SimpliPhi solar-storage VPP helps Louisiana with tentative grid-modernisation steps and backup

A project demonstrating aggregated solar-plus-storage in Louisiana involving energy storage company SimpliPhi Power Inc., Oxnard, CA, technology partner Heila Technologies Inc., Somerville, MA, and local utility SWEPCO Southwestern Electric Power CompanyShreveport, Louisiana, has started off small, but is “expected to transition into a larger network of distributed systems, soon”, reports.

Shreveport, Louisiana, is home to the virtual power plant (VPP) for which SimpliPhi Power contributed its lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry battery storage units, integrated with inverters. The scheme also counts on Heila’s control platform, which acts as energy management system (EMS) and battery management system (BMS).

The first site for the demonstration project – for SWEPCO, a subsidiary of American Electric Power (AEP) serving over half a million customers in parts of the US states of Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas – will start out with just 20kW of solar and 30kWh of battery storage systems. The solar arrays and storage systems are split across three separate aggregated units. Using SimpliPhi’s 3.8kWh PHI brand battery storage, the company said that initial rollout took “only a few months”.

“This initial project was a proof of concept project that is expected to transition into a larger network of distributed systems, soon,” the SimpliPhi spokesperson said.

As seen with larger projects of this kind, the installed solar-plus-storage can be aggregated by the utility and managed as an optimised fleet. SWEPCO will be able to peak shave, manage overall energy supply and correct the power factor to balance networks at local level. The combined batteries and control system can be controlled as a single entity using common protocols and any ADMS or SCADA controller.

“Behind-the-meter energy storage is a cost-effective way to help utilities and customers alike manage their electricity usage, with the security of knowing they have access to stored energy that can be seamlessly integrated into the grid or islanded during power outages,” SimpliPhi’s CEO Catherine Von Burg said in a press release.

Full article HERE

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