Good news for the continued development of energy storage in the United States. Enel North America has more than tripled its operational utility-scale storage capacity this summer by bringing five new battery energy storage systems (BESS) online in Texas. The new batteries add over 369 MW / 555 MWh of dispatchable energy storage to the Texas power grid, helping increase grid stability and reliability in a state where elevated temperatures have resulted in record-breaking energy demand this summer.
With a total of 520 MW / 780 MWh of operational utility-scale battery storage capacity across the state, Enel can dispatch flexible capacity, providing services to support resiliency amid shifting grid conditions in ERCOT. All of Enel’s utility-scale batteries participate in ERCOT’s Ancillary Services, dispatching electricity during grid emergencies to help prevent blackouts and maintain the grid’s frequency on a daily basis, according to the company.
As a participant in ERCOT’s Ancillary Services, Enel maintains high availability of its seven operating BESS assets, storing up to 325 MW of available electricity at all times that can be discharged to the grid within seconds if needed – enough electricity to power about 65,000 homes during peak demand, according to the grid operator.
“With extreme heat propelling Texas’ energy demand to record-breaking levels, the addition of these five new battery storage systems couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Paolo Romanacci, head of Enel North America’s renewable energy business, Enel Green Power North America. “Adding more resource diversity and energy flexibility through solutions like battery storage, demand response, and renewable generation is key to reinforcing the power grid and ensuring energy availability for Texans amid high demand periods,” he added.
On September 6th, 2023, ERCOT declared an Energy Emergency Level 2 alert when reserves ran low. To help prevent rolling outages, Enel delivered around 524 MWh of electricity from its seven operating battery storage systems to the grid, while Enel’s renewable portfolio in Texas generated approximately 19.9 GWh of wind and solar electricity throughout the day. ERCOT and local utilities also called on approximately 145 MW of critical load relief from Enel's demand response (DR) portfolio.
The five new BESS, all of which are located at or near renewable generation plants in Texas, include: two 59 MW / 89 MWh batteries at Enel’s Blue Jay Solar project near Iola and Roseland Solar project near Riesel; two 57 MW / 86 MWh batteries at the High Lonesome Wind and Roadrunner Solar projects near McCamey; and a 137 MW / 206 MWh battery at the Azure Sky Wind project near Throckmorton.