Energy storage gaining scale and momentum

Blymyer Engineers continues to see an increase in the number and scale of energy storage projects. This trend is part of the growing importance of battery storage to energy systems. We provide a full range of services on energy storage projects in the Bay Area, California, and beyond. Our services include electrical and structural engineering along with electrical studies, permitting assistance, and construction support. 

Energy Storage News reports that energy storage resources in the United States more than doubled in 2019, as compared to 2018. The US had about 350 MW of battery-based storage in 2018, and that increased to 774 MW in 2019. The publication estimates that the US will add another 1,400 MW in 2020. Several Blymyer projects will make significant contributions to that anticipated jump in electric storage resource capacity. 

“Energy storage brings resiliency to the grid and to renewable energy projects,” says Blymyer President Mike Rantz. “The cost picture has improved for battery installations, and more renewable energy projects now include storage. Increased capacity adds engineering complexity to storage projects. For instance, it’s necessary to coordinate more closely with utilities on large-scale energy storage projects.”

Blymyer Director of Engineering Greg Mazur adds: “The electrical interconnection application becomes more involved on larger projects. Utilities request more detailed information about the system and how it works. There’s more electrical and system modeling required on our end to address overloading concerns.”

84+ MWh coming online at the end of 2020

Two current projects focus on adding storage capacity to enhance system resiliency: Vallecito and Silverstrand. These two projects total 84 MWh of electric storage capacity. Let’s take a closer look each: 

Vallecito: This project includes a 40 MWh energy storage system. It is located in Carpinteria, California, and it’s operator expects to bring it online in December of 2020. The project supports an outage-prone coastal portion of Santa Barbara County with a source of backup power. Blymyer Engineers delivered electrical and structural engineering on the project. 

Silverstrand: This project in Camarillo, California, includes 44 MWh of energy storage in an outdoor facility. Our team is providing the electrical and structural engineering. The project is expected to go online by the end of 2020. 

“An even larger project is getting underway in late 2020,” says Rantz. “The project will include 100 MWh of energy storage.  Our team is in the vanguard of the accelerating trend towards building large-scale battery storage. We have the experience and knowhow to tackle the most ambitious projects.”