AES Dominicana, the Dominican unit of U.S.-based power company AES Corporation, has announced that it has put into operation 20 MW of storage battery systems at two locations in the Dominican Republic, in order to prevent the power grid from falling during September when the island was hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Each system has a capacity of 10 MW and has been supplied by AES Energy Storage. These are the first systems of their kind in Central America and the Caribbean, the company said, and are located in the region of Santo Domingo, the island nation's capital. The systems contribute to improving the efficiency and stability of the National Interconnected Electricity System (SENI) of the Dominican Republic.
“We are very excited about developing these energy solutions for the benefit of the Dominican Republic, saving millions of dollars in state funds, which can be redirected to more needed areas such as public health, education and security,” said Edwin de los Santos, president of AES Dominicana.
AES Dominicana uses its Andres and Los Mina DPP Advancion energy storage systems to provide fast and accurate frequency control to the Dominican grid, balancing second-to-second variations between electricity consumed and produced. By adding energy storage, instead of using existing thermoelectric plants to maintain frequency, the Dominican grid operator can allow island power plants to operate at their most efficient level of efficiency, while battery systems absorb and discharge power into the network as required, according to AES. The company also claims it 20 MW of energy storage provides a rapid response that would otherwise be provided by a traditional three-fold thermoelectric plant.
In September 2017, when Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the island, storage systems helped keep the Dominican grid running when between 40 and 55 percent of the island's power plants stopped working.
” AES Dominicana’s energy storage arrays enhanced the Dominican grid during a most trying time, helping keep vital power resources online,” said John Zahurancik, President of AES Energy Storage. “Not only does energy storage improve reliability of the grid on a daily basis, this experience demonstrates how it can add to overall resilience under extreme conditions.”