Portland General Electric opened its new Salem Smart Power Center, an 8,000-square-foot fully functional smart-grid demonstration site in Salem, Oregon.
This working smart grid demonstration project contains a utility-scale energy storage system and is designed to help PGE test how to store and better integrate variable renewable energy sources like solar and wind into the electrical grid.
The technologies work together to create an uninterruptable microgrid that serves about 500 business and residential customers in southeast Salem. An onsite visitor center offers educational exhibits about the project and smart grid.
PGE’s partners on this project included Eaton and EnerDel, Inc. The project cost about $23 million.
“Together with our project partners and customers, we are demonstrating smart grid technologies to help Oregon and the nation learn how to build intelligent energy resources for the future while continuing to deliver long-term value for customers,” said Jim Piro, PGE president and CEO. “We are proud of the collaboration, hard work and ingenuity that went into this project, and thank our Salem customers who volunteered to participate in this important study.”
PGE worked with EnerDel to outfit the center with their 5 MW, lithium-ion battery system, and Eaton to provide engineering expertise and two-way inverters to manage and operate the energy storage system. The energy storage system works with state of Oregon standby generators to create a high-reliability zone to reduce service interruptions for PGE customers.
To test demand-response technologies, PGE business customers are volunteering to cycle their heating, cooling and other systems on and off throughout the day or shift their use to off-peak. In addition, residential customers are letting PGE automatically cycle their water heaters on and off for brief periods throughout the day.
Portland General Electric, headquartered in Portland, is a fully integrated electric utility that serves about 830,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon.