A subsidiary of the company that owns the Dayton Power & Light Co. said it will spend $20 million in the Dayton area to build a backup power supply at a local generating station. The goal is to stabilize electric power to the area and beyond.
AES Energy Storage, a subsidiary of AES Corp., said Tuesday it will build the 40 megawatt energy storage facility at Dayton Power & Light’s Tait generating station at Arbor and Carillon boulevards in Moraine. The facility will be connected to the PJM Interconnection, the regional power grid for 60 million people in the Northeast and Midwest, AES said.
The heart of the project is an array of 800,000 D-size batteries. The lithium-ion batteries are similar in size to the batteries that power household flashlighsts or radios, but have a different construction.
It’s the first battery storage site in Ohio, AES said.
The project will bring AES’ energy storage capacity in PJM to more than 100 megawatts, the company said. A megawatt equals 1 million watts and can power about 1,000 average American homes for a year.
Chris Shelton, president of Arlington, Va.-based AES Energy Storage, said the investment represents about $500,000 per megawatt for this type of project, or about $20 million total.
The Tait station facility will be one of six such AES Energy Storage sites in the United States. The company also has a similar site in Chile.
The battery arrays are considered generators because of the service they provide, Shelton said. The site will remain connected to grid and respond to signals from PJM. It will be able to respond immediately to provide stability to power generation in Ohio and the Mid-Atlantic region, a service called “regulation,” he said.
And it’s not just for the high demands of summer. “It’s actually important every hour of every day, 24 hours a day,” Shelton said.
Tait Station was chosen for the facility because it has room for it and AES Energy Storage typically likes to work at existing sites, Shelton said. The station has interconnection capacity and is close to existing DPL operations.
Construction on the array started three weeks ago. The array will be up and running in September, Shelton said.
The array’s small, sealed lithium ion batteries are derived from batteries that often serve hybrid vehicles, such as buses, but these batteries will be new, Shelton said. He called the array a “high-performing resource,” with no emissions, no water usage and no fuel use.
The site may result in a permanent new job at the station, depending on demand and work load, Shelton said. There will be about 15 construction jobs for four months there as the array is built.
Tait Station consists of seven gas-and/or oil-fired combustion turbines, four diesel generators with a summer generating capacity of 586 megawatts, according to DPL.
Phil Herrington, DP&L president and chief executive, said in a statement: “Having served within PJM for many years, we are pleased to expand AES’ standing in the market with energy storage assets across West Virginia, Pennsylvania and now Ohio. We look forward to working with the city of Moraine on this project.”
Tait Station’s generating turbines are used during times of peak electricity demand, especially in the summer. The new project will connect through the station but will have an independent agreement with PJM, AES Energy Storage said.
In early May, AES said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it plans to close the O.H. Hutchings Generating Station in Miamisburg at the end of May. This new construction is unrelated to that, Shelton said. He declined further comment on those plans.
AES Corp. acquired DPL Inc. in 2011.