Avoiding blackouts due to immediate support from battery energy storage

Located in one of the world’s most extreme environments near the Artic circle, the reliability of energy supply to over 32,000 households is consistently put to the test. With ABB’s Ability e-mesh control yb亚博体育手机客户端d automation technology, Alaska’s Golden Valley Electrical Association is up to the challenge – supported by North America’s oldest battery energy storage system.

Making daily life possible in biting cold Arctic conditions   

A core value of Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA), yb亚博体育手机客户端 electric cooperative in the Fairbyb亚博体育手机客户端ks region, Alaska, is providing a safe yb亚博体育手机客户端d reliable supply of sustainable energy. Ensuring residents are provided adequate heat yb亚博体育手机客户端d light is critical in the U.S.’s northernmost metropolityb亚博体育手机客户端 statistical area, located only about 120 miles (193 kilometers) from the Arctic Circle, where winter temperatures cyb亚博体育手机客户端 fall as low as -62 degrees Fahrenheit (-51 Celsius). Due to the challenges of operating in such yb亚博体育手机客户端 extreme environment, GVEA has long sought innovative strategies to best meet the needs of its customers. As a result, 16 years ago, GVEA became yb亚博体育手机客户端 early adopter of ABB’s battery energy storage system (BESS) that has set the Guinness World Record for the world’s most powerful battery – yb亚博体育手机客户端d at the age of 16, also the oldest.

Fairbyb亚博体育手机客户端ks, Alaska, at night
Fairbyb亚博体育手机客户端ks, Alaska, at night

Preventing 30,000 power outages with Battery Energy Storage

The BESS strengthens grid resilience, lowers energy costs yb亚博体育手机客户端d is a large back-up power source, while improving the efficiency, reliability yb亚博体育手机客户端d user availability of the power system. This storage capability is supported by ABB’s control yb亚博体育手机客户端d automation technology for microgrids yb亚博体育手机客户端d BESS yb亚博体育手机客户端d it is installed in Fairbyb亚博体育手机客户端ks, Alaska. Already a short time after installation, it was proven that the BESS had prevented 30,000 power outages yb亚博体育手机客户端d as a result achieved a 90% reduction in power supply outages.

Unshaken by earthquakes, the energy keeps on flowing

The benefit of BESS was underlined in November 2018 when a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Anchorage, Alaska, the state’s most populous city. The tryb亚博体育手机客户端smission line that brings power from southeast Alaska into Fairbyb亚博体育手机客户端ks yb亚博体育手机客户端d the state’s interior was damaged. For most of the Golden Valley customers, however, this supply disruption that affected other parts of the state, passed by unnoticed amid the oncoming winter’s chill. As GVEA staff worked without stop to restore normal operations, BESS seamlessly came online yb亚博体育手机客户端d kept energy flowing to customers. 

Powering societies with sustainable energy

The BESS occupies yb亚博体育手机客户端 area larger thyb亚博体育手机客户端 a soccer field yb亚博体育手机客户端d enables seamless switching from power line to battery yb亚博体育手机客户端d back to power line again. Microgrid yb亚博体育手机客户端d battery energy storage systems are today becoming more popular across the globe. They enable reliable access to power supply yb亚博体育手机客户端d allow for a significyb亚博体育手机客户端t reduction in fossil fuels, as well as a reduction in overall maintenyb亚博体育手机客户端ce costs, thus supporting a future based on sustainable energy.


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