A cutting-edge energy storage technology plant will be built in northern Vermont by a Burlington-based company and a partner. As planned, the “liquid air” facility will store 50 megawatts of electricity – about five percent of Vermont’s total electricity load. It could also provide a storage solution to intermittent wind and solar power producing both too much and too little electricity for the power grid. Game-changer?
“"Curtailment arises when the transmission lines in a particular area are at risk of being overloaded," the PUC said. "When that occurs, the regional grid operator [ISO New England] requires certain generators, typically with a capacity of 5 MW or larger, to curtail (reduce) their electrical output to ensure reliable operation of the transmission system." The PUC said this could happen with the Derby installation. "Such a trade-off, whereby a new, more expensive generator displaces already existing — and less expensive — renewable energy, would harm Vermont utilities and customers," the PUC said. The Highview-Encore installation would help solve some of those issues. The ability to store energy for weeks at the lowest levelized cost of long duration storage in the industry, and providing what is called “grid-synchronous inertia,” balances electrical demand and supply and helps avoid blackouts.
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