Energy management: ABB microgrids to stabilize power grid, increase renewables for Alaska island

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Electrical distribution: ABB has received an order to deliver two PowerStore units as part of a microgrids solution to stabilize the power grid and increase renewable energy on Kodiak Island in Alaska. ABB’s Microgrids Business in Raleigh, NC, worked closely with Kodiak Electric Association (KEA) to develop and deliver the microgrid solution. KEA, a rural electric cooperative that generates and distributes electrical power in Kodiak, Alaska, uses hydro, wind, battery energy storage, and diesel generation sets to produce power for the island.

“We are excited about this opportunity to work with Kodiak Electric Association,” said Brad Luyster, VP/GM of the ABB Microgrids Regional Execution Center. “KEA is a leader in renewable energy generation and it’s an environmentally responsible company. I am confident the installation of our PowerStores and controls will help them achieve further integration of renewable energy as well as benefit the environment by extending the life of the batteries.”

The ABB PowerStore units will provide voltage and frequency support for a new crane to be installed at Kodiak Island’s port facility. They can also extend the life of the battery systems by up to 6 years, and provide renewables integration by helping to manage the intermittencies from a 9 MW wind farm on the island. Longer battery life will improve sustainability of KEA’s power system.

“Kodiak Electric has goals to supply clean, reliable power to our customers. Expanding the crane operations at the port facility posed a challenge to us because it meant that we would likely have to rely more heavily on our fossil fuel-based generators,” said Darron Scott, president and CEO of Kodiak Electric Association. “Not only will the ABB PowerStores allow us to shave the peaks off our cranes’ load, it will also reduce the stresses placed on our battery systems and extend their lifespans, which was a key deciding factor to move forward with this project.”

The ABB PowerStore solution features flywheel technology to store energy. This flywheel can be rapidly “charged”/”discharged” at a high duty cycle without experiencing performance degradation, whereas batteries will suffer chemical wear-and-tear during partial or rapid charge/discharge cycles.

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