Delivering 100% Commercial Reliability: AES Los Andes Battery Energy Storage System (BESS)

Name of Project:
Delivering 100% Commercial Reliability: AES Los Andes Battery Energy Storage System (BESS)
Location:
Atacama, Chile
Application:
Grid Stabilization
Owner:
AES Gener, a subsidiary of the AES Corporation, is the second largest generator of electricity in Chile with more than 4,500MW of generation capacity installed (primarily in Chile with some located in Argentina and Colombia).
Developer/Operator:
AES Energy Storage, a subsidiary of AES Corporation, is the owner- operator of advanced storage projects that provide emissions-free capacity to improve the performance and reliability of today’s power grid.
Suppliers:
A123 Systems (storage system); Parker-Hannifin (power electronics)
Funding:
Private
Date:
Operational since November 2009

Opportunity

AES Gener’s Los Andes substation is located in the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile and provides electricity to this important mining region. To ensure grid reliability against transmission or generation losses, power generators in the region each hold back capacity to meet system response for primary and secondary reserves. If an alternate solution could qualify to meet the critical grid reliability needs, then AES would be able to supply more needed energy generation to this important region of Chile.

Approach

AES Gener and AES Energy Storage worked together to develop a solution for stand-by spinning reserves using advanced lithium ion battery systems to meet a portion of the obligation of the power plant to provide primary and secondary reserve. The company worked closely with CDEC-SING, the region’s grid operator, to develop advanced models of performance improvement and qualify the storage to perform this important role. AES worked with key partners A123 Systems and Parker-Hannifin as the core suppliers for a 12MW/4MWh energy storage solution. A123 Systems supplied the batteries and overall system integration, while Parker-Hannifin supplied the power electronics. The system was developed to operate in both a dispatch or autonomous mode, responding directly to significant frequency deviations in accordance with the boundaries supplied by the system operator. The system supplies sufficient immediate power response to help maintain the grid until the fault can be cleared or other resources can be re-dispatched.

Results

Since commissioning, the energy storage plant has been in continuous operation and achieved 100% commercial availability. By meeting the reserve obligations of the plant with storage, AES Gener was able to free up reserve capacity on the plant and increase the power generation available to its customers from the thermal plant by 12MW, thus generating additional revenue. In reports by CDEC-SING, the units provide very fast response and are among the most reliable units available for grid contingency events. The speed of response also provides for quicker restoration and stability of the system. Success of this first-of-a-kind project led to the implementation of AES Angamos BESS, a larger storage system also installed in Northern Chile. For more information, please visit: http://www.aesenergystorage.com.