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Saft batteries for Tri-Technic energy storage installation at California military base

French battery manufacturer Saft has been awarded a contract by electrical construction company Tri-Technic in the US, for the delivery of two Intensium® Max 20M battery containers to power the grid energy storage system at Fort Hunter Liggett in California.

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has designated the Fort Hunter Liggett energy storage unit as a ‘Net Zero’ pilot installation, which signifies that it will only consume as much energy as it produces. The battery system will store energy for later use when the base’s solar power field generates more electricity than demand.

Tri-Technic selected Saft as part of its contract with the US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District to provide the base with a 1.25 MW battery energy storage system. The battery storage installation will be one of the dispatch strategies the base will use to isolate its grid from the utility provider.

The contract marks Saft’s first large battery energy storage system (BESS) installed in a DOD facility. As part of its ongoing objective to conserve resources, Fort Hunter Liggett is planning to install a third solar photovoltaic unit in 2014.

The 1 MW solar system will be responsible for approximately one-third of the energy provided to the base, and will aid the base’s continuing dedication to efficiency through solar power. In addition to the contract with Saft for the supply of batteries, Tri-Technic has also engaged Siemens to provide smart inverters to support the microgrid controls.

Saft’s two Intensium® Max 20M (IM20M) containers are each rated at 500 kWh and connected to the grid through two 630 kW Clean Power Converters, which ensures that the energy source is able to operate at optimum levels while maintaining power in the event of a utility power outage.

‘The application being designed and built at Fort Hunter Liggett is a robust system that will benefit the base as a grid-connected battery storage system performing renewable time shifting and peak shaving,’ says Lars Lisell, Engineer at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory. ‘The BESS will ensure energy security providing the ability to island the microgrid.’

The project construction began in August 2013, and is scheduled for completion in February 2014. Tri-Technic is the prime contractor for this project, specialising in system integration and electrical construction, and was responsible for the design, engineering, procurement, delivery, installation, and commissioning of the entire microgrid for Fort Hunter Liggett.

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Energy efficiency  •  Energy infrastructure  •  Energy storage including Fuel cells  •  Green building  •  Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Solar electricity