• Lithium-ion battery system connected to grid in December
  • Company may be deploying 300-megawatt systems within two years

AES Corp., a U.S. power producer with operations in 18 countries, completed a 10-megawatt energy storage system in the Netherlands that will improve stability on the local power grid.

The Advancion Energy Storage system comprises tens of thousands of lithium-ion batteries similar to the ones in electric vehicles such as Tesla Motors Inc., according to the Arlington, Virgina-based company. It was completed in December and fully financed by AES equity.

The array is used to balance the country’s grid, absorbing energy during times of high electricity generation and feeding it out when it drops. Energy storage is the missing link needed to compensate for solar and wind farms that generate electricity intermittently. Utilities typically rely on natural gas-fired plants to meet demand when energy consumption peaks.

“The array can reduce the use of peaking plants such as gas,” Steve Corwell, vice president of AES Europe, said by phone. It’s comparable to 20 megawatts of flexible resource because it can both absorb and expend 10 megawatts of power.

Utilities, system operators, industrial customers and power-trading companies have expressed interest in AES’s storage systems, Corwell said. The company has 384 megawatts of energy storage in operation, under construction or in late-stage development.

“It’s scalable, there are no limits to how large it can be,” he said. “We are currently looking into units up to 300 megawatts which could be operational in a year or two. The supply chain is already there because of the electric vehicles industry.”

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE