Running on Batteries
June 28, 2021
As FirstEnergy continues to prepare for the electric grid of the future, we are investigating various new technologies that will play a role in delivering safe, reliable electricity to customers. In Maryland, Potomac Edison recently received approval from the Public Service Commission for battery energy storage projects in Allegany and Frederick counties.
In Allegany County, a 1.75-megawatt battery energy storage project will enhance service reliability by providing back-up power to more than 1,000 customers in the area. To complete this project, Potomac Edison is partnering with Convergent Energy + Power, a leading independent developer of energy storage solutions.
According to Brian Mollenshott, engineer, Emerging Technologies, working with an energy storage developer will provide valuable insights into the technology. “This partnership will help us identify best practices for engineering and operating a battery energy storage system and learn more about its potential benefits,” he said.
In Frederick County, we are planning to install a battery energy storage system at a Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) park and ride lot in Urbana. The project will be owned and operated by Potomac Edison and will be located adjacent to a new electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging station.
The storage system – about the size of a 20-foot shipping container – will include a 500-kilowatt (kW) battery that provides uninterruptable EV charging and reduces the load drawn from the grid by the charging station during peak demand times. Similar to a modular substation, the structure comes complete with heating, ventilation and air conditioning, fire suppression and security features.
“Because fast-charging stations create significant demand on electric distribution grids, the bundling of an energy storage system with a fast charger will allow us to study how energy storage can help minimize the impact of demand spikes on our distribution network,” explained Brian. “The batteries are charged at night – when system demand is low – so they can be used during the day when they are needed.”
In the event of an outage, the Urbana fast-charging station will run off of battery-supplied energy. The battery system is expected to provide 1,000 kW hours of energy, equal to approximately eight hours of uninterrupted EV charging.
Both projects are expected to be complete in 2022.