Georgia Power gains state approval for 65-MW/260-MWh battery storage project

Southern Co.-owned utility Georgia Power is going to build and operate the first standalone battery storage system on the state’s transmission grid.

The Georgia Public Service Commission has approved plans for the Mossy Branch Battery Facility. The 65-MW/260-MWh grid-charging battery system will be sited on 2.5 acres in Talbot County near Columbus, Ga.

It will connect into the Georgia Integrated Transmission System and will be part of a larger future 80-MW battery energy storage portfolio already approved in Georgia Power’s 2019 integrated resource plant.

“It is an exciting time to be working on new ways to maximize the value of sustainable, renewable energy and the addition of battery storage complements and enhances the value of renewable generation,” Wilson Mallard, Georgia Power’s renewable development director, said in a statement. “The Mossy Branch project will help the company evaluate the value of benefits battery storage provides to the electric system, as well as learn how to optimize operation and maintenance of the BESS facilities.”

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The Mossy Branch Battery Facility will be designed as a standalone—not pairing with solar or wind—and will connect to and charge directly from the electric transmission grid. Georgia Power has selected Wärtsilä to provide the projects engineering, procurement and construction services.

The utility will use Mossy Branch as a way to evaluate the real-time performance and economics of the battery storage system, as well as refine maintenance practices on such projects, according to the company.

U.S. utility-scale energy storage capacity is climbing rapidly as a means of helping balance intermittent renewable energy technologies and an electricity resource unto itself. The American Clean Power Associated recently reported that about 570 MW of newly installed energy storage capacity was completed in the second quarter, bringing the U.S. total to nearly 665 MW with half a year remaining at the time of the report.

The biggest BESS project to date is Vistra Energy’s Moss Landing facility in Monterrey County, California. The Moss Landing project totals 300 MW/1,200-MWh in its completed first phase, while a second stage would raise that to 400/1,600-MWh.

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