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IID Battery Storage Ranked No. 1
The Imperial Irrigation District has been named as one of a select group of utilities that connected the most solar or the most storage to the grid in 2016, earning it a spot on the annual Top 10 utility industry lists compiled by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA).
In survey results released April 26, IID ranked No. 1 on the Utility Energy Storage list with 30 megawatts of installed storage in 2016.
“It’s a pivotal time for the energy industry. With the increase of variable renewable energy and distributed generation on the grid, battery storage can provide operational flexibility while increasing system reliability,” said IID Energy Manager Vicken Kasarjian. “It’s exciting to see it come to life in the Imperial Valley, with IID leading the way.”
Considered to be one of the largest of its kind in the western United States, IID’s battery system storage project came online last fall, drawing attention from energy leaders across the nation. The system adds reliability to the IID grid, allowing the district to “black start” units at its El Centro generation station. It’s also environmentally friendly, able to smooth power supplies while acting as a spinning reserve – assignments that in the past had required expensive fossil fuel generation.
SEPA awards are given in four categories: Top 10 utilities for most new solar megawatts and most new watts per customer, and Top 10 utilities for most new storage megawatts and most watts per customer. The Top 10 winners in all categories were recognized at the organization’s flagship utility event, the SEPA Utility Conference, this year being held in Tucson.
The 10th annual survey includes figures from 412 utilities across the country on solar connected to the grid both in 2016 and in total since 2007. The energy storage Top 10 lists are a new addition to the survey results this year.
“One of the reasons we started the Utility Solar Top 10 lists back in 2007 was to highlight the key, but often unrecognized role utilities were taking in putting new solar on the grid,” said SEPA President and CEO Julia Hamm. “At this pivotal moment in the U.S. energy transition, the industry leaders on this year’s Top 10 lists, such as IID, will continue to be critical to the growth of solar, storage and other distributed energy resources on the grid.”
The full Top 10 listings are available online at www.sepatop10.org.
The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) is an educational nonprofit working to facilitate the utility industry’s transition to a clean energy future through education, research and collaboration. SEPA offers a range of research initiatives and resources, as well as conferences, educational events and professional networking opportunities. SEPA is founder and co-sponsor of Solar Power International and winner of the Keystone Policy Center’s 2016 Leadership in Energy Award. For more information, visit www.sepapower.org.