RES Americas to build 40 MW energy storage system in Illinois

Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES Americas) will build two grid-scale energy storage projects outside of Chicago, Illinois, that it says will be the largest, commercial energy storage projects in North America when completed next year.

RES Americas will develop and construct the two 19.8 MW storage systems, each having the ability to store 7.8 megawatt hours of energy. The company will build the first project, Elwood Energy Storage Center, in West Chicago, while the second, Jake Energy Storage Center, will be located in the nearby city of Joliet.

Construction is expected to begin on both projects this winter, with completion scheduled for August. RES Americas says it expects the projects to operate for at least 10 years. The group acquired the projects during the development phase from Glidepath Power in September.

"The Jake and Elwood Energy Storage Centers represent commercial installations of cutting-edge energy storage technology," said Victor Babbitt, RES Americas’ vice president of Energy Storage. Babbitt added that the projects would increase the reliability and quality of the area’s grid, which, in turn, could help attract new business.

The projects will provide real-time frequency regulation service to the PJM ancillary services market and are interconnected to the local Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) electric grid. The frequency regulation service balances the second to second variations in load and generation by absorbing excess energy during moments of over-generation and releasing energy during periods of under-generation to maintain power quality.

BYD America will supply the battery storage modules for the projects. The batteries use lithium iron phosphate. The projects consist of 22 energy storage modular units (11 per site), each of which will be a self-contained energy storage system containing thousands of individual battery cells, power conditioning equipment, safety and monitoring systems.

RES Americas will develop and proivde the energy storage control and dispatch systems.

In addition to its planned systems, RES Americas has existing energy storage projects in Ohio and Ontario, Canada.

The global market for energy storage is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. IHS Energy forecasts North America leading the world in grid-connected battery storage, with nearly 3.3 gigawatt hours of cumulative installations by 2020.