Solar and wind generation in West Texas to be backed with more large-scale storage

Energy Management System AC Panel Battery Rack. Credit: Burns and McDonnell

Burns & McDonnell said on Monday that it was selected by LG Energy Solution and Sustainable Environmental Renewable (SER) Capital Partners to provide engineer-procure-construct (EPC) services for three 10-MW/20-MWh lithium-ion, stand-alone battery energy storage systems. The three facilities are located in the West Texas region.

The project consists of owner-provided LG Chem battery racks populated with JH3 and JH4 modules. Burns & McDonnell has engaged in its direct-hire subsidiary Ref-Chem to complete construction and installation of the batteries. Containers will be shipped to the job site with empty racks prewired to direct current combiner panels and alternating current auxiliary panels.

The heating, ventilation and air conditioning design will consist of direct expansion cooling units to provide cooled and conditioned air to the building, as well as to the face of the battery racks to maintain consistent temperatures. Burns & McDonnell is building a computational fluid dynamics model to confirm the airflow and temperature distribution.

“Having a fully integrated EPC team allows our direct-hire construction professionals to provide seamless coordination throughout the upfront planning and design phase of the project,” said Matt Domeier, director of energy storage EPC projects at Burns & McDonnell. “When they get in the field, our professionals are comfortable with the job site, know the team and can resolve any unexpected challenges in real time to navigate changes and keep projects on track. There are a lot of moving parts to this project and our integrated team is effectively collaborating to identify efficiencies throughout every phase.”

The project will help back up intermittent renewable energy from wind and solar power. When construction is finished, the batteries on the site will have the capability to store up to 10 MW of electricity for two hours, taking power from times when generation is plentiful and then discharging the power back onto the grid during times of shortage.

“Our partners, myself among them, have a long history of investing in different types of infrastructure, but we’ve now transitioned ourselves fully into the big opportunity that we see around renewable and environmental solutions,” said Sara Graziano, partner and investment committee chair at SER. “There is a lot of renewable generation, particularly in West Texas. These batteries are allowing us to benefit from peak energy generation to account for the dips that come with energy shortages.”

The batteries will also provide support services for the Texas power grid to respond to fluctuations in supply and demand. The addition of more renewable energy services means a reduced likelihood of rolling blackouts and reduced emissions with no polluting elements part of the battery energy storage system.

Project construction is expected to be complete by June 2021.

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