Duke Energy to invest $500M in battery storage
The company will provide 300MW in the Carolinas over the next 15 years. North Carolina currently has only about 15MW of battery storage capacity in operation, and far less in South Carolina.
“Duke Energy is at the forefront of battery energy storage, and our investment could increase as we identify projects that deliver benefits to our customers,” said Rob Caldwell, president, Duke Energy Renewables and Distributed Energy Technology. “Utility-owned and operated projects in North Carolina and South Carolina will include a variety of system benefits that will help improve reliability for our customers and provide significant energy grid support for the region.”
As the grid operator, Duke Energy can maximize the versatility of storage beyond storing and dispatching of energy to include other customer and system benefits such as system balancing and deferral of traditional grid upgrades.
The first of these is a solar microgrid project in Hot Springs will consist of a 2MW (AC) solar facility and a 4MW lithium-based battery storage facility. The project will defer ongoing maintenance of an existing distribution power line that serves the remote town.
In addition to battery storage projects planned or operating in Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Texas, Duke Energy is also operating and pursuing other projects in the Carolinas.
In the city of Asheville, a 9MW lithium-ion battery system will be placed at a Duke Energy substation site in the Rock Hill community – near Sweeten Creek Road. The battery will primarily be used to help the electric system operate more efficiently and reliability for customers.
In Haywood County, Duke Energy has a 96kWh zinc-air battery installation alongside a 10kW solar installation serving a communications tower on Mount Sterling in the Smoky Mountains National Park has been operating for more than a year.