SDG&E Signs AES to Install 37.5 MW in Energy Storage Arrays in San Diego County

AES Energy Storage has entered into two contracts with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). AES will install and commission two energy storage arrays totaling 37.5 MW using its Advancion® energy storage solution at sites in San Diego County. The SDG&E-owned energy storage arrays will help the utility improve regional reliability and integrate more renewable energy when operational by the end of January 2017.

With the support of the California Public Utilities Commission, SDG&E leveraged an ongoing competitive solicitation to seek energy storage projects on an expedited basis. SDG&E selected Advancion 4, AES’ fourth generation battery-based energy storage platform, which is designed for rapid deployment and is an alternative to peaking power plants. The storage solution improves existing electric infrastructure and enables a greater penetration of clean energy resources.

“These batteries are beneficial because they maintain a reliable flow of energy to customers when they need it most,” said James Avery, SDG&E’s chief development officer.

“We also are national leaders in supplying renewable resources, with more than 33 percent of the energy we supply to customers coming from wind and solar. These batteries will help smoothly integrate this growing supply of clean energy onto the power grid for use by our customers.”

The SDG&E Advancion arrays will be able to provide 37.5 MW of power for four continuous hours and serve as 75 MW of flexible resource to the grid. The arrays will be installed at two SDG&E substation facilities: 30 MW in Escondido and 7.5 MW in El Cajon. Once completed, the Escondido array will be the largest battery-based energy storage project in operation in the U.S. The arrays will incorporate components from various suppliers, including batteries by Samsung SDI and power conversion systems by Parker Hannifin.

AES has been deploying advanced battery-based energy storage onto electric grids since 2008, including recent installations in the U.S., Northern Ireland and the Netherlands. The company has more than 3 million MWh of delivered service across 136 MW of energy storage projects in four countries and an additional 296 MW under construction or in late stage development.

Arizona Regulators Table Net Metering Request, Approve Solar Rates for UNS Electric

Arizona energy regulators voted to allow UNS Electric to add a monthly surcharge on customers with new rooftop solar systems. Solar power advocates, however, say the decision was a victory because the new charge is substantially lower than what UNS initially wanted to impose.

The Arizona Corporation Commission approved a $1.58 monthly charge on UNS customers who add rooftop solar power systems after new rates take effect, probably by September. The fee was sized down from an original $6.95 monthly surcharge proposed by UNS.

Overall, UNS customers will pay about $4 more per month due to higher standard rates. UNS’ service territory covers much of Arizona outside of Phoenix.

The commission tabled a net metering cut proposed by UNS and its sister utility, Tucson Electric Power. Arizona Public Service also has filed a request for a net metering cut. Net metering currently forces the utility to buy back excess power generated from rooftop systems at the retail rather than wholesale rate.

Solar advocates such as Earthjustice and Vote Solar applauded the commission’s delay and fee ruling. They argued that UNS and APS’ proposed cuts-trimming as much as 73 percent from the net metering paybacks, by some accounts-would have brought the growing rooftop solar adoption to a halt. Some analysts have said that if adopted the cuts would make rooftop solar uneconomical by the middle of 2017.

“Today’s vote will keep the way clear for UNS Electric customers to meet their own energy needs with homegrown solar power. I appreciate the commission’s commitment to reason, to stakeholder input and to the public interest through this critical decision about the future of solar energy in Arizona,” said Briana Kobor, Vote Solar’s DG regulatory policy program director.

UNS will return to the commission with the proposed net-metering reduction plan once the regulators have heard other solar-related cases.

A report by the Solar Energy Industries Association several years ago estimated that distributed solar generation and net metering provides about $34 million annually back to Arizona Public Service customers. Some reports have put the overall net metering payback at close to $1 billion over a 20-year period.

Line Upgrade Leads ITC Michigan to Recycle Miles of Conductor Through Goodwill

ITC Michigan, through its ITC Transmission subsidiary, delivered 11,500 pounds, or four miles, of old copper conductor to Goodwill’s Green Works, a subsidiary of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit.

Green Works’ industrial recycling team will process and sell the copper, resulting in job training opportunities and approximately $12,600 in revenue for training, education and career placements programs for Detroit area residents.

“We are incredibly thankful for our ongoing partnership with ITC Michigan and its interest in our mission,” said Jay Wilber, president of Green Works. “Working with ITC Michigan helps Green Works continue its commitment to our triple bottom line: reducing the ecological impact of industrial waste, growing human capital skills in the Detroit-area and generating financial results to continue Goodwill Detroit’s valuable community programs.”

Jay Wilber, president of Goodwill Green Works, left, greets ITC Michigan President Simon Whitelocke after the transmission utility donated 11,500 pounds of recyclable copper conductor to Goodwill. Courtesy of ITC

ITC Michigan is upgrading its 120-kV Bloomfield-Hamlin transmission line that serves the Auburn Hills, Pontiac and Rochester Hills communities. This project will improve the reliability of high-voltage electrical service in the area by replacing the current 120-kV double-circuit towers with 230-kV double-circuit monopoles. Work began earlier this year and is expected to be completed this summer.

“ITC is proud to partner with Goodwill’s Green Works to recycle copper conductor,” said Simon Whitelocke, president of ITC Michigan and vice president of ITC Holdings Corp. “This project exemplifies our commitment to environmental stewardship and the communities we serve.”

This delivery marks the first time ITC Michigan has provided overhead line conductor to Green Works. In the past, Green Works worked with ITC Michigan to recycle underground conductor and substation equipment, including small instrument transformers.

ITC Holdings Corp., through subsidiaries ITC Transmission and Michigan Electric Transmission Co. LLC, owns and maintains more than 8,600 circuit miles of high-voltage electric lines and 279 transmission stations and substations throughout Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

PJM Authorizes $636M in Transmission Projects for BGE, AEP, FirstEnergy

By Corina Rivera Linares, Chief Analyst, TransmissionHub

PJM Interconnection’s board has authorized more than $636 million in electric transmission projects to strengthen the grid and reduce electricity costs, including a $320 million market efficiency project that would be built principally by Transource Energy, an American Electric Power affiliate, Exelon’s Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), and FirstEnergy’s Allegheny Power.

An AEP spokesperson said that PJM’s current name for the overall market efficiency project is the “PJM 9-A market efficiency project,” and that the project would be officially named later.

PJM said that the project, which is expected to alleviate transmission congestion across the Pennsylvania and Maryland border, involves upgrades at existing substations, two new substations, two new transmission lines, and improvements to existing lines. The proposal originated out of PJM’s competitive process for transmission improvements, PJM said.

The AEP spokesperson noted that the voltage of the two new lines is 230 kV, and that the segments that are being rebuilt involve the Conastone-Northwest 230-kV line. It is being rebuilt by the incumbent utility, not Transource, she said.

The segments of the project assigned to Transource include: A new 500-kV/230-kV substation in Pennsylvania that taps the existing Conemaugh-Hunterstown 500-kV line; a new 230-kV double circuit line between that new substation in Pennsylvania and the existing Ringgold substation in Maryland; a new 500-kV/230-kV substation in Pennsylvania that taps the existing Peach Bottom-TMI 500-kV line; and a new 230-kV double circuit line between that new substation in Pennsylvania and the existing Conastone substation in Maryland.

The project will need approval from FERC, as well as state-level approvals in Maryland and Pennsylvania, the spokesperson added. Construction would start after all of the required approvals are received.

PJM targeted the project for a 2020 in-service date, and the final schedule will be outlined in the PJM Designated Entity Agreement for the project, she added.

A BGE spokesperson told TransmissionHub that BGE’s portion of the bundle of work involves reconductoring two existing 230-kV circuits, both on the same tower line, as well as connecting the new 230-kV line that will be built by Transource into BGE’s Conastone substation, which will require some modification to the Conastone 230-kV substation to be able to accept the new line.

BGE’s portion involves reconductoring its 230-kV circuits between the company’s Conastone (White Hall, Harford County, Md.) to Northwest #2 (Reisterstown, Baltimore County, Md.) substations.

The spokesperson also said that BGE’s portion of the bundle does not involve any new substations, but the company will connect the new 230-kV line into BGE’s Conastone substation.

For BGE’s work, the reconductoring and the substation modification work is all within the company’s existing right of way and its existing substation, the spokesperson said, adding, “We have not determined when construction will begin yet as the project was just approved.”

PJM President and CEO Andrew Ott said in the statement, “This is PJM’s largest-ever market efficiency project, and we expect it will resolve a significant amount of the remaining transmission congestion in the eastern portion of PJM.”

The PJM Board approved a net $316.3 million in other new or changed projects to maintain the reliability of the regional electric transmission grid, PJM said.Those projects include:

Mid-Atlantic Region System Upgrades:

“- PPL Transmission Zone: Add a 200 MVAR shunt reactor at the Lackawanna 500-kV substation at a cost of $10 million

“- Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) Transmission Zone: Reconductor the one-mile Bergen-Bergen GT 138-kV circuit (B-1302) at a cost of $6.5 million

Western Region System Upgrades:

“- ATSI Transmission Zone: Build the new 345-kV/138-kV Lake Avenue substation and a breaker replacement at the Murray 138-kV at a cost of $40.28 million

“- AEP Transmission Zone: Convert the Sunnyside-East Sparta-Malvern 23-kV sub-transmission network to 69-kV (the lines are already built to 69-kV standards) at a cost of $5.7 million

“- Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) Transmission Zone: Cut-in of the Tazewell-Kendall 345-kV line into Dresden and raise towers to remove the sag limitation on the Pontiac-Loretto 345-kV line at a cost of $20.4 million

Southern Region System Upgrades:

“- Dominion Transmission Zone: Rebuild the Carson-Rogers Rd 500-kV circuit at a cost of $48.5 million, and rebuild 21.32 miles of existing line between the Chesterfield-Lakeside 230-kV at a cost of $22 million

PJM said that with the recently approved changes, it has authorized $29 billion in transmission additions and upgrades since the first Regional Transmission Expansion Plan was approved in 2000.

Eltel Wins Contracts for Line Projects in UK, Norway

Eltel’s 50/50 joint venture Carillion-Eltel in the UK has signed a power transmission contract for the design, procurement and construction of a new overhead line for National Grid in the UK. The total value of this contract is almost $50 million.

The contract for the overhead transmission line calls for construction of a 400 kV line, including 60 towers, in southeast England.

The total length of the line is about 12.5 miles. In addition to the construction of the new line, the contract includes dismantling an existing 132 kV overhead line.

According to standard procedures in the UK, the project is currently being examined by the Planning Inspectorate with a planning decision expected to be made by the Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in June 2017. If a development consent order is granted by the Secretary of State, construction would start in summer 2017 and is estimated to run until 2021.

Eltel also announced that it has won a new contract to build a 420 kV transmission line for Statnett in Finnmark, Norway-the second major contract for Eltel in Norway this year.

The transmission line contract includes prefabricated foundations, tower assembly, stringing and material supply for building the 56 mile 420 kV transmission line between Reisadalen and Skillemoen. The contract has a total value of approximately $56.6 million and it will be executed from 2016 through 2020.

The power line from Reisadalen to Skillemoen is part of a strategic program designed to ensure security of power supply in Finnmark. The line will further add value to the region and contribute to the development of new renewable energy projects.

Projects of the Year Awards Entries Deadline Approaching

The editors of POWERGRID International magazine, DistribuTECH’s official publication, are currently seeking Projects of the Year award nominations in four categories: grid optimization, renewable energy/DER integration, customer engagement and demand response/energy efficiency.

The winners will be recognized live at DistribuTECH’s keynote session on Tuesday morning, January 31, 2017. In addition, the winning projects will be featured in an article in POWERGRID International’s March 2017 issue.

These awards are a great way for you, your company and the utilities with which you work to be recognized.

Nominations for award-winning projects are being accepted through September 30, so don’t delay. You can find links to the nomination forms on the magazine website,, as well as DistribuTECH’s website, The nomination forms provide information on how to nominate a project, what the editors look for when selecting the winners, and all other important details.

Australian Agency Committed to $5M Funding for Energy Storage in Nation’s South

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has conditionally committed up to $5 million in funding for energy company AGL to install 1,000 centrally controlled batteries in south Australian homes and businesses with a combined 5 MW/7 MWh storage capacity.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht joined AGL CEO Andy Vesey and South Australian Treasurer and Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis in the state’s capital Adelaide to launch the project.

Frischknecht said the $20 million project could point to solutions to South Australia’s grid challenges and reduce the risk of future power price shocks in the state.

He said small-scale batteries could work together to become more than “the sum of their parts.”

“AGL plans to operate the batteries as a kind of virtual power plant, installing them alongside solar PV and linking all 1,000 systems with centralized monitoring and management software,” Frischknecht said.

“The result is like adding a 5 MW power station that can quickly deliver enough energy to power 1,000 South Australian homes where and when it’s needed most. This approach can ease local network constraints, displace gas power and complement the Victorian interconnector, especially during times of peak demand,” he added.

AGL selected Sunverge batteries and control systems for phase one of the project. Sunverge received an ARENA-backed investment boost and Ergon Energy also is conducting a trial of Sunverge batteries in Queensland in another ARENA-supported project.

South Australia leads the nation in the uptake of wind energy and roof-top solar with renewable sources accounting for more than 40 percent of the electricity generated in the state. The state government aims to extend this to 50 percent by 2025.

Vesey, AGL’s managing director and CEO, said the company hoped the project would demonstrate future options for Australia’s energy generation and supply mix.

“The energy landscape is rapidly changing and distributed energy services through projects like this, involving batteries, solar and the grid, can help customers manage their energy bills and provide grid stability,” Vesey said.

Kokam Building 36 MW Energy Storage Plant in South Korea

Kokam Co. announced that South Korea’s largest utility, Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO), has awarded it a contract to develop a 36 MW/13 MWh energy storage system (ESS) for frequency regulation at the Non-Gong substation in South Korea. The project features a combination of two unique Kokam lithium ion battery technologies-its ultra-high power nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) battery technology and its NANO battery technology. Work on the project began in June 2016 and is scheduled to be completed by December of 2016.

In March, Kokam announced that it had successfully deployed for KEPCO two ultra-high power NMC ESSs-a 24 MW/9 MWh system and a 16 MW/6 MWh system-along with a 16MW/5MWh lithium titanate oxide (LTO) system. Together these systems provide KEPCO with 56 MW of energy storage capacity for frequency regulation.

When the new 36 MW ESS project is completed, Kokam will have deployed 92 MW of energy storage capacity for frequency regulation for KEPCO, and the total worldwide capacity of Kokam battery supplied ESSs will total 132 MW.

“We look forward to deploying this new 36 MW ESS for KEPCO and continuing to support its effort to install 500 MW of energy storage capacity for frequency regulation by the end of 2017,” said Ike Hong, vice president of Kokam’s Power Solutions division. “Based on our advanced ultra-high power NMC and NANO battery technologies, this ESS will provide KEPCO with the industry-leading performance, reliability and cycle life characteristics that they have come to expect from Kokam, enabling them to achieve a strong return on their energy storage investment.”

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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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