Company plans to build grid-scale battery storage system in Whiteley
An Illinois-based company wants to build an energy storage facility in Whiteley Township that will employ batteries to help regulate power on the electrical grid.
GlidePath Advanced Energy Solutions in Elmhurst, Ill., presented plans for the project last week to the Greene County Planning Commission, which accepted the project plan.
More information, including engineering drawings, will have to be submitted by the company before the project can be considered for preliminary approval, county planner Jeremy Kelly said.
The proposed energy storage facility will be constructed on a 12-acre parcel off Polecat Hollow Road. The actual facility will cover less than one acre.
The property adjoins the West Penn Power Co.’s Whiteley substation, at which the 20-megawatt, battery-powered energy system will connect to the electric grid. The system will take in and store excess power from the grid and then discharge it back to the grid when it is needed, the company said in information provided to the commission.
It will ensure a stable flow of electricity on the grid and help prevent brown-outs or other power interruptions, the company said.
“The technology is well understood,” GlidePath real estate director Michael Hoadley said in an email response.
With the increase in renewable energy on the grid, regulators have recognized the need for this type of storage capacity, he said. Battery storage is highly efficient in that it ensures good use of energy that is generated, reducing the need for developing new power plants.
The project will provide an ancillary service to the grid referred to by PJM Interconnection, the regional electric grid operator, as “frequency regulation,” Hoadley said.
“As a provider of frequency regulation, the battery actually acts as a shock absorber to the grid and on a second-to-second basis reacts and responds to a PJM signal that balances the system,” he said.
PJM and West Penn are reviewing the project, assessing its impact to the grid, he said.