Vanadium Redox Flow Battery that will be used for a wide variety of power grid integration and energy management applications. This accomplishment is part of national research efforts to explore the best use of cutting edge technologies that could be implemented across the United States to modernize the power grid.
Installed at EPB’s Solar Share community solar array in Chattanooga, the battery system is a pilot project to explore how large-scale energy storage can be integrated with smart grid automation to provide consistent output from highly variable power generation sources like solar as well as how these devices could be used as a “battery backup” to reduce the impact of outages. In addition, the advanced flow battery has the capacity to store bulk energy during off-peak hours when fewer customers are using it so that the power can be released to meet needs during times of higher power demand.
EPB will use the battery system for a wide variety of applications including solar integration, voltage regulation, back-up power, advanced microgrid operations and energy management. Working closely with national laboratories Oak Ridge, Sandia, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, EPB will hone the control strategies used to operate and maximize the value proposition for utilizing battery systems. The utility and the labs will also collaborate to quantify and analyze the different benefits from the project to EPB’s customers.
EPB’s project constitutes a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and the aforementioned national laboratories as part of the DOE’s Grid Modernization Lab Consortium (GMLC). The battery system for the EPB project is provided by UniEnergy Technologies, a U.S. manufacturer.