Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) has brought on-line its second energy storage system at a utility substation. The battery storage systems aim to transform the marketplace and how utilities manage grid operations. They also are designed to improve reliability and the integration of renewable energy sources, which are rapidly growing in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.
The projects were made possible in part by a US$7.3 million investment from the Washington State Clean Energy Fund. The Snohomish County PUD’s systems are built using an innovative approach known as Modular Energy Storage Architecture (MESA). It offers a nonproprietary and scalable approach to energy storage. What sets MESA apart from other energy storage efforts is it uses standard interfaces between equipment components, such as the power conversion system, batteries and control system. These provide utilities more choices, reduce the complexity of projects and, ultimately, lower costs.
An industry consortium of electric utilities and technology suppliers developed MESA for the purpose of clearing barriers to growth in energy storage. More than 30 organizations have joined the MESA alliance as members or partners, including Snohomish County PUD, Seattle City Light, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Duke Energy, Doosan GridTech and General Electric.