A battery that helps improve the quality and reliability of the electric grid was officially brought online this week at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The battery uses a special control system to inject or draw energy from the grid based on a signal from a utility.
The battery is part of the new GridSTAR Smart Grid Experience Center being developed at the Navy Yard by Penn State and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation. The Experience Center will feature energy storage, a smart grid demonstration home, electric vehicle charging stations, and an indoor-outdoor training facility, and will be used to illustrate functioning smart grid technologies for a variety of audiences.
Dr. David Riley is a faculty member in Penn State’s Department of Architectural Engineering and Director of the GridSTAR Center.
“Energy Storage is an important part of building a more resilient and efficient electrical grid,” explains Riley, “this battery system has already helped us learn about the complexities of building and launching a grid interactive battery system. We are using the lessons to inform new courses and training programs about the development of a smart grid”
“Energy Storage is an important part of building a more resilient and efficient electrical grid,” explains Riley.
Solar-Grid-Storage, LLC. played a critical role in the project and will help to manage the new system in a way that demonstrates the economic viability of energy storage systems.
“We are proud to have helped bring the first commercially developed energy storage system online in the region,” states Philadelphia native Don Bradley, Founder and Senior Vice President of Solar-Grid-Storage. “We were able to use the GridStar project to inform several other projects in which energy storage and solar technology will be combined to create viable renewable energy projects.”
One such project based in Laurel, Maryland was also brought online on October 16, and features 400kW of solar energy, and a 500 kWh battery system.
The specific role of the GridSTAR battery will initially be to help maintain the frequency of AC power on the grid. In the future the device could be used to help smooth out solar photovoltaic energy produced at the Navy Yard and also to reduce peak demand energy costs.