FlexGen, Los Angeles, California, a leading energy storage integrator, is helping bring a leading Indiana utility closer to its goal of transitioning to more renewable power generation resources. Recently, the utility company successfully fired up one of two 77 MW natural gas turbines with black start capability powered by FlexGen’s state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery energy storage system.
“Black start,” an essential reliability function for utilities, has been historically performed by diesel generators and is now being replaced by energy storage technology to modernize and decarbonize the grid. The generating station project installed and commissioned a state-of-the-art 12 MW, 5.4 MWh battery storage system that will help keep the lights on in Indiana, as well as add power resiliency for the nation’s third largest city, Chicago.
“FlexGen provides integral capabilities like black start for utility clients’ existing power plant sites through cost-competitive battery storage assets,” says Alan Grosse, FlexGen’s COO. “We look forward to helping Indiana further integrate carbon-free technologies that increase the reliability of the electric system.”
Utilities are choosing lithium-ion battery storage for black start requirements because these systems have zero carbon emissions, and because they are half the cost and more reliable than diesel generation alternatives. When the grid goes down in a blackout event, battery technology comes online with certainty, providing jump start power and energy to the power plant’s primary natural gas turbine generators. FlexGen’s proprietary energy management software, FlexGen HybridOS, enables black start functionality from a battery storage system to any commercially available turbine. At the Indiana facility, the battery energy storage system was used to black start a 112 MVA generation step-up transformer (GSU). The black start of this transformer was the largest of its kind from a battery system in the United States.
FlexGen is a leading energy storage integrator. Leveraging its best-in-class energy management software and power electronics, and backed by Altira Group, General Electric, and Caterpillar, FlexGen delivers utility-scale storage projects integrated with traditional and renewable power generation globally. Our customers and partners include the most technically and commercially demanding developers, utilities, government agencies, and industrial companies in the world.