Southern Company just launched its McCrary Battery Energy Storage Demonstration project, complete with a 250 kW / 1 MWh Tesla Powerpack system.

Southern Company - 250 kW / 1 MWh Tesla Powerpack system

Southern Company - 250 kW / 1 MWh Tesla Powerpack system

The relatively small installation finds a home in Pensacola, Florida.

The 2 year research effort will perhaps be followed by larger projects in the future.  Although the benefits and costs of commercial-scale grid storage seems pretty well mapped out to us at this point.

The goal of the Pensacola batteries is to determine the capabilities of the energy storage system in improving resiliency and costs savings, as well as to get a handle on costs and what is required to install the units for future commercial customer's particular needs.

"Insights gained from the demonstration are expected to accelerate the development of battery storage technology across the Southern Company system."

"The McCrary Battery Energy Storage Demonstration was developed by Southern Company research and development in partnership with Gulf Power and in collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute’s Integrated Grid Initiative and Tesla.

Specifically, the project aims to further the understanding of the siting, installation and operational requirements of commercial- and industrial-scale energy storage systems. It will provide information on the advantages battery storage can offer customers and energy providers through peak shaving, demand management, ancillary services, energy arbitrage and backup power.

Southern Company remains at the forefront of accelerating the development and deployment of energy storage systems that will offer many benefits and great promise to the electric utility industry. From greater reliability to increased use of renewable energy to reduced prices for customers, energy storage has the potential to further enable the smart grid and help utilities meet customers’ needs."

Southern Company - 250 kW / 1 MWh Tesla Powerpack system

Southern Company - 250 kW / 1 MWh Tesla Powerpack system

Southern Company Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Kimberly S. Greene said:

“At Southern Company, we are constantly broadening our industry-leading expertise to harness new technologies that can deliver clean, safe, reliable, affordable energy to customers. This collaborative research project with Gulf Power will deepen our understanding of battery energy storage systems and the value they can provide.”

Stan Connally, Gulf Power chairman, president and CEO said:

“Gulf Power is proud to be involved in this battery energy storage demonstration at the McCrary Training and Storm Center and to be in the forefront of evaluating innovative energy technologies. Throughout our history, we have been host to the development of energy solutions that have resulted in greater energy efficiency, cleaner energy production and value for our customers – and this commissioning event signals our ongoing commitment to build a better energy future.”