BWP Announces Utility-Scale Battery Storage

First published in the Nov. 12 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank Water and Power has entered into an agreement with ESS Inc. to bring the first utility-scale battery storage project to Burbank.
As part of the agreement, a 75-kilowatt iron flow battery will be installed and connected to a 265-kilowatt solar array on the BWP EcoCampus.
The iron flow battery will provide several new opportunities for Burbank, such as supporting more renewable power on the grid, allowing intermittent renewable power to be stored and used as a baseload energy supply for the city, and enhancing grid resilience. The battery is anticipated to have a 25-year lifespan and is a long-duration battery, which means it can store 6-12 hours of energy for use at a later time. Additionally, the iron-flow battery is safe, non-toxic, and is manufactured using Earth-abundant materials predominantly sourced within the United States.
“BWP is already using small-scale battery technology at our substations, but this initiative will be the largest battery installed in Burbank, providing enough renewable power for 300 homes annually,” said Mandip Samra, assistant general manager for Power Supply at BWP. “This installation will allow us to store excess solar energy on the grid and use it during the super peak and night-time hours. It is a big step forward to meet our goal of having a greenhouse gas-free power supply by 2040 and providing energy storage for Burbank now and decades to come.”
“ESS is pleased to partner with Burbank Water and Power to deploy the first utility-scale energy storage project in the city,” said Hugh McDermott, ESS senior vice president of business development and sales. “BWP is demonstrating the central role that long-duration energy storage will play in a decarbonized grid and we look forward to working with them to achieve their ambitious climate goals.”
To help offset the cost of the battery and installation, BWP secured a grant from the American Public Power Association Demonstration of Energy and Efficiency Development for $125,000. The battery is anticipated to be installed by December 2023.