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Primus Power, an energy storage company, has announced it is partnering with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to deliver and support two 250 kW EnergyPods as part of a research and demonstration project that could help integrate renewables into the grid.

Under its Technology Innovation Program, BPA is funding roughly one-third of the total project, with shared funding from Washington-based Puget Sound Energy (PSE), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Primus. The consortium is studying the potential installation of grid-scale flow batteries in the electric distribution network of PSE, an investor-owned, regulated utility that provides electric and natural gas service to customers within BPA’s territory.

“BPA has been collaborating with others in the power industry to help integrate wind into our region and stretch the benefits of our hydro system,” explains Terry Oliver, BPA’s chief technology innovation officer. “We’re looking for innovative solutions that can help us better integrate renewables and improve how we operate the Northwest power grid.”

Patrick Leslie, emerging technologies program manager at PSE, noted that “this project is an opportunity for us to understand the feasibility and cost-benefit of using grid-scale battery arrays as well as to get our ‘hands dirty,’ so to speak, with an installation.”

The DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will develop models of the storage systems to assess their energy and economic benefits and make recommendations on where they should be placed. After the systems are installed, the PNNL team will also help evaluate their actual performance.

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