According to Bloomberg AES Corp has begun selling utility-scale battery systems that can scale up to half a gigawatt (GW). The Advancion systems cost from $10 million to $500 million, depending on size, and will be offered to utilities and renewable-energy developers.
The renewable + energy storage market is getting interesting and has been forecasted to grow to $2.8 billion in 2018. Solar City offers a small scale residential and commercial solar+battery system which uses Tesla batteries and Tesla has just announced a $5 billion battery factory to be completed by 2017.
AES has operated its own utility battery systems in the U.S. and Chile for more than two years. For example, AES owns a 64 MW battery system at the Laurel Mountain wind farm in West Virgina that competes in the PJM wholesale power market.
Advancion batteries can store power from intermittent sources such as wind or solar or when it is cheap on the grid and then feed it to the grid during periods of high demand. The battery systems are able to replace gas-fired peaker plants. Advancion systems, which can supply power for as long as four hours, will cost about $1,000 per kilowatt, compared to about $1,350 a kilowatt for a recently built gas peaker plant.. Advancion acts as both generation and load to enable more than twice the flexible range of a peaker plant on the same interconnection. Advancion’s modular nature with no local emissions allows it to be sited closer to load, reducing the need for transmission build out in congested areas while improving local reliability.
The first Advancion systems will use lithium-ion batteries from LG Chem Ltd , a Korean manufacturer., the same technology used in laptop computers, smartphones and electric cars. AES intends to certify other battery suppliers at its Indianapolis test facility.
AES is offering the systems in Hawaii and California, where demand for wind and solar farms is increasing, and in regions served by PJM Interconnection LLC, the largest U.S. wholesale power market which includes Chicago, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey and parts of other states.