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SWEPCO testing virtual power plant using solar + storage DER

Solar Installation
Credit: Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

Last week battery storage provider SimpliPhi Power announced that it has partnered with Helia Technologies to deploy intelligent energy solar + storage systems at a demonstration project in Shreveport, Louisiana with the support of Southwest Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO).

SWEPCO will be able to leverage the distribute energy resource (DER) systems to correct power factor, perform peak shaving and manage overall energy supply, while improving customer resiliency, according to the companies.

The SimpliPhi+Heila solution, consists of PHI 3.8kWh batteries,  inverter(s), and a Heila EDGE controller which acts as a Battery Management System (BMS) and an Energy Management System (EMS). Any and all DERs controlled by a Heila EDGE in a system are then aggregated and optimized to form a distributed intelligent network that can be used by any central controller, ADMS or SCADA to control the fleet as a single entity using common protocols.

The system consists of SimpliPhi batteries, inverters, a Heila controller acting as a Battery Management System and an Energy Management System. DER are then aggregated and optimized to form a distributed intelligent network that can be used by any central controller, ADMS or SCADA to control the fleet as a single entity using common protocols.

The PHI batteries measure and report voltage, current and temperatures and perform calculations to determine real-time battery state of charge, state of health and fault detection. Heila is programmed to operate PHI battery units’ grid-connected or off-grid mode, allowing to manage transitions between modes, enabling full control of the flow of real and reactive power to and from the grid and load curtailment.

Performance objectives can be set at the aggregate level, rather than on a DER-by-DER basis and collect real time and historical data from all system streamline grid operations.

“Behind-the-meter energy storage is a cost-effective way to help utilities and customers alike manage their electricity usage with the security of knowing they have access to stored energy that can be seamlessly integrated into the grid or islanded during power outages,” said SimpliPhi Power’s CEO Catherine Von Burg.

Building resiliency for utility customers using renewable power generation plus storage is expected to increase in importance as extreme weather events have increased due to impacts of climate change.

More on climate change: Rise in severe weather from climate change threatens grid, according to Accenture research