Dominion Energy Virginia celebrated its largest operational battery energy storage pilot project, which was recently energized at the Scott Solar facility in Powhatan County, paving the way for the development of additional energy storage technology needed to support the company’s commitment to achieving net zero carbon and methane emissions by 2050, increase renewable generation and improve grid reliability.
The company has two other battery storage pilot projects in its portfolio – a 2-megawatt battery in New Kent County that was commissioned in late February and a 2-megawatt battery in Hanover County that is scheduled to become operational later this year. All three projects were approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) in February 2020.
The three utility-scale battery storage pilot projects totaling 16 megawatts are the first of their kind in Virginia. Dominion Energy is using lithium-ion batteries, like those found in electric vehicles, to better understand how this emerging technology can be integrated into various applications to benefit our customers.
“Battery storage is an integral component to the clean energy transition in Virginia, supporting grid reliability for our customers during periods of high demand and by helping to fill gaps due to the inherent intermittency of solar and wind power,” said Ed Baine, president of Dominion Energy Virginia. “These battery systems will help us better understand how best to deploy utility-scale batteries across our service territory to support our goal of net zero emissions by 2050.”
The three Central Virginia-based projects provide key information on distinct use cases for batteries on the energy grid. Annual updates on the pilots’ performance will be reported to the SCC.
- Three independent 4-hour battery systems totaling 12 megawatts at the Scott Solar facility in Powhatan County will provide valuable information on the proficiency of battery technology to store energy generated from solar panels during periods of high production and release energy during periods when load is high or solar generation is low. It would also reveal how well a battery can optimize power production of the solar facility.
- A 2-megawatt, 2-hour battery at a substation in the Town of Ashland, Hanover County will bolster the existing grid capacity to serve customers during times of high energy demand without the need to engage in wholesale equipment upgrades.
- A 2-megawatt, 2-hour battery at a substation in New Kent County serving a 20-megawatt solar facility will demonstrate how batteries can help manage voltage and loading issues caused by reverse energy flow, to maintain stable power delivery to our customers.
In addition to these three pilot projects, Dominion Energy has received regulatory approval from the Virginia SCC for the 20-megawatt Dry Bridge storage in Chesterfield County and 50 megawatts of storage at Dulles International Airport in Loudoun County.
As the company continues to increase its solar fleet – currently the second largest solar portfolio in the country – and build out its offshore wind development off the coast of Virginia Beach, the company is exploring ways to store energy for use during periods of high demand to maintain reliable service to customers.