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article imageDuke Energy invests $30M in two battery storage systems in N.C.

By Karen Graham     Sep 21, 2017 in Business
Asheville - Duke Energy today announced plans to install North Carolina's two largest battery energy storage systems – a $30 million investment as part of the company's Western Carolinas Modernization Plan.
The announcement today is only one part of Duke Energy's Western Carolinas Modernization plan, and the utility company's commitment to building a smarter energy future, according to Business Insider.
The announcement comes after many months of meetings with stakeholders, including members of the Energy Innovation Task Force (EITF) where discussions were held on the region's future energy needs. One focus of the meetings was to take advantage of emerging technologies like energy storage to better serve the region.
"Duke Energy has experience with many battery storage projects around the nation," said Robert Sipes, vice president of Western Carolinas Modernization for Duke Energy. "Western North Carolina is an ideal spot to use this technology to serve remote areas, or where extra resources are needed to help the existing energy infrastructure."
 Energy storage is changing the paradigm on how we generate  distribute and use energy. The demonstr...
"Energy storage is changing the paradigm on how we generate, distribute and use energy. The demonstration of new technologies will help facilitate wider adoption across the nation," said Matt Roberts, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Energy Storage Association.
Duke Energy
The Rick Hill community of Asheville will see the first of these installations with a nine-MW lithium-ion battery system slated to be installed at a Duke Energy substation near Sweeten Creek Road. This will create more efficient grid operations, including frequency regulation.
The second installation will be a four-MW lithium-ion battery system to improve electric reliability for the town of Hot Springs in Madison County. Duke Energy is also considering a solar facility in the town to work in conjunction with the battery system. More details on the projects will be filed with the North Carolina Utilities Commission in early 2018. But both battery systems are expected to be online in 2019.
Part of Duke Energy's Western Carolinas Modernization Plan also includes its commitment to deploy at least five megawatts of energy storage for the region, but the company plans to add more. "These initial utility-scale energy storage projects represent an integral first step in upgrading and modernizing our grid infrastructure," said EITF Technology Working Group co-chair Ned Ryan Doyle.
"Investments in energy storage are a key component to a more reliable and resilient grid. It provides a foundation for the expansion of true clean energy sources," he added.
One additional part of the Western Carolinas Modernization plan is the closure of Duke's 376-MW coal-fired plant in Asheville in 2019. The coal-fired plant will be replaced with a new gas-fired power plant featuring two 280-MW units. The new plant is expected to begin commercial operation late in 2019.
More about Duke energy, battery storage systems, Western Carolinas Modernization Plan, lithiumion battery