• Duke Energy, LG Chem and Greensmith installed 2 megawatts
  • Lithium-ion batteries will help support renewable energy

Duke Energy Corp. has found a new job for an old coal plant in Ohio: helping a power grid handle increasing amounts of renewable energy.

Two megawatts of lithium-ion batteries installed at the retired Beckjord power plant began operating on Tuesday, doubling its power-storage capacity, the Charlotte-based utility-owner said in a statement Wednesday.

Installation of the batteries and controls from LG Chem Ltd. and closely-held Greensmith Inc. began in August. The storage system is now helping to regulate the flow of electricity in PJM Interconnection LLC, the largest grid operator in the U.S. spanning from Washington to Chicago.

Duke is taking advantage of existing grid infrastructure at Beckjord as tighter air-pollution regulations encourage utilities to shutter about 23 gigawatts of coal-fueled power plants this year. The Beckjord plant opened in 1952.

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