Batteries replace diesel for jumpstarting Indiana natural gas plants

July 2, 2020

 

FlexGen, an energy storage system integrator that counts GE and Caterpillar among its backers, said this week that a lithium-ion battery storage system it was supplied was used by an Indiana utility to black start a 77MW natural gas plant.

Thermal power plants that go offline require black starting and the application is considered an essential service for the grid. While the theory of using batteries to perform this application, akin to “jump starting” a vehicle, was sound, grid-scale battery energy storage systems did not start actively doing so until around 2016, when Energy-Storage.news reported on projects in Germany and later in California that successfully proved the case in real-world settings.

Black start is still done using diesel generators in many places, including at FlexGen’s unnamed “leading Indiana utility” customer. FlexGen deployed a 12MW / 5.4MWh short duration lithium-ion battery storage system which has successfully black started one of two 77MW gas turbines.

 

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