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Duke Energy, Anderson County partner on energy storage

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Duke Energy Carolinas is partnering with Anderson County to build an energy storage project at the Anderson Civic Center that will be part of the company’s long-term strategy to integrate battery technology into the smart-thinking grid it is building in the Carolinas.

The battery project also will provide power to a facility that is critical during emergency situations, such as being the site of a hurricane evacuation shelter. It is part of the company’s ongoing plans to invest $500 million in battery storage projects across the Carolinas over the next 15 years, according to a news release.

The project — the first of its kind for Duke Energy in the state — will be located on land adjacent to the Anderson Civic Center and also will serve as back-up power for the facility. The battery will be able to power the Civic Center during an outage for at least 30 hours based on the facility’s normal usage, the release said.

“Through projects like this, we’re transforming the state’s energy infrastructure to support the two-way flow of electricity and significantly improve reliability for our customers,” Michael Callahan, Duke Energy’s South Carolina president, said in the release. “The added benefit of this project is that — in the case of a power outage — the storage system can be dedicated to the Anderson Civic Center so this critical emergency facility will be able to support residents and evacuees in time of crisis.”

The 5-megawatt lithium ion battery will be grid-tied and available for use by Duke Energy Carolinas grid operators. The battery storage system will benefit all Duke Energy Carolinas customers by helping grid operators more efficiently manage the grid, providing additional energy options and improving grid stability during periods of peak customer demand, the release said.

“Anderson County depends greatly on reliable power at the Civic Center, especially while it’s operating as an emergency shelter,” Tommy Dunn, Anderson County Council chairman, said in the release. “Power is critical at the Civic Center when our facility is being utilized as a command post for service providers and shelter to citizens who have been displaced. We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Duke Energy on this project that will benefit our community during times of disaster.”

The company recently submitted a request to the Public Service Commission of South Carolina to approve a provision of the lease agreement for the land from Anderson County. Once the final engineering study for connection to the power grid is complete later this year, the project will go through a competitive bidding process for construction and is expected to be in service in early 2021, according to the release.

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