Northern Power Systems Corp. (TSX: NPS), a leading next generation renewable energy technology company, today announced its state-of-the-art FlexPhase power conversion system has been selected by UniEnergy Technologies (UET) and Avista Corp. to provide advanced power conversion for the largest capacity flow battery deployed in North America.
The battery, located in Pullman, WA near Washington State University and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), went online in April 2015. The project was funded in part by a grant from the Washington State Clean Energy Fund, now in its second round, and Avista matching funds.
The batteries are manufactured by Washington-based UET, and integrated with the NPS power converters. The core of the UET system is an advanced vanadium flow battery, engineered utilizing Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL) technology developed starting in 2006 with funding from the DOE's Office of Electricity. The system has been used to date by Avista for load shifting, frequency regulation, and voltage regulation on the distribution circuit in Pullman. With the addition of the NPS converters, the UET product will also support Avista's end customer SEL, offering uninterruptible power supply, black start and four-cycle ride-through to SEL's manufacturing facility.
"We have been working with UET for some time now as they have selected and integrated the advanced Northern Power FlexPhase technology power converter into their offering for sophisticated grid-forming applications," commented Diego M. Tebaldi, VP of Global Business Development for Northern Power Systems, adding "The capabilities and value of our technology provide a unique solution for these demanding applications."
David Ridley, UET Director of Electrical Engineering said, "We are pleased to be working with Northern Power Systems on this critical project, as their technology allows us to extract the best value for the customer and enable functionalities like black-start, seamless critical load support and microgrid-ready features that most others aren't offering."
Avista Fellow Engineer Curt Kirkeby said, "It's exciting to work with Northern Power Systems as we explore the possibilities and promise of battery storage. A key business objective for the deployment of storage technology at Avista's Energy Storage Project is to leverage both operational and market value streams throughout the operational life of the asset. In order to achieve this objective, Avista required a power converter technology which could seamlessly switch between modes of operation without an interruption of service. The NPS FlexPhase technology power converter allows the transition between business values requiring ride-through and microgrid capability to business values requiring participation in ancillary markets."