Hybrid hydro/energy storage project

20 October 2017

Greensmith Energy, a Wärtsilä Company, and American Electric Power are to install a 4 MW energy storage system integrated with the Buck and Byllesby hydroelectric power plants in southwest Virginia, USA. The integration of advanced energy storage and software with hydroelectric generation is thought to be the first hybridised system of its kind to provide ancillary services.
It is due to begin operating in the first quarter of 2018, and will deliver frequency regulation for the Pennsylvania, Jersey, Maryland PJM) power pool. It will be one of the first new energy storage systems to come into operation since the adoption of new frequency regulation signals and requirements for regulation service. Harnessing Greensmith's GEMS software platform that offers multiple storage applications, the project will serve both of PJM's frequency regulation markets, including traditional regulation known as RegA and dynamic regulation known as RegD.
"The advent and growth of hybridised power, enabled by the integration of intelligent energy storage, has always been a key part of our technology vision," said Greensmith CEO John Jung. "Although we've delivered six grid-scale energy storage systems to the PJM market, this innovative hybrid project will see AEP raise the standard for hydroelectric use-cases globally. And the potential for hybridisation is huge, as hydroelectricity represents over 1000 GW of generation globally."
Expected to operate for 20 years, the programmable storage system running on the GEMS software platform can optimise participation between RegA and RegD signals based fluctuations in market values over time.
Buck and Byllesby plants are operated by Appalachian Power, a utility subsidiary of AEP. They have been in operation since 1912 and are located on New River.

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