Two subsidiaries of Arlington-based AES Corp. have begun the commercial operation of AES Laurel Mountain, in Elkins, W.Va., a 98-megawatt wind-generation facility that includes 32 megawatts of battery-based energy storage.
The project, which involves AES Wind Generation and AES Energy Storage, will supply energy and operating reserve capacity to PJM Interconnection, a Pennsylvania-based regional electrical transmission organization serving 13 states (including Virginia) and the District of Columbia.
“Energy storage technology is the silver bullet that helps resolve the variability in power demand,” Terry Boston, PJM’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “Combining wind and solar with storage provides the greatest benefit to grid operations and has the potential to achieve the greatest economic value.”
The AES Laurel Mountain storage project is the largest of its kind. Using advanced battery technology, the storage service is expected to help optimize the wind energy generated at AES Laurel Mountain. AES officials said the facility is among the first wind generators to supply operating reserve capacity to help maintain the reliability of the power grid.
AES Laurel Mountain includes 61 GE 1.6 megawatt wind turbine generators capable of a combined power generation of 97.6 megawatts. The wind turbines are mounted on 80-meter towers along a 13-mile stretch of Laurel Mountain near Elkins. The facility will supply more than 260,000 megawatt hours of energy each year to PJM.
AES Wind Generation has 1,900 megawatts in operation globally, of which nearly 1,400 megawatts are located throughout the U.S. This project is AES Wind Generation’s second wind facility serving the PJM market, following the successful completion of AES Armenia Mountain located in Pennsylvania.