In collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, EPB has energized a 100kW/400kWh Vanadium Redox Flow Battery as part of a national research effort to explore the best use of cutting edge technologies that could be implemented across the United States to modernize the power grid.

EPB will use the battery system, provided by UniEnergy Technologies (UET), for a wide variety of applications including solar integration, voltage regulation, back-up power, advanced microgrid operations, and energy management. Working closely with the national laboratories, EPB will hone the control strategies used to operate and maximize the value proposition for utilizing battery systems. The utility and the labs will also collaborate to quantify and analyze the different benefits from the project to EPB’s customers.

The advanced vanadium flow battery technology utilized in the UET system was developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity. Sandia has assessed the technology’s applications in the U.S. and globally. Starting in 2012, UET commercialized that technology into grid-scale containerized flow battery products, with 380 megawatt-hours of systems deployed, contracted, and awarded in 3 countries and 6 U.S. states. UET’s technology features no degradation of power or energy, unrestricted cycles, and 20+ year life.

The project, led by Sandia, is part of the DOE Grid Modernization Lab Consortium (GMLC) program, a strategic partnership between the Energy Department and the national laboratories to bring together leading experts, technologies, and resources to collaborate on the goal of modernizing the nation’s grid. The GMLC was created to enhance lab coordination and collaboration under the DOE Grid Modernization Initiative. The Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI) supports stakeholders by accelerating the development of technology, modeling analysis, tools, and frameworks to help enable grid modernization adoption.

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(Photo courtesy of EPB)