Duke Energy Testing New Battery and Ultracapacitor System in NC

Duke Energy has started testing a first-of-its-kind battery technology at its Rankin substation in Gaston County, North Carolina. The hybrid ultracapacitor battery energy storage system (HESS) will demonstrate multiple service applications, including extended operational life, rapid response, real-time solar smoothing and load shifting.

“This approach will allow our energy storage systems to do a variety of tasks,” said Thomas Golden, Duke Energy’s technology development manager. “With so many solar installations in North Carolina, we must look for innovative ways to better incorporate renewable energy into our system-and still provide reliable service at a competitive price for our customers.”

One of the distribution lines at the substation has a 1.2-MW solar installation connected a mile away. With North Carolina fourth in the nation for installed solar power, managing and maintaining these grid-connected renewable installations is critical now and in the future, Golden said.

“Energy storage is changing the paradigm on how we generate, distribute and use energy. The demonstration of new technologies will help facilitate wider adoption across the nation,” said Matt Roberts, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Energy Storage Association. “Duke Energy is to be commended for its work on this project and partnership efforts in advancing energy storage solutions.”

Duke Energy is a national leader in battery storage among utilities. The company will be the host utility for the Energy Storage Association’s annual conference in Charlotte, April 25-27.

The Rankin substation is no stranger to innovation. In 2013, an earlier battery installation at the site was named Project of the Year by the editors of POWERGRID International magazine and PennWell Corp.

For the current project, which went operational last month, Duke Energy partnered with several companies:

  • Aquion Energy is providing the battery technologies and associated engineering services.
  • Maxwell Technologies is providing fast-response ultracapacitors that are capable of storing and discharging energy quickly and effectively.
  • Win Inertia is providing the SHAD® solution (Win Inertia’s HESS) integrating enhanced power electronics and patented energy management and control systems.

The HESS system will use ultracapacitors to help manage solar smoothing events in real-time, particularly when the solar power on the grid fluctuates due to cloud cover or other weather circumstances. The ultracapacitors are expected to reduce heat stress on the battery and minimize degradation. The batteries will be used to shift solar load to a more advantageous time for the utility.

Win Inertia’s hybrid energy storage system’s flexible hardware and software platform will enable the seamless operation of Aquion’s batteries and Maxwell’s ultracapacitors.

Maxwell ultracapacitors, which can discharge and recharge power in the sub-second to minutes timeframe, will stabilize short-term PV power output fluctuation, helping ensure reliable access to solar power on the grid.

The 100-kilowatt/300-kWh battery uses Aqueous Hybrid Ion chemistry that includes a saltwater electrolyte and synthetic cotton separator. These materials should result in lower costs, while the water-based chemistry will provide a non-toxic and non-combustible product that is safe to handle and environmentally friendly.

PSEG Spending $16 Billion in Capital Projects Over Five Years, Mainly in NJ

Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) announced that it will invest $16 billion over five years on capital projects to improve reliability, efficiency and clean energy efforts. The bulk of the investments will be made in New Jersey, the service area of Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G), last year’s Electric Light & Power magazine (POWERGRID International’s sister publication) Utility of the Year.

CEO Ralph Izzo told investors recently that the added capital outlay at subsidiary PSE&G could deliver double-digit growth in rate base through the end of the decade.

“PSE&G is expected to deliver double-digit earnings growth in 2016 and accounts for more than 60 percent of PSEG’s consolidated earnings,” Izzo said in a company release. “PSE&G’s current five-year, $12 billion capital program is expected to provide best-in-class, high single-digit rate base growth through the end of 2020.”

The utility is replacing and upgrading critical transmission lines through its $1.22 billion Energy Strong program, Izzo said. PSE&G also will modernize 510 miles of older gas mains.

“We are focused on future energy needs and these necessary upgrades will help to ensure the reliability and safety of our electric and gas systems for our 2.2 million customers for the future,” he said.

Over the last year, PSEG Power announced plans to invest more than $2 billion in the development of three new combined-cycle gas plants in the PJM and New England markets.

“PSEG Power’s capital program is focused on growth investments of efficient, clean, gas generation which enhance our fleet’s competitive market position. The addition of Keys, Sewaren and Bridgeport Harbor will bring PSEG Power’s fleet to more than 13,000 MWs of generating capacity. Combined with our already low-cost nuclear fleet, we are extremely well positioned in terms of location, diversity of both fuel and technology and clean energy,” Izzo said.

Izzo also noted PSEG Power’s growing investment in its Solar Source subsidiary, which substantially increased its portfolio through acquisitions during the last 12 months. “Solar Source now has 16 utility-scale projects in 12 states, with a total capacity of approximately 277 MWs with continued growth expected throughout 2016,” he said.

“Our focus on providing efficient, clean and reliable energy supports a variety of public policy priorities, serves our customers’ needs and delivers strong growth for shareholders,” said Izzo. “By delivering on our strategic investment program, we are building an energy company that will serve our customers far into the future.”

In 2015, the New Jersey utility expanded its transmission asset base by completing the the 500-kV, $790 million Susquehanna-Roseland line that upgrades a transmission route first developed in the 1920s, and substantially completing the $975 million Northeast Grid Reliability Project.

AEP-PSO Building 60 Miles of 345-kV Transmission Line in Western Oklahoma

American Electric Power (AEP) Oklahoma Transmission Co., an affiliate of Public Service Co. of Oklahoma (PSO), will soon be moving forward with its plans to build about 60 miles of new 345-kV transmission line in western Oklahoma. The approximately $120 million Western Oklahoma Transmission Reinforcement Project will ensure adequate capacity to meet the growing need for electricity in the region.

Surveying and right-of-way clearing for the transmission line and construction of the company’s new 345-kV Chisholm Substation, located west of Elk City, is expected to begin this spring. Later this summer, construction on the new transmission line will begin at the new substation and continue east before turning southeast and crossing Interstate 40 northeast of Sayre.

The planned transmission line continues southeast toward Sentinel before turning east and connecting with the portion of the line being built by Oklahoma Gas and Electric northwest of Mountain View. Construction and restoration on the 60-mile line is expected to be complete by summer of 2018.

Right-of-way agents have been meeting with area landowners to discuss the project, construction activities and restoration. The project will use single-pole steel structures in a 150-foot-wide right-of-way.

AEP-PSO first announced the project in 2014. The project will address existing system overloads identified by the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), a regional transmission organization. Reinforcements in this area will enhance system reliability and support continuous growth in the region

AEP-PSO is an electric utility company serving more than 540,000 customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma. With headquarters in Tulsa, AEP-PSO has 4,256 MW of generating capacity and provides electricity to 232 cities and towns across a service area encompassing 30,000 square miles.

Global Smart Cities Readiness Guide Now Available Online

The Smart Cities Council, the world’s largest smart cities network, announced that its Smart Cities Readiness Guide is now available in a Web-based format. The Readiness Guide is the world’s leading framework for government leaders to enhance the livability, workability and sustainability of their cities. It is currently in use by thousands of cities around the world.

Designed for mayors, city managers, urban planners and staff, the Smart Cities Readiness Guide provides objective, vendor-neutral information to help cities make confident, educated choices about the technologies they can use to transform their city. The new version enables easier access to the 200-plus case studies helping cities address the challenges of rapid urbanization, aging infrastructure, climate change and strong economic competition.

“Cities around the world are already using the Readiness Guide to make tremendous progress in achieving economic, environmental and social sustainability, and we are pleased to make it easier for cities to navigate,” said Smart Cities Council Chairman Jesse Berst.

Specifically, the Smart Cities Readiness Guide helps guide cities through project selection, building business cases, reaching consensus, deployment and implementation and measuring results.

“The Readiness Guide is an invaluable resource for our team,” said Grant Ervin, Pittsburgh’s chief resilience officer. “It provides a common vocabulary plus lessons learned from actual smart city installations around the world.”

Originally launched in 2013 as a downloadable PDF, the Readiness Guide quickly became the framework for Smart Cities Readiness Workshops which help participants assess their city’s readiness to innovate. To learn more, visit

FPL System Hardening Improves Reliability by 25 Percent, Data Shows

Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) announced that its ongoing efforts to improve service reliability continued to pay dividends for its customers in 2015, based on performance data filed with the Florida Public Service Commission.

FPL reported that it delivered best-ever service reliability in 2015, reducing outages to the lowest rate on record, according to a company press release. Those reliability statistics have improved by 25 percent over the past five years, FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy said.

“We’re building a stronger and smarter electric grid to provide our customers with reliable service year-round, all the while keeping our typical residential bills the lowest in Florida and 30 percent below the national average,” said Silagy. “Our continued investments in strengthening the electric grid and utilizing advanced smart grid technology help us deliver electricity our customers can count on in good weather and bad. This has been very evident during our most recent spell of severe El Niàƒ±o-related weather, including tornadic activity, which for the past several weeks has been impacting our service territory.”

Since 2006, FPL has invested more than $2 billion to strengthen its electric system, including hardening nearly 550 main power lines serving critical community facilities, such as police and fire stations, hospitals and 911 centers. By year-end 2016, the company expects to have strengthened every main power line serving critical community facilities in the 35 counties it serves.

Incorporating lessons learned from severe flooding in the Northeast following 2012’s Superstorm Sandy, the company has addressed the potential threat of water intrusion by adding flood monitoring systems in 223 coastal substations in Miami-Dade, Broward, Collier and Lee counties. FPL also has installed monitors in several electrical vaults in flood-prone areas of downtown Miami.

In January 2016, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz toured FPL facilities in South Florida, including a flood mitigation system at a substation, as well as its advanced system control center, which is one of the most modern in the world.

During the visit, Secretary Moniz commended FPL for its efforts to make its infrastructure stronger, smarter and more storm-resilient.

“FPL is really on the cutting edge of addressing a grid for the 21st century, particularly in the area of resilience,” Moniz told reporters during his FPL visit. “It’s really what we need.”

Strengthened power lines help make the grid more storm-resilient and speed restoration efforts following a storm. FPL’s investments to strengthen its overhead power lines also have resulted in enhanced daily reliability, with hardened lines performing approximately 40 percent better than lines that have not been hardened.

In addition to the continued strengthening of its electric system, FPL’s deployment of smart grid technology helps keep the lights on for customers year-round. FPL has installed more than 4.8 million smart meters on homes and businesses, and more than 36,000 advanced smart grid devices on its poles and wires. This technology enables FPL to continually monitor and assess the health of its system, predict, and in some cases prevent, outages for customers, and restore power faster when outages occur.

“We have worked hard to improve service for our customers and we’re seeing results-improving reliability by approximately 25 percent over the past five years,” said Silagy. “We’ve also achieved significant reductions in flickers, those brief power interruptions that can be a source of frustration for customers. We know that reliability is extremely important to our customers and our state’s economy, and we’re committed to continue improving the service we provide.”

FPL is the third-largest electric utility in the U.S. with more than 4.8 million customer accounts or more than 10 million people across nearly half of the state of Florida. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc.

PA Consulting GROUP Infographic AIMS to Inspire Next Generation Workforce

Significant infrastructure investments are required over the next decade, a time when much of the utility workforce will retire or leave the industry. In this changing regulatory, technology and innovation landscape, utilities can shape their next generation workforce by hiring individuals who can deliver the products and services of the future. Utilities can play a role in ensuring the next generation workforce-today’s high school students, college students and young professionals-is inspired to enter the exciting and innovative Next Generation Utility workplace.

EYE ON the world

Kokam Supplies Energy Storage Totaling 56 MW in South Korea

This Kokam 24-MW energy storage system (ESS), deployed for use by South Korea’s largest utility, KEPCO, is the world’s largest lithium NMC ESS for frequency regulation. Courtesy: Kokam Co., Ltd. Courtesy: Kokam Co.

South Korea-based battery solutions provider Kokam Co. successfully deployed two new lithium nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) oxide energy storage systems-a 24-MW/9-MWh system and a 16 MW/6 MWh system. The two systems will provide frequency regulation on South Korea’s electricity grid. The 24 MW system is the largest capacity lithium NMC energy storage system used for frequency regulation in the world.

Operational since January, the two new systems, along with a Kokam 16 MW/5MWh lithium titanate oxide energy storage system deployed in August 2015, provide South Korea’s largest utility, Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO), with 56 MW of energy storage capacity for frequency regulation.

In addition to improving grid reliability, the energy storage system will enable KEPCO to improve its operation efficiency by reducing its need for spinning power generation reserves. This will allow KEPCO to shift energy generation to lower cost, more efficient power plants and decrease “wear and tear” on all its power plants.

The three Kokam energy storage systems are expected to deliver an estimated annual savings of $13 million in fuel costs, which is three times larger than the energy storage systems’ purchase price over the systems’ lifetimes. In addition, by reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned for frequency regulation, the Kokam energy storage systems will help reduce KEPCO’s greenhouse gas emissions.

KEPCO is South Korea’s largest utility established under the Korea Electric Power Corp. Act with the purpose of promoting the development of power resources, stabilizing the electric supply and growth of the national economy. KEPCO employs about 20,000 people, supplies more than 470 terawatt hours of electricity annually which results in electricity sales of $41.1 billion.

GE Transformers Deployed for German HVDC Project

Installation of power transformers represents a major project progress in the completion of the HVDC DolWin3 project. Courtesy: GE

GE and German transmission system operator TenneT have made another key project milestone with the deployment and installation of two 685 mega-volt ampere (MVA) power transformers at the Dàƒ¶rpen West converter station for the DolWin3 high voltage direct current (HVDC) project. The contract, awarded in February 2013, is on track to be completed in 2017 and, when completed, will supply 1 million German households with clean energy

DolWin3 is the third grid connection of the DolWin wind farm cluster, located in the Southwestern region of the North Sea. This offshore grid-connection project will feed up to 900 MW of wind energy to the German grid. Its completion will allow the delivery of clean energy to approximately one million German households.

The 685 MVA power transformers have been specially designed, manufactured and tested in GE’s Màƒ¶nchengladbach unit in Germany to meet the specific requirements of the DolWin3 project. Each transformer is equipped with a tap changer. This makes it possible for individual power flows to be adjusted so that the associated voltage fluctuations in the mains can be leveled out. They also are resistant to overloading, allowing energy generated from the wind farms to be permanently transmitted even in the case of an outage on one power transformer. The Dàƒ¶rpen converter station inverts the energy transmitted from the offshore converter station DolWin gamma, feeding it directly into the extra-high voltage network of the transmission system operator, TenneT.

“We are very pleased with the progress of the DolWin3 HVDC project. We are on track with the project, from the construction of the onshore and offshore converter stations to the assembly of the connecting cables,” said Gerhard Seyrling, Central Europe Region general manager at GE’s Grid Solutions, a division of GE Energy Connections. “The installation at Dàƒ¶rpen supports Germany in meeting its clean energy targets.”

Grid Solutions, is a GE and Alstom joint venture with more than 20,000 employees in 80 countries. GE and Alstom merged their units last year.

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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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