Powin Energy developing a 2 MW energy storage unit in California

A project which has come about as a direct consequence of a fossil fuel failing in the region, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) turned to energy storage in the face of a large natural gas leak. Powin Energy has answered the call and will complete the utility-scale energy storage unit over the next four months.

The company was selected by Californian utility Southern California Edison to develop the project, which will be located on a 5,000 square-foot plot of land in the Irvine Business District in Irvine, California. This location was chosen do to its proximity to a critical energy load area of the city.

Over 2,500 Li-ion battery packs will be used to power the 8 MWh system, which will be able to provide 2 MW of power for over four hours, once it is completed by the end of 2016. Powin will also be able to control the system using its unique battery pack operating system.

“In addition to the immediate system benefits, this project will provide a valuable demonstration of the transformative potential of energy storage systems like ours to quickly bring clean, quiet, safe and firm energy service to areas where they are most needed,” commented Powin Energy President Geoff Brown. “We are particularly eager to demonstrate how our bp-OS software and cell-level control will provide unparalleled insight into the system’s performance and maximize the system’s life.”

Although California has already shown a great propensity to develop its energy storage market, this particular project is a direct result of the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak. Since the leak, there have been concerns that the region might face power shortages, so the CPUC made the Aliso Canyon Energy Storage (ACES) request to develop energy storage projects as quickly as possible.