Battery storage improves reliability of region’s renewable energy facilities


West Texas is an energy hub that is home not only to one of the most prolific oil and natural gas basins in the world, but also to major wind and solar energy facilities. Today, the area is home to battery energy storage facilities.

“That’s really where they can be most beneficial,” Caitlin Smith, senior director of regulatory, external and ESG affairs at Jupiter Power, told The Reporter-Telegram by phone from her Austin office.

Jupiter Power has just begun operating its Flower Valley II battery energy storage facility in Reeves County, a 100 megawatt storage facility that adjoins its 9.9 megawatt Flower Valley 1 facility. is enough energy to meet the electricity needs of 20,000 homes during peak demand in Texas. Together, the two facilities represent an investment of more than $70 million in Reeves County.

Jupiter also has two other facilities — the 200-megawatt Crossett in Crane County and the 100-megawatt Swoose II in Ward County — under construction. The 7.5 megawatt Triple Butte I in Pecos County and the 9.9 megawatt Swoose 1, also in Ward County, are already in service. The company plans to have more than 650 megawatt hours of dispatchable energy storage capacity online before this summer’s peak season for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

Smith explained that battery storage sites can benefit the power grid by relieving transmission stresses.

“Transmission constraints can mean there’s too much wind in West Texas with no place to go,” she said. Rather than building new transmission lines to move that wind power, she said batteries can absorb that excess power until it’s needed and then distribute it to the grid.

“It’s time-shifted,” she said.

Battery storage technology is still in development, according to Smith. The Flower Valley II’s 200-megawatt-hour capacity means enough power to last two hours, and the cost is double that of the 100-megawatt-hour Swoose II being built in County Ward, which would last one hour, she said. declared.

“We need the costs to come down for a longer term. Two hours is fine, she says, “but we want it to be more and more hours. The technology must develop over a longer period of time at a lower cost.

One way to advance this development is for battery storage facilities, such as those Jupiter is building, to receive the same incentives as other electricity generators, Smith said.

She said the company’s large-scale battery storage facilities could help shore up renewable energy facilities growing across the Permian Basin. She pointed to criticism over the failure of wind and solar power during the winter storm in Uri last February, contributing to power outages experienced across the state. Battery installations that can store and then dispatch power could support wind and solar power that is generated when not needed or cannot operate when needed.

“I see battery storage allowing us to have wind and solar while being reliable,” she said.

That was the comment from former Congressman Bill Flores, who served on the Energy and Commerce Committee during his time in Congress. “Projections show that Texas will continue to lead the United States in adding wind and solar generation. Renewable resources, however, add increasing complexity and reliability challenges to grid management, but the addition of significant energy storage and related technologies will help mitigate these challenges to help improve resilience and reliability. grid reliability as part of an “all of the above” energy solution to deliver power while reducing emissions,” it said in a statement.

Jupiter is backed by EnCap Investments LP, Yorktown Partners and Mercuria Energy. The company has invested more than $250 million to date in a portfolio of large-scale energy storage projects in operation or under construction in the United States.


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