El Centro, California - Representatives from the Imperial Irrigation District, Coachella Energy Storage Partners, electric industry leaders and local and state officials gathered near the IID energy generating station today, cutting the ribbon to mark the effective start of the district’s new battery energy storage system.

The 30-megawatt, 20-megawatt-hour lithium-ion battery storage system will increase reliability across the IID grid by providing the ability to balance power while integrating renewable energy resources into the local grid as well as provide spinning reserve and “black start” power restoration capabilities. 

“With the increase of renewable energy and distributed generation in our electric system, the new battery energy storage system will help smooth variable generation and increase system-wide reliability,” said IID Board of Directors President Norma Sierra Galindo. “The system will provide a much faster, environmentally friendly alternative than traditional generation.”

Considered to be one of the largest of its kind in the western United States, IID’s battery system storage project has drawn attention from national energy leaders, some of whom were on hand Wednesday to tour the new facility.

“This truly is a game changer for the energy industry,” said Ziad Alaywan P.E., President and CEO of ZGlobal Inc., owner’s engineer and project operator. “As one of the largest battery storage systems in the West, it is a key component in the evolution of the electrical grid in the 21st century. It is exciting to see it come to life here in the Imperial Valley, with IID leading the way.”

Construction of IID’s battery energy storage system began late last summer. As the project neared completion, the system has been tested and is ready to operate at full capacity, if needed.

The battery energy storage system has been created to mitigate stability and power quality issues as renewable energy resources are integrated into the IID grid, allowing the district to further diversify its energy portfolio.

The project adds reliability to the IID grid, allowing the district to “black start” units at its El Centro generation station. The system is also environmentally friendly, able to smooth power supplies while acting as a spinning reserve – assignments that had typically required expensive fossil fuel generation.

IID expects its customers to benefit from reduced operating costs the first year and throughout the lifetime of the project, providing significant cost savings to ratepayers. 

Partner General Electric has provided Coachella Energy Storage Partners with an integrated storage solution. This is one of GE’s largest energy storage projects to date and one of few of its lithium-ion storage projects. IID’s battery energy storage system will use environmentally-safe lithium ion batteries, manufactured by Samsung SDI America.

“We are proud to share IID's ambition to provide its stakeholders with more reliable and renewable energy through one of the strongest and largest energy storage projects in the nation, with its heart now officially powered by Samsung SDI's most innovative lithium-ion batteries and battery management system,” said Fabrice Hudry, Vice President of Energy Storage Solutions for Samsung SDI.

For more information, please visit www.iid.com. Additional event photos are available upon request.

About IID: The third largest public power provider in California, IID manages more than 1,000 megawatts of energy derived from a diverse portfolio of resources, including solar, geothermal, biomass and hydro. IID awarded CESP the project through a competitive bidding process.

About Coachella Energy Storage Partners: Led by Mike Abatti, a longtime resident of the Imperial Valley, Coachella Energy Storage Partners was formed to strengthen local interest in developing new and innovative ways of maintaining cost effective solutions for the local utility.

About ZGlobal lnc.: This is a local engineering firm with deep roots in California and vast knowledge of the Western electric system. CESP hired ZGlobal as the owner's engineer and to project manage.

About General Electric: With more than 100 years of experience powering the world, GE's energy storage solutions are present in 25 countries with over 50 megawatt hours (MWh) of grid storage installed in a variety of applications. CESP hired GE to provide an integrated storage solution.

About Samsung SDI Co., Ltd.: Established in 1970, is an affiliate of the Samsung Group and has been the global leading manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for Mobile Applications. Leveraging this position, Samsung SDI is focused on the technology leadership for electric vehicles and energy storage systems (ESS) and is recognized as a leader in supplying lithium-ion ESS batteries.