AES Energy Storage to build record-breaking battery bank

AES Energy Storage is set to construct the world’s largest battery bank in Long Beach, California.

The 400 MWh energy storage facility – which can provide a peak power output of 100 MW – will be made using ‘Advancion’ lithium ion battery technology from AES. The plant is scheduled for commercial operation by 2021 and will be funded through a 20-year power purchase agreement with Southern California Edison (SCE).

The power purchase agreement between AES Energy Storage and SCE was just one of 74 contracts dished out as part of a 2.2 GW funding round, which also approved energy efficiency, demand response and solar PV projects.

The exact financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, however, AES Energy Storage president John Zahurancik stated that “energy storage is more cost-effective [than gas-fired peaking plants]”, currently the more popular source of peak energy supply.

Despite claims of being ‘technology-agnostic’, AES Energy Storage representatives have stated their belief in lithium ion being the go-to battery technology for the next decade, and with good reason given the recent buzz and investment pouring into it. The questionmarks surrounding the ability of lithium ion batteries to withstand deep and constant cycling over the 20 year period don’t appear to dishearten the provider.

As with most modern innovations, Australia’s access tends to lag behind the US – energy storage is no exception. We have been blessed with exposure to small scale storage options but we are yet to see such enthusiasm for similar grid reform and diversification. The technology, however, is ready and waiting. The US is providing us a glimpse of what is possible with renewables and storage.

Top Image Credit: AES Energy Storage

© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

John Rodriguez