Duke Energy, Samsung SDI and Younicos will team up to update Duke Energy’s 36-megawatt (MW) energy storage and power management system at the company’s Notrees Windpower Project in west Texas.

The system, one of the nation’s largest, has been operating since 2012 with lead acid batteries. Over the course of 2016, these batteries will be gradually replaced with lithium-ion technology.

“The Notrees Energy Storage Project has proven to be a valuable asset, achieving the objectives of our partnership with ERCOT (Energy Reliability Council of Texas) and the Department of Energy,” said Greg Wolf, president of Duke Energy, Commercial Portfolio. “Because battery technology is rapidly evolving, we have an opportunity to upgrade the facility to better match the function that has become most valuable in the Texas market — fast response frequency regulation.”

Duke Energy, the nation’s largest electric utility, currently owns nearly 15 percent of the grid-connected, battery-based energy storage capacity in the U.S., according to independent research firm IHS Energy.

Duke Energy works closely with ERCOT, which signals to the battery storage system to either dispatch stored energy to increase frequency or absorb energy to decrease frequency, helping to smooth and balance peaks and valleys on the ERCOT grid. By rapidly storing or releasing energy, the system can respond quickly to regulate frequency and provide additional services for grid management.

Samsung SDI, as primary engineering, procurement and construction manager, will provide its high-performing lithium-ion batteries and associated Battery Management System (BMS).

“We are proud to share Duke Energy’s clean energy ambitions and to give a new heart to the nation’s largest power battery storage facility through our most innovative lithium-ion batteries and battery management system,” said Woochan Kim, senior vice president of Energy Storage for Samsung SDI. “Our solution is designed to boost Duke Energy’s performance in the ERCOT fast responding regulation service market, and we are committed to partner with Duke Energy throughout the lifecycle of the product with our industry renowned performance guarantee.”

Younicos will provide its energy storage management system (ESMS), which will work in concert with the Samsung SDI software and batteries. The Younicos ESMS interprets the signal from ERCOT, enabling the Notrees battery project to store or dispatch energy as needed, while maintaining the energy storage system in an optimal performance state.

“Younicos continuously engineers, analyzes and innovates to identify optimal solutions for intelligent storage applications. The result is this next generation of control systems at Notrees,” said James P. McDougall, Younicos CEO. “We applaud Duke Energy’s continued leadership in energy storage adoption, and we’re excited to work on this project with both Duke and Samsung SDI, with whom we have a long track record of successful project deployments.”

Younicos is also providing system design, engineering, software integration and testing, along with post-implementation engineering services.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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