LADWP Steps Up Utility-Scale Battery Storage to Ensure A More Reliable Power Grid

LADWP Steps Up Utility-Scale Battery Storage to Ensure A More Reliable Power Grid

LOS ANGELES — As LADWP and other utilities continue efforts to ensure electric reliability for customers following the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility leak in 2015, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is ramping up its utility-scale energy storage development to help integrate more renewables like solar energy into the grid.

During the VerdExchange 2017 Conference Monday, LADWP General Manager David Wright outlined steps the nation’s largest municipally-owned water and power utility is taking to achieve its goal of reaching 178 megawatts (MW) of energy storage by 2021.

“Well before the Aliso Canyon leak, our Board approved plans for LADWP to add 178 megawatts of battery storage to the grid,” LADWP General Manager David H. Wright said.  “Since Aliso, we’ve accelerated our efforts and have identified several battery storage projects which will be built between now and 2021. These clean energy storage solutions will be located along every part of our system, near generation,   transmission, distributing stations and at the customer level.”

The announcement took place during a press conference held by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), with participants including the California Independent System Operator (Cal ISO), Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, AES Energy Storage and LADWP officials who outlined major progress in installing energy storage projects.

LADWP’s proposed energy storage projects range in location from the Mojave Desert, to right here in LA, including building a combined solar/battery project at a local fire station in the area most affected by Aliso Canyon – Porter Ranch.  Other projects include the largest in-basin energy storage project – up to 50 MW – at LADWP’s Valley Generating Station, another at the LA Zoo and at the John Ferraro Building at LADWP’s headquarters. 

The first utility-scale battery storage project, the 20 MW Beacon Battery Energy Storage System Phase 1, will begin construction later this summer. Strategically located near LADWP’s 250 MW Beacon solar farm and wind turbines in the Mojave Desert, the Beacon battery project will interconnect at LADWP’s largest renewable energy corridor, which supplies LADWP customers with over 650 MW of solar and 135MW of wind generation. The project will also provide LADWP’s grid with regulation, frequency response, and load following capacity. LADWP plans to accelerate the development of a 30 MW Phase 2 Battery Energy Storage System expansion at the site for a total of 50 MW before the 2021 target. 

In addition to the Beacon Battery Energy Storage System, LADWP is assessing the feasibility of multiple Battery Energy Storage System projects and has preliminarily identified 145 MW of new energy storage projects of the 178 MW goal. LADWP has already worked with major customers to assist them in installing 12 MW of battery storage locally. The Department is thoroughly exploring each option, seeking the most cost-effective manner to minimize the impact on rate payers while maximizing the integration of renewable energy into the power portfolio.

After reaching its goal of 178 MW by 2021, LADWP plans to reach 404 MW of energy storage, equivalent to about 10% of LADWP’s customer energy load on an average day, by 2025 as outlined in the Department’s 2016 Integrated Resource Plan.