Tennessee Valley Authority to install its first grid-scale battery storage system

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is a federally owned corporation in the United States created by congressional charter on May 18, 1933, to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development to the Tennessee Valley. The Tennessee Valley Authority announced this week that it will build its first owned and operated grid-scale battery storage system near an industrial complex in Vonore, Tenn, Dailyenergyinsider.com reports.

Built around lithium-ion batteries, the Vonore Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) will be capable of storing 40 MW hours of energy, which is enough to power more than 10,600 homes for three hours. It is not expected to reach operational status until 2022. However, when it does, the system will provide power to local industrial customers served by Loudoun Utilities Board, allowing for higher quality electrical service without the construction of additional transmission lines. It will allow energy to be stored when demand and prices are low and used when demand is higher, thereby reducing costs for all involved.

“TVA is building the energy grid of the future,” Dale Harris, a TVA senior manager who leads research and development, said. “This pilot project will help us to innovate and adopt new technologies that will provide businesses clean, low-cost, reliable electricity while helping them meet their sustainability goals.”

BESS will be TVA’s first battery storage system to go online, though it intends to create more grid-scale battery storage systems in the future, such as a 200 MW hour addendum to an upcoming solar project in Lowndes County, Miss. TVA also intends to add up to 5 GW of energy storage capacity through 2038, as called for in its 2019 TVA Integrated Resource Plan.

“TVA engineers, scientists, and technicians are continually working with our industry partners to shape the future of the energy marketplace and power the long-term economic health of our seven-state region,” Dr. Joe Hoagland, vice president of TVA innovation and research, said. “We are developing and investing in the latest and best technologies to ensure the steady flow of reliable and clean energy as we build out the nation’s premier energy system.”

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