December 23, 2010
Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced a $17.1 million loan guarantee has been finalized for the AES Westover facility. The loan guarantee will support the construction of a 20 megawatt (MW) energy storage system using advanced lithium-ion batteries. The AES project, located in Johnson City, New York, will help provide a more stable and efficient electrical grid for the state's high-voltage transmission network.
"The AES project helps reduce carbon emissions and strengthens our energy infrastructure by allowing for more renewable energy sources like solar and wind to contribute to the electrical grid," said Secretary Chu. "Bringing more efficiency and reliability to the grid will help cut costs for consumers and power a cleaner energy future."
The AES technology can help reduce carbon emissions by 70 percent compared to frequency regulation provided by fossil energy suppliers. Traditionally, grid frequency regulation, which is needed to balance power generation and consumption on the grid, is maintained by burning additional fossil fuels at power plants. The AES project eliminates the need to burn fossil fuels and instead uses battery technology and new software that will provide the same regulation at a lower price. This advanced frequency regulation capability will allow renewable electricity generation to play a larger role in New York's transmission network.
The AES project will include advanced lithium-ion battery cells from A123 Systems, Inc., a leading supplier of lithium-ion batteries. The contained battery and related electrical systems are assembled, tested and validated in an A123 manufacturing facility in Hopkinton, MA.
The Department of Energy, through the Loan Programs Office, has issued loan guarantees or offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees to support 16 clean energy projects totaling nearly $16.5 billion. Together, the 16 projects will produce over 37 million megawatt-hours, enough clean energy to power over 3.3 million homes. Other DOE-supported projects include the world's largest wind farm, the world's largest parabolic trough solar power plant, and a 2,200 megawatt nuclear power plant - the nation's first in three decades.