The AES Corp.’s $20 million investment into a local power generating station won’t be the company’s last in the Dayton area and the wider Ohio-Indiana market, Andres Gluski, AES president and chief executive, said Monday.
AES — which owns Dayton Power & Light Co. — celebrated the nine-month completion of the investment in the Tait generating station by opening it to local leaders.
The investment represents the first advanced battery energy storage site in Ohio, company leaders said. The project does not include any new permanent jobs but the market is valuable to the company, Gluski said.
“The Ohio and Indiana markets are among our most important,” Gluski said.
AES plans to invest $150 million in DP&L to “enhance power and build out the grid,” he said. More substantial investments are planned for Indiana, including some $631 million for a combined cycle natural gas-fired plant near Martinsville, Ind.
Arlington, Va.-based AES and DP&L said commercial operation of the Moraine energy storage site has started. The station is fenced off where Arbor and Carillon boulevards meet in Moraine.
The new 40-megawatt energy storage facility at the station will be connected to the PJM Interconnection, the regional power grid for 60 million people, including residents of Ohio and 12 other states.
The facility — essentially an array of 800,000 “D”-size batteries — is being promoted as clean technology that does not create emissions and requires no water, unlike older power plants.
The nine-month completion is far faster than the “years” it would take to build a conventional power station, said Phil Herrington, DP&L Inc. president and CEO.
The array is expected to help make power more reliable in the region. The PJM Interconnection sends a signal to the Moraine battery array every two seconds, instructing it to charge, discharge and help stabilize power, especially during peak periods such as summer days or winter mornings.
The array — in 10 trailers — sits in the shadow of a more conventional 100-megawatt gas turbine, which is used only three to five percent of the time.
The technology is relatively new — it was first used for power regulation in early 2008 — but Gluski thinks it represents the future.
“This allows everything to be more efficient,” he said.