CHICAGO, IL August 12, 2009 - AEP's Balls Gap Station Distributed Energy Storage System was commissioned and placed on-line earlier this year in Milton, West Virginia. The system fulfills a DOE goal to implement energy storage as a Smart Grid technology, and is the first US application of a battery serving radially-fed distribution system loads during periods when they are isolated from the grid (or "islanded") by a fault that locks out normal service. The 152-mile-long, 34.5-kV Balls Gap feeder is situated in very challenging terrain, and is not one of AEP's most dependable. The installation-controlled by S&C's unique IntelliTEAM II® Automatic Restoration System-includes an S&C Smart Grid Storage Management System, a 2-MVA NGK sodium-sulfur battery, four S&C Scada-Mate® Switches with 5801 Automatic Switch Controls, and two reclosers equipped with S&C Universal Interface Modules. IntelliTEAM II operates the feeder devices to automatically engage the battery as an alternate source, serving as many customers as the battery can carry for up to seven hours.
A live "islanding" test of the system has been successfully completed. First, a switch in the Balls Gap feeder was intentionally opened, interrupting service to approximately 700 customers. This prompted the feeder devices to reconfigure and use the Smart Grid Storage Management System to provide power to the island. The battery served these customers for approximately 30 minutes, at which time the system was allowed to return to normal.
In addition to the reliability improvements that accrue from islanding up to 2-MVA of customer loads, the Balls Gap Distributed Energy Storage System also provides peak shaving, allowing deferral of capacity expansion at AEP's Milton Station. And it further provides deferral of the capital expense associated with four miles of new 138-kV transmission lines, and new station structures, transformers, and breakers at the Balls Gap Station.
It took the combined efforts of American Electric Power, the US Department of Energy, S&C Electric Company, and NGK to make the project a success.
S&C Electric Company, headquartered in Chicago, IL, specializes in the development and manufacture of innovative products for the electric power industry, as well as the delivery of comprehensive, expert services for this industry. Information about S&C and S&C's Smart Grid Solutions is available at http://www.sandc.com/bg.
Steven A. Strand
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