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IID boosts electric grid as state-of-art battery energy storage system comes online

The Imperial Irrigation District energy generating station in California has now been fitted with a new fully-operational 30-megawatt, 20-megawatt-hour lithium-ion battery storage system.

The new battery will increase reliability across the IID grid by providing the ability to balance power while integrating renewable energy resources into the local grid, says the company. It will allow the district to “black start” units at its El Centro generation station and smooth power supplies while acting as a spinning reserve – assignments that had typically required expensive fossil fuel generation.

“With the increase of renewable energy and distributed generation in our electric system, the new battery energy storage system will help smooth variable generation and increase system-wide reliability,” said IID Board of Directors President Norma Sierra Galindo. “The system will provide a much faster, environmentally friendly alternative than traditional generation.”

Considered to be one of the largest of its kind in the western United States, IID’s battery system storage project has drawn attention from national energy leaders, some of whom were on hand Wednesday to tour the new facility.

“This truly is a game changer for the energy industry,” said Ziad Alaywan P.E., President and CEO of ZGlobal Inc., owner’s engineer and project operator. “As one of the largest battery storage systems in the West, it is a key component in the evolution of the electrical grid in the 21st century. It is exciting to see it come to life here in the Imperial Valley, with IID leading the way.” 

Construction of IID’s battery energy storage system began late last summer. As the project neared completion, the system has been tested and is ready to operate at full capacity, if needed.

IID expects its customers to benefit from reduced operating costs the first year and throughout the lifetime of the project, providing significant cost savings to ratepayers.

Partner General Electric has provided Coachella Energy Storage Partners with an integrated storage solution. This is one of GE’s largest energy storage projects to date and one of few of its lithium-ion storage projects. IID’s battery energy storage system will use environmentally-safe lithium ion batteries, manufactured by Samsung SDI America.

“We are proud to share IID's ambition to provide its stakeholders with more reliable and renewable energy through one of the strongest and largest energy storage projects in the nation, with its heart now officially powered by Samsung SDI's most innovative lithium-ion batteries and battery management system,” said Fabrice Hudry, Vice President of Energy Storage Solutions for Samsung SDI

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