How Fast Can a Utility Deploy Energy Storage?

The question of fast-tracking energy storage was discussed during DistribuTECH 2018 in San Antonio Texas last week in a session called “Fast Tracking Energy Storage: A Look at the Projects that Fulfilled the Aliso Canyon RFP.”

Speaker John Vernacchia, Segment Manager for Renewable Energy with Eaton showed some of the design considerations for energy storage projects that met the RFP and explained how Eaton had to mobilize different manufacturing sites to ensure that all the components arrived at the site on time.

Jorge Araiza, Senior Engineer, Southern California Edison, and Giovanni R. Damato, Senior Project Manager, Energy Storage – Distributed Energy Resources Power Delivery & Utilization at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) together presented a modeling application that EPRI developed, Storage Value Estimation Tool (StorageVET). The tool is publicly available and was developed with funding from the California Energy Commission. It provides guidance that helps stakeholders identify and characterize high value locations to deploy energy storage.

Speaker, Loïc Gaillac, Senior Manager, Grid Technology & Modernization with Southern California Edison took the audience through a deep-dive into the Mira Loma Battery System which featured one of the first uses of the Tesla Powerpack 2.0.

Gaillac then spoke with me in an interview after the session about how disruptive these projects were to the utility, which is much more comfortable with a 9-12 month timeline for project deployment compared to the 5-month timeline they were given for this one. Watch the video below to see what he had to say.

Lead image: Mira Loma at a glance. Credit: SCE.

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Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. Today, in addition to managing content on POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference for the transmission and distribution industry. You can reach her at

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