S&C Electric’s Energy Storage Serves PJM Ancillary Services Market

Oct. 21, 2014
S&C Electric Company will offer ancillary services to PJM with a 150-kW energy storage system that provides fast-response frequency regulation.

Most  news about wholesale electricity markets involves power trades. But increasingly another, more arcane side of the market is coming to the forefront: ancillary services.

Ancillary services  can bring greater reliability and efficiency to grid operations by correcting short-term imbalances, such as sudden changes in voltage or frequency.

Grid operators pay for these services; they’ve become a way for energy storage, distributed energy and microgrids to earn revenue.

So it was interesting to see this week that S&C Electric Company  will serve PJM’s ancillary market with a  150-kW energy storage system located at its global headquarters in Chicago. The PureWave Community Energy Storage (CES) system will provide fast-response frequency regulation.

As S&C pointed out in its news release, frequency regulation  minimizes the mismatch between power supplied and power needed by quickly adjusting generation output to maintain the grid’s ideal frequency – 60 Hz in parts of the world and 50 Hz in others. Historically, fossil-fueled fired generating plants have provided a majority of such services, but response times often were slow – exceeding 20 minutes.  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2011 issued Order 755, which requires that grid operators encourage projects that deliver fast reacting services to balance power on the grid.

S&C goes on to say:

“Energy storage is the ideal solution for providing frequency regulation within seconds rather than minutes,” says Troy Miller, manager – Business Development & Product Management, Power Quality Products, S&C Electric Company. “Selling into the fast frequency regulation market gives customers another way to monetize energy storage benefits, ultimately making a strong business case for energy storage investment.”

S&C is selling its CES-stored electricity to PJM through Intelligent Generation, which offers a networked software platform that facilitates optimization and bidding of distributed energy resources into wholesale electricity markets.

“Unlocking the value in energy storage is the key to a cleaner, more efficient grid,” says Jay Marhoefer, CEO and co-founder, Intelligent Generation LLC. “Our patented software enables S&C’s PureWave Community Energy Storage system to operate as a virtual power plant, and help system owners, like S&C, create new revenue streams for their assets.”

In order to sell into the fast-response frequency regulation market, PJM requires systems to pass a series of tests that measure the accuracy, delay and precision between PJM’s regulation signal and the system’s output. PJM rejects any system that does not meet a minimum of 75 percent; S&C’s system passed with an average performance score of 97 percent.  

“The system is now participating in the market on a daily basis,” says Tim Qualheim, vice president – Strategic Solutions, S&C. “Our doors are open, and we are excited to welcome customers, industry professionals and regulators to see how we are making this system work for the grid and how to maximize the multiple benefits of energy storage.”

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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