Des Moines, Iowa-based MidAmerican Energy Co. has announced plans to install a utility-scale battery energy storage system, enabling the utility to store electricity for later use.
The pilot project will provide 4 MWh of storage capacity and supply 1 MW of power for up to four hours. MidAmerican says 1 MW is enough electricity to power about 900 average Iowa homes.
Chicago-based Invenergy will install the lithium-iron phosphate battery system, housed in two truck-sized steel containers, at a MidAmerican Energy substation in Knoxville, Iowa. The new system is expected to begin operating by the end of December.
“This innovative project will help us learn how best to use an energy storage system and how it can serve our customers in the future,” says Mike Fehr, MidAmerican Energy’s vice president of resource development. “Energy storage has the potential to allow us to retain energy when customer demand is low and release it during peak usage times. That would give us new options to manage peak loads, enhance overall reliability, and help keep electric costs low and affordable for our customers.”