AES Ties Large Battery Storage Facility To Wind Farm

AES Corp. (AES) Thursday opened a 32-megawatt energy storage project next to a West Virginia wind farm, part of a growing effort to attach batteries to renewable energy facilities in an effort to make them more economically viable.

The batteries will allow the 61-turbine Laurel Mountain wind farm to act more like a traditional power plant, rather than an "intermittent" source of power that can only produce electricity when the wind blows. AES said the storage facility is the largest of its kind in the world.

AES Wind Energy Generation and AES Energy Storage announce the commercial operation of AES Laurel Mountain, a wind power generation plant comprised of 98 MW of wind farm and 32 MW of integrated battery-based energy storage. The project is supplying emissions-free renewable energy to the PJM Interconnection.

The 32 MW advanced storage project uses battery technology with storage service provided by AES Energy Storage will help optimize the renewable energy generated.

The project provides PJM with regulation service, delivering instantaneous response to grid operator requests for power, helping to match generation and demand. The storage also allows the wind facility to control the ramp rate of its generation, smoothing out fluctuations in minute to minute output.

AES Laurel Mountain consists of 61 GE 1.6 MW wind turbines capable of a combined power generation of 97.6 MW and 32 MW of A123 Systems energy storage devices.

The 61 wind turbines are mounted on 80-meter towers deployed along a 13-mile stretch of Laurel Mountain located in Randolph and Barbour counties near Elkins, West Virginia. The wind power facility will supply more than 260,000 MWh of emissions-free, renewable energy each year to the PJM Interconnection.