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State and local officials gathered Tuesday to hold a ribbon cutting for Danville Utilities’ new battery energy storage system, which was recently energized. The pilot project is one of several initiatives that Danville Utilities has undertaken to offset some of the volatility of the energy market.
The battery system consists of eight containers with 24 banks of advanced commercial batteries in each container. In total, the system has a rated capacity of 10.5 megawatts and 24.6 megawatt hours, meaning it can provide approximately 10.5 megawatts of power for almost 2.5 hours during peak demand events.
“These batteries will let us store energy for when our customers need it most,” Mayor Alonzo Jones said at the ceremony.
Peak demand usually occurs on the coldest and hottest days of the year. By storing energy during times of low-cost, low-electric demand, the battery system will reduce the amount of energy that must be pulled from the power grid outside the Danville Utilities system during times of high-cost, high-electric demand — in turn, lowering transmission and power capacity costs.
Delorean Power installed the system and will operate and maintain it. Founded in 2019, Delorean Power is an Arlington, Virginia-based company that is developing battery energy storage projects across the mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and Midwest. The Danville battery system is the company’s first operational project.
“This project is going to put Danville at the forefront of a rapidly evolving energy industry,” said Rory Jones, co-founder and managing partner of Delorean Power. “This is the largest municipal project in Virginia, and it is setting a national precedent. It will pave the way for more projects to come.”
Michael Herbert, co-founder and managing partner of the company, said using battery storage for peak shaving is an innovative approach to managing wholesale power costs.
“In signing solar contracts and exploring battery storage opportunities before the Virginia Clean Economy Act was ever passed, Danville Utilities stands ahead of the industry in transitioning to a cleaner, more cost-effective future,” Herbert said. “This battery project has set significant precedent in local, state and federal level permitting processes, which will create efficiencies for future clean energy deployments.”
Delorean Power presented a check for $10,000 to Danville-Pittsylvania County Habitat for Humanity for its Village North project.