A123 Systems (Nasdaq: AONE), a developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphate lithium ion batteries and systems, announced that it is launching a pilot project with NSTAR to study and showcase the performance and reliability benefits of implementing A123's Grid Storage Battery (GBS) within a suburban electric grid. The system, NSTAR's first battery energy storage project, is proposed for installation at a substation in Medway, Mass. and is expected to be operational in 2012.
"We’re very interested in learning more about how advanced energy storage can help continue to improve electric service reliability for our customers," said Lawrence Gelbien, vice president of engineering at NSTAR. "Launching this pilot project with A123 will allow us to gain invaluable hands-on experience with clean, efficient energy storage technology and, ultimately, it will help determine how we can utilize larger-scale energy storage projects on our system."
Under the terms of the agreement, one of A123's two-megawatt (2MW) GBS solutions is proposed to be interconnected to the power grid at NSTAR's substation in Medway. It will be owned and operated by A123, and will be designed to provide area regulation services, which are used to address momentary differences between electric power supply and demand. A123 expects to earn revenue from these area regulation services from ISO-New England (ISO-NE) as part of the Alternative Technology Regulation (ATR) Pilot Program, which allows "non-generating resources" such as advanced energy storage systems to receive compensation for area regulation and other ancillary services. In addition, the pilot project is expected to allow A123 to learn more about how its GBS performs in real-world applications in order to facilitate further product improvements designed to reduce total cost of ownership.
"Working with leading utilities like NSTAR enables us to showcase the economic and operational viability of our advanced GBS solutions and helps to further validate our position as the leading provider of storage technology for electric grid services," said Robert Johnson, vice president of the Energy Solutions Group at A123 Systems. "We expect that this pilot project will allow us to demonstrate how energy storage can generate revenue for area regulation services. Further, we believe that owning and operating our own real-world storage system will allow us to enhance our product offerings to continue delivering cost-effective, efficient solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing grid infrastructure and technologies."