U.S. energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that a $17.1 million loan guarantee has been finalized for the AES Westover facility. The loan guarantee will support the construction of a 20-megawatt (MW) energy storage system using advanced lithium-ion batteries. The AES project, located in Johnson City, N.Y., will help provide a more stable and efficient electrical grid for the state’s high-voltage transmission network.
“The AES project helps reduce carbon emissions and strengthens our energy infrastructure by allowing for more renewable-energy sources, like solar and wind, to contribute to the electrical grid,” Chu said. “Bringing more efficiency and reliability to the grid will help cut costs for consumers and power a cleaner energy future.”
“New York should be a hub of green manufacturing and a magnet for the thousands of high-tech, good paying jobs that it will bring,” said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. “AES’s new facility will, plain and simple, move New York towards that goal.”
The AES technology can help reduce carbon emissions by 70 percent compared to frequency regulation provided by fossil energy suppliers. Traditionally, grid-frequency regulation, which is needed to balance power generation and consumption on the grid, is maintained by burning additional fossil fuels at power plants. The AES project eliminates the need to burn fossil fuels and instead uses battery technology and new software that will provide the same regulation at a lower price. This advanced frequency regulation capability will allow renewable-electricity generation to play a larger role in New York’s transmission network.
The AES project will include advanced lithium-ion battery cells from A123 Systems Inc., a leading supplier of lithium-ion batteries. The contained battery and related electrical systems are assembled, tested and validated in an A123 manufacturing facility in Hopkinton, Mass.
The Department of Energy has issued loan guarantees or offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees to support 16 clean-energy projects totaling nearly $16.5 billion. Together, the 16 projects will produce more than 37 million megawatt-hours, enough clean energy to power more than 3.3 million homes.