microgrid solution

US electric cooperative Chugach Electric Association in Anchorage, Alaska is partnering with smart grid solutions firm ABB to deploy a smart grid pilot.The pilot project aims to demonstrate how smart grid technologies and energy storage can be used to increase the integration of renewable energy resources with energy distribution networks to improve the reliability of grid systems.

ABB's microgrid solution

Under the pilot project, the two parties will develop a microgrid comprising a 17MW wind energy system, a flywheel energy storage system and a 2MW/500kw/h battery storage plant in Anchorage (Alaska).

ABB will deploy its microgrid solution, Powerstore, and combine it with the company’s advanced Microgrid Plus control system to monitor and ensure proper load sharing between the two storage mediums.

The flywheel energy storage system will be used to store fluctuating energy capacity sourced from the wind farm while the battery storage system will be used for long-term energy storage.

The project will provide electricity to some 300,000 customers of Chugach Electric Association and help the utility cooperative maintain grid stability during peak periods.

Moreover, Chugach Electric Association will use the pilot to improve its customer services through the provision of affordable, clean energy and a reduction in power outages.

Power pooling

The news follows Chugach Electric Association signing a power pooling agreement with Alaska-based utility companies including Municipal Light & Power (ML&P), the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) and Matanuska Electric Association (MEA).

Following the signing of the agreement, the four energy distributors filed the proposal with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA).

If approved, the agreement would allow the utilities to buy and sell power when it's more economic than generating their own.

According to a release, the signing of the agreement solidifies work of the utilities on a power market. Running the most efficient units first, regardless of location or ownership, the utilities estimate the arrangement will jointly save $12 million to $16 million a year in fuel, operations and maintenance costs, and will reduce CO2 emissions by 90,000 to 120,000 tonnes per year. Read more...