Snohomish PUD announces energy storage enterprise

Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) and 1Energy Systems welcomed Washington State Governor Jay Inslee today to dedicate a battery energy storage system built on the Modular Energy Storage Architecture (MESA). The PUD’s MESA project, located at a substation in Everett, Wash., is designed to improve reliability and the integration of renewable energy sources.

The project was made possible in part by a $7.3 million investment from the Washington Clean Energy Fund. The Snohomish PUD system, the first of several MESA energy storage projects the PUD is pursuing this year, positions the state as a smart grid technology leader and creates cost effective solutions to better use renewable energy.

Project partners included 1Energy Systems, UniEnergy Technologies, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the University of Washington, Parker Hannifin, LG Chem, Alstom Grid and Mitsubishi-GS Yuasa.

This project has the goal of developing standard electrical and communication interfaces to connect batteries, power converters and software components into modular energy storage systems.

To support the Snohomish PUD project and the other Clean Energy Fund projects, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is working with participants to develop use cases, or detailed descriptions of the many ways energy storage can increase renewable energy use and improve grid efficiency and resiliency. The PUD and the other utilities will consult these use cases as they implement and evaluate their projects. PNNL is also providing analytical and technical support, including conducting benefits analysis, designing test plans, and enhancing control strategies.

The MESA system provides a standard, non-proprietary and scalable approach to energy storage. The PUD’s energy storage program, which forges partnerships with major U.S. and international business partners, will include two large-scale lithium ion batteries, one built by Mitsubishi and GS Yuasa and a second by LG Chem. Both lithium ion batteries will use a Parker Hannifin Power Conversion System.  Later this year, the PUD will deploy multiple advanced vanadium flow batteries at a second PUD substation, which will be built by UniEnergy Technologies, based in Mukilteo, Wash.

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