March 28, 2017
250-kilowatts of Alevo Battery Technology will become part of the Duke Energy Microgrid Research Center in Mount Holly, North Carolina. Duke Energy established a testing center at their Mount Holly Training facility a few years ago to explore new microgrid technologies and take an in-depth look at how new microgrid technology can enhance the grid. All of this is done with a goal of developing next generation microgrids that can create extra resiliency and reliability for its electricity consumers.
Microgrids are small-scale power grids that can operate independently or in synergy with an area’s main electrical grid. Microgrids are modular which means they can be added to the grid piece by piece, gradually enhancing the reliability and resiliency of the grid. When implemented, a microgrid makes its localized area less susceptible to disasters.
In 2016 Hurricane Matthew power outages impacted 2.5 million customers across all customer classes in five states in the southeast United States, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency. During such storms, microgrids offer refuge as they electronically island from cascading destruction, basically shutting down their connection to the larger grid to protect themselves. The microgrid then activates its own distributed generators to serve customers within its footprint.
Microgrids have already proven themselves to be very effective as backup power but can also provide many more benefits to the grid. Large customers like hospitals, industrial complexes or universities can experience enhanced levels of service when connected to a microgrid. One of the most advanced can be found on the UC San Diego campus, generating approximately 92 percent of the electricity, and saving the university $8 million per year.
The use of microgrids is gaining more attention. In the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions Report released this March stated “Microgrids currently provide a tiny fraction of U.S. electricity (about 1.6 gigawatts (GW) of installed microgrid capacity or less than 0.2 percent), but their capacity is expected to more than double in the next three years. Fueling interest in microgrids is their ability to improve resilience and reliability, increase efficiency, better manage electricity supply and demand, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
The Duke Mount Holly Microgrid Research Facility contains a solar field that can generate 100 kilowatts of electricity, an EV charging station with an independent solar field and battery energy storage. 250 KW of Alevo batteries will be used to supplement a 650-kilowatt battery. Alevo batteries are unique in that they use are non-flammable, offering extremely safe storage. Click here to learn about Alevo Battery Technology.
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