First-Ever Islanding Application Of An Energy Storage System

It was commissioned and installed in Milton, West Virginia earlier this year, the Balls Gap Station Distributed Energy Storage System. This system satisfies a DOE goal to implement energy storage as a Smart Grid technology, and it represents the first time a battery has been used in the United States to serve loads that are radially fed from the grid (or “islanded”) during periods of normal service being locked out. This feeder, which is 152 miles long and 34.5 kV, is not the most reliable of AEP’s feeders because it is located in challenging terrain. In addition to the IntelliTEAM II® Automatic Restoration System, the installation is equipped with an S&C; Smart Grid Storage Management System, a 2-MVA NGK sodium-sulfur battery, four S&C; Scada-Mate® switches, two reclosers with S&C; Universal Interface Modules, and four S&C; Scada-Mate® switches. With IntelliTEAM II, feeders automatically engage a battery for up to seven hours as an alternate source, so the battery can serve as many customers as possible.

Live “islanding” testing of the system has been completed. Approximately 700 customers’ service was interrupted by intentionally opening the Balls Gap feeder switch. As a result, feeder devices were reconfigured to provide power to the island using the Smart Grid Storage Management System. This battery served these customers for approximately 30 minutes before returning to normal service.

AEP’s Milton Station capacity expansion can be deferred due to the Balls Gap Distributed Energy Storage System, not only for reliability improvements resulting from islanding up to 2 MVA of customer loads, but also for peak shaving. Additionally, the project defers the capital costs associated with the construction of four miles of new 138-kV transmission lines, new station structures, transformers, and breakers at Balls Gap.

S&C Electric Company, NGK, American Electric Power, and the US Department of Energy all worked together to make this project a success.

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Alex Jones

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