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LADWP and Doosan GridTech earn global solar + storage innovation award for the Beacon Solar Plant – 20 MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS)

September 28, 2019

For their joint efforts in realizing Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) first utility-scale BESS at its Beacon Solar Plant, the municipal utility and Doosan GridTech were presented with the Global Solar and Energy Storage Conference’s Energy Storage Project of the Year award at a gala ceremony in Seoul, Korea earlier this week. The award honors foresight in and dedication to energy transformation as well as singular achievements in the technological advancement, creative design and technically sound deployment of energy storage systems.

Located in the solar-rich Mojave Desert, the Beacon BESS is the first of several energy storage projects that LADWP is undertaking as the utility continues to add more renewables such as solar, wind, and geothermal to create a clean energy grid for Los Angeles. The 250 MW Beacon Solar Plant and the 20 MW Beacon BESS work together to ensure a reliable flow of this clean, sustainable energy resource to the city’s residents and businesses.

LADWP’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) program exceeded 2,500 MW of renewable generating capacity in mid-2017, setting the path to achieving its 33 percent by 2020 goal. While reaching this milestone ahead of schedule, LADWP intends to remain ahead of the state’s goals by pursuing even more aggressive targets outlined in L.A.’s Green New Deal, announced by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in April. These goals raise the bar, seeking 55 percent renewables by 2025, 80 percent by 2036, and 100 percent by 2045.

Commencing commercial operation in October 2018, the new lithium-ion/NMC battery BESS provides frequency control, voltage support, and power smoothing to assist LADWP in complying with federal reliability requirements as a NERC/FERC Balancing Authority. The BESS also serves to stabilize the transmission system and allow higher utilization of the electricity generated by the solar PV. The technology also helps reduce the need for solar curtailment, smooths volatility created by passing clouds, and stabilizes voltage after grid problems that can trip the solar inverters.

Doosan’s modular turnkey installation includes thirteen transformers/PCS/lithium-ion battery strings, redundant auxiliary power systems, and 100% redundant HVAC systems. The design enables preventative maintenance to occur without sacrificing availability and is engineered to withstand high-seismic thresholds. The nameplate capacity of the power conversion system (PCS) and battery container pairs total 35.75 MVA and over 20 MWh to deliver a consistent 25 MVA and 10 MWh in extreme temperatures.

To ensure broad interoperability in future system expansion, the BESS is controlled by Doosan GridTech’s Intelligent Controller (DG-IC) —one of the first software control systems built using the Modular Energy Storage Architecture (MESA) open standards. Inside the BESS, the DG-IC coordinates the activities of the power conversion system (PCS), the batteries and the BESS auxiliary systems (e.g., thermal management). Externally, the DG-IC responds to local signals and sends communication to and from power meters, relays and breakers, and the backup generator on-site. The DG-IC also coordinates schedules and operating mode activation between the site and the utility network through LADWP’s existing SCADA system. Highly scalable, the DG-IC enables LADWP to expand the Beacon site to as much as 50 MW of capacity without the need for additional control software.

Other partners who were instrumental in realizing LADWP’s project vision were: KTY Engineering, Samsung, and SMA.

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