Randolph Electric Membership Corporation (REMC) and North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives commemorated the activation of a new battery energy storage system at REMC’s Five Points substation last week. Co-op representatives gathered with project partners and local officials, including U.S. Representative Ted Budd and NC Senator Dave Craven, on Oct. 27 to “flip the switch” at the system, which will deliver a range of benefits to local members.
Rep. Budd, whose 13th congressional district includes REMC’s service territory, delivered remarks on the importance of the project to rural citizens.
“This technology is an excellent example of an innovative solution to drive down energy costs for North Carolinians. It is outstanding to see this ground-breaking project unveiled for their benefit,” said Budd.
Construction for the Five Points substation battery began in January 2022. The battery storage system is one of ten similar projects being deployed in rural areas by North Carolina’s electric cooperatives. The ten projects provide 40 MWs of battery energy storage collectively and join a growing collection of innovative energy resources integrated by N.C. cooperatives, including 14 “solar + storage” sites and four active microgrids with another currently in development.
“This battery installation allows us to reduce demand costs, strengthen the grid and reduce outage times for co-op member-owners,” said Dale Lambert, CEO of Randolph EMC. “Randolph Electric is committed to innovation that advances our Brighter Future vision for electricity that is affordable, reliable and supports our sustainability goals.”
The substation batteries can be charged when demand for electricity is low and discharged during moments of peak demand for power, helping to enable more efficient use of the grid and enhance reliability. In addition to energy storage, the battery system will have the capability provide power to a geographic location near the system during an outage situation.
“Randolph EMC’s Five Points project is the first of its kind, integrating a stand-alone battery energy storage system into North Carolina’s cooperative electric grid,” said Joe Brannan, executive vice president and CEO at North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “The battery will not only support Randolph EMC’s efforts to supply affordable energy to its members, but it is also capable of enhancing the reliability and resiliency of the cooperative electric grid.”
Lambert added, “we will continue to lead the integration, management and optimization of resources and technologies that benefit our community and local member-owners, now and in the decades to come.”