As we build a cleaner energy future and add more renewable power to our mix, we’re also developing energy storage so we can make the best use of those resources.
Power generation from resources like the wind and the sun can vary dramatically from hour to hour, day to day. For example, the wind often blows steadily at night, when less power is required because people are sleeping and businesses are closed.*
The challenge: Matching clean energy supply to demand
You may not know this (some of us didn’t until we started working here) but we have to match the energy we’re supplying exactly to the level customers need at any given moment. That means, when you need energy, we need to send it to you at that precise moment.
So, a renewable future requires us to ensure that when those fluctuating wind and solar sources are making energy, we can gather it and save it until the moment you need it. That’s where battery storage comes in.
We’re planning a mix of large and small storage projects: essentially, big batteries that will hold electricity from wind turbines, solar panels and other sources.
Testing different storage solutions
We filed a plan with our regulators, the Oregon Public Utility Commission, in late 2017 to develop up to 39 megawatts of energy storage – that’s enough electricity to power about 31,000 homes.
We want to test and identify the most efficient and effective ways to store power, so we’re proposing a variety of different pilot projects, including:
- A microgrid (a small network of electricity users that can operate on its own or with the central grid, as needed) at customer and community sites.
- A battery at a substation to provide energy, capacity and other services.
- A battery system integrated into the Baldock solar facility, which is an existing 1.75 MW solar array. This will be an opportunity to integrate large-scale solar with automated energy storage.
- Up to 525 residential, behind-the-meter, PGE-managed batteries throughout our service area to pilot the development of a residential storage program and test a distributed storage system – one made up of small units that can be operated individually or connected to serve the grid as a virtual power plant.
- A large-scale (4 to 6 megawatts) transmission-connected storage device to create a “hybrid plant” at PGE’s Port Westward 2 facility. The project will allow PGE to meet reliability requirements for reserve power more efficiently, reducing fuel use and emissions at the plant or allowing another plant (e.g. hydro) to operate at full capacity while keeping Port Westward 2 ready to snap into service at a moment’s notice.