UniEnergy Technologies to provide flow battery for grid integration of storage project with EPB and national laboratories

Written By: Stratton Report
July 12, 2016

On July 12, UniEnergy Technologies, a flow battery provider, will supply a 100kW/400kWh energy storage system for a collaborative project with utility EPB of Chattanooga and three U.S. national laboratories.

Per UniEnergy, the project will attempt to identify and understand the benefits and challenges of energy storage integration with electric utilities.

The UET ReFlex™ system will be part of an islandable microgrid at the operations center of EPB, which serves the greater Chattanooga, Tennessee, area. The system will be integrated with EPB’s 1 MW PV array and its advanced fiber communication network.

Researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories will provide analysis of the value streams, operational modes, and optimal utilization of the solar-plus-energy storage system. The three labs will also provide technical evaluation of ramping services, islanding support, and future sizing for an additional 2MW of planned PV.

The project is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI), a comprehensive effort led by DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability to help shape the future of our nation’s grid, including utilizing storage to integrate renewable and conventional energy sources into the grid. The EPB project is one of four energy storage projects awarded by the GMI. The $2.5 million effort will commence this summer and continue for at least two years.

Dr. Imre Gyuk, the DOE OE’s Energy Storage Program Manager remarked:

“Cost-effective, reliable, and longer-lived energy storage is necessary to truly modernize the grid. As third-generation vanadium flow batteries gain market share, it is essential to increase our understanding of storage value and optimization to accelerate adoption of integrated storage and renewable energy solutions among utilities.”

UET Senior Vice President of Global Sales Blake Frye commented: “Our vanadium flow energy storage systems partner well with solar energy because of the long-life of the batteries and their ability to facilitate the integration of increasing renewable resources into the grid. By working together with a leading utility and national laboratories, we will develop metrics for evaluating renewable energy and storage integration and demonstrate the benefits of leading energy storage technology to our nation’s grid modernization efforts.”

David Wade, President of EPB noted: “At EPB we are committed to building and growing a reliable, sustainable electric power network and enhancing our services with high-quality environmentally-friendly energy sources, like solar power. We’re excited to learn more about how energy storage, and specifically flow batteries, will contribute to the overall efficiency and reliability of our grid. We look forward to working with UET and the national labs to maximize the potential and value of renewables and storage on our system.”