IPL puts the first utility-scale battery system on the MISO grid

Last Thursday Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL) connected a 20 MW lithium-ion battery to the grid in Indianapolis, Indiana, as the first such large-scale battery to be connected to the transmission grid in the entire Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) grid.

MISO covers 15 U.S. states, mostly in the Midwest and South, as well as the Canadian province of Manitoba.

The announcement of interconnection of the Advancion Array was made at a White House summit on energy storage and renewable energy integration, which saw commitments by the federal government and private companies to install 1.3 GW of batteries and other forms of advanced energy storage to the grid over the next five years.

IPL also says that this will be the first grid-scale battery storage system in the United States to provide primary frequency response services. The system can match supply and demand on an instantaneous basis, which supports the integration of electricity from solar PV and wind.

The Advancion array utilizes AES’ Advancion 4 platform, which utilizes fast-response IGBT power conversion technology and AES software and hardware control aggregation platform. Advancion 4 is a fourth generation design, which IPL says incorporates lessons from the battery systems it has previously deployed.

AES and its Advancion product were recognized last week with utility trade group Edison Electric Institute’s 2016 Edison Award.

IPL has deployed 96 MW of solar PV over the last three years, and according to a report by Environment America, Indianapolis currently has the 2nd-highest amount of per-capita solar PV installed of any major city in the United States.

This is particularly impressive for its location. Most of the solar PV deployed to in the United States to date has been in California, the Southwest and the Northeast, and the Midwest has lagged behind these regions.

As such, despite its high deployment of solar PV, Indianapolis does not face some of the integration issues that California and Hawaii have experienced. The city’s presence in the MISO grid means that it can easily trade electricity at times of high solar output with its neighbors.