California Energy Commission, PG&E unveil energy storage pilot

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) and the California Energy Commission unveiled a battery energy storage system pilot project to better balance power needs of the electric grid.

The Yerba Buena Battery Energy Storage System Pilot Project charges batteries when demand is low and then sends reserved power to the grid when demand grows.

This smart grid project is a utility-scale sodium-sulfur battery energy storage project. It has a 4-MW capacity, and can store more than six hours of energy.

The system has the potential to provide important services for balancing energy supply and demand, helping to support greater integration of intermittent renewable energy, as well as improving power quality and reliability for customers.

The project was made possible thanks to a $3.3 million grant from the Energy Commission to PG&E that will help fund the installation and evaluation of the system.

PG&E is working in close coordination with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to study how sodium-sulfur battery energy storage can improve power quality and reliability, support greater integration of intermittent renewable power, and supply energy to California’s electricity market, overseen by the California Independent System Operator. EPRI’s reports will be made available to the public.

S&C Electric Co. is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project and supplied the storage management system and power conversion equipment that control the battery’s AC input/output and its interface with the electric grid.

NGK Insulators is the manufacturer of the sodium sulfur (NaS) battery system, which includes the battery modules, and control system for managing DC input/output and other parameters for maximizing module longevity.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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