A new battery-based energy storage system located in the US state of New York will boost grid reliability and help the region to increase the use of renewable resources, according to AES Energy Storage.

The US-based energy storage firm, a subsidiary of the independent power producer AES, has commissioned the first phase of the battery storage project in Johnson City.

The project is the first of its kind in the USA and will deliver instantaneous response to requests from grid operator NYISO for power, helping to level the variability of generation and demand in the New York power market.

“This project is meeting the reliability needs of utilities and competitive suppliers in New York with storage,” said Chris Shelton, President of AES Energy Storage. The Virginia-based firm and the NYISO completed initial performance testing of the 8 MW rated battery system at the end of December 2010.

In December AES also finalized a $17.1 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy (DOE) to support the construction and development of phase two, the addition of 12 MW of capacity to the project.

“New York’s competitive wholesale electricity markets are designed to attract companies like AES Energy Storage to develop, construct and operate systems that will enhance the efficiency of the power grid,” said Rana Mukerji, Senior Vice President of Market Structures, NYISO. “Energy storage systems also complement renewable resources to help achieve New York State’s clean energy goals.”

The project applies AES Energy Storage’s patented frequency regulation performance algorithm that optimises the use of energy storage technologies in power markets. As a qualified generator, the project sells regulation services into the power market operated by NYISO.

When fully constructed, the project will be able to charge or discharge at levels up to 20 MW in less than one second in response to automated signalling from the system operator.