Start-up of battery storage facility boosts grid during heatwave


Record power demand amid a string of triple-digit temperatures saw the public grid issue calls for conservation this week.

As the power grid copes with demand, it is receiving additional support from battery storage facilities, including several built in West Texas.

Jupiter Power has just begun operations at its Crossett Power Management facility in Crane County, a 200-megawatt, 200-megawatt-hour facility. It joins Flower Valley II, a 100 megawatt and 200 megawatt-hour facility in Reeves County and three distribution facilities in Jupiter Power’s energy storage portfolio. Both are connected to the Texas Electrical Reliability Board power grid transmission lines.

“We are achieving another significant milestone in our ERCOT battery energy storage portfolio with the start of commercial operations at the Crossett facility,” said Mike Geier, chief technology officer, Jupiter Power, in a statement announcing the start of operations. “We have witnessed the strain that the Texas climate can put on the grid during unusually hot days. Jupiter Power projects such as Crossett and Flower Valley II are ideally located where the grid needs support to improve resilience in a cost effective and reliable manner.

When the conditions are right, as they have been during this heat wave, “things can happen quickly – a large generating plant could go offline,” said Caitlin Smith, senior director of regulatory, external and ESG at Jupiter Power, to the Reporter-Telegram in a telephone interview. “Storage can respond quickly.”

In addition to Crossett and Flower Valley, Jupiter is commissioning the 100-megawatt, 200-megawatt-hour Swoose II in Ward County which will enter commercial operation later this summer. This shows that battery storage technology “is here and growing rapidly,” Smith said.

She estimated that Jupiter will have 425 megawatts, 650 megawatt hours in its portfolio when all projects are in operation. Battery storage, she said, is 10 times what it was in 2020 and will increase another 10 times over the next 18 months. The company has other storage projects in the licensing phase with ERCOT.

As Texas expands its use of renewable energy through the development of wind and solar farms, Smith said storing batteries can increase their reliability by storing the energy they generate when it’s not needed and then by discharging it into the network when the wind blows. it doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine but electricity is needed. She called it “time lag” – storing energy at low cost during off-peak hours, then offloading it during times of high demand.

Additionally, Smith said, battery storage facilities are suitable for open areas like West Texas or congested cities because they require less land than wind or solar facilities. It is also less expensive and takes less time to build than building transmission infrastructure.

“It’s a perfect fit for where people live,” Smith said.


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