Dominion Energy to build 16MW pilot battery storage projects in Virginia

Dominion Energy Virginia has announced its plans to build four battery storage pilot projects to support the increase of renewables and to improve grid reliability.

The four utility-scale battery storage pilot projects, totaling 16MW are claimed to be the largest of their kind in Virginia. The company had filed with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) for the projects’ approval and they are enabled by the Grid Transformation & Security Act of 2018, which enables the company to invest in up to 30MW of battery storage pilot projects.

Being one of the companies to have the largest solar fleet, Dominion Energy is exploring new ways to store renewable energy and provide a reliable power supply to its customers.

The four battery projects will cost £27m to build

The four proposed lithium-ion projects could cost about $33m (£27.1m) to build and they are expected to offer key information on the distinct use cases for batteries on the energy grid. Pending SCC approval, the projects would be evaluated over a five year period once they are operational next December.

Dominion Energy generation construction vice president Mark D. Mitchell said: “Energy storage is critical to providing continued reliability for our customers as we expand our renewable portfolio.

“Battery storage has made significant strides in recent years, in both efficiency and cost. These pilot projects will enable Dominion Energy to better understand how best to deploy batteries to help overcome the inherent fluctuation of wind and solar generation sources.”

The four projects include two battery systems totaling 12MW, which will be located at the Scott Solar facility in Powhatan County. The facilities will be used to demonstrate how batteries can store energy generated from solar panels during periods of high production and use the stored electricity when the load is high or solar generation is low.

The third project will be a 2MW battery at a substation in Ashland. The system will explore how batteries can improve reliability and save money on equipment replacement.

The fourth project will also be a 2MW battery at a substation in New Kent County. The battery system will serve a 20MW solar farm and will demonstrate how it can manage voltage and loading issues caused by reverse energy flow to maintain grid stability.