BELCO Building Battery Energy Storage System

February 4, 2019 | 6 Comments

As part of BELCO’s capital plan, a Battery Energy Storage System [BESS] is being built which the company said “will help to reduce costs and ensure a more reliable electricity supply.”

“The BESS is being built to provide spinning reserve. Spinning reserve is the reserve capacity that must always be available to feed into the grid to help maintain BELCO’s power generating system stability during emergency operating conditions and unforeseen load swings,” BELCO said.

BELCO BESS Bermuda February 2019 (1)

“Spinning reserve has traditionally been provided by running engines that are not adding power to the grid, but can do so at a moment’s notice. The BESS will store up to 10 megawatts [MW] of power that can be discharged for up to 30 minutes.

“If there is a problem with generation, the BESS will automatically kick in within 50 milliseconds [0.05 seconds]. This response is three times faster than a standard engine and will help to avoid the load shedding often associated with such events.

“When the new BESS facility comes online, it is anticipated that there will be estimated savings of $2 million on fuel and maintenance costs whilst allowing BELCO to continue to supply a high level of continued reliability. The batteries used in the BESS are lithium ion and have a 20-year lifespan and are also recyclable.

BELCO BESS Bermuda February 2019 (2)

“BELCO tendered the design and building of the BESS facility and chose Saft, a subsidiary of Total. For more than 100 years Saft has specialized in advanced technology battery solutions for industry, from the design and development to the production, customization and service provision.”

Stephanie Simons, BELCO Mechanical Engineer, said: “The BESS facility is an important project for BELCO that will have many benefits including a more reliable system, less wear and tear on our engines and, most importantly, savings on fuel and maintenance costs of approximately $2 million.

“The investment in the project is expected to be paid off in four years and the batteries are built to last for 20 years. This is just one part of our capital plan that will ensure reliable and cost-effective electricity for our customers for many years to come.”

Hervé Amossé, Saft Executive Vice President Telecom, Transportation and Grid, said: “The BELCO project continues a long series of successful energy storage deployments by Saft to support island grids since 2003. Saft is committed to provide BELCO with a reliable and high-performance spinning reserve solution as an alternative to its generators.”

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Comments (6)

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  1. Y-Gurl says:

    Doesn’t sound like a very good deal for the people who will end up paying for it (we the consumers)

    Capacity of 10MW for 30 minutes, doesn’t that equate to around 10 seconds for the whole island, from the “estimated” $2m savings deduct the following for the actual savings

    Initial cost of the units (depreciated over how many years)
    What is the battery replacement cost every 4 years
    What is the operating cost to cool and maintain the units
    Power required to operate the units

    Sounds like typical BELCO smoke and mirrors, bottom line if investment had been made in the plant instaed of buying all these unrelated companies over the last hundred years we wouldn’t be in a position of being held hostage by a monopoly,

    • JohnnyB says:

      You are NOT an engineer and it shows

      • Y-Gurl says:

        Never pretended to be….so answer the questions

        • Johnny B says:

          not wasting my time but i now understand why you cant understand

          • Y-gurl says:

            One doesn’t have to be a qualified or “self proclaimed “ engineer in a particular discipline to ask about simple and questionable decisions about investments made by a monopoly, clearly you are unable to contribute anything useful to this discussion and rather that “waste your time” perhaps your comments should be saved for the rubber duck derby story later this year.

            We all would rather see these companies being more transparent that are charging us high rates for services

    • Kathy says:

      All of a sudden when BELCO feels incredible pressure from the public to become more “renewable” and quit wasting energy and our money on spinning reserves…the arrival of a few battery containers start appearing in Bermuda and BELCO turns it into a publicity stunt.

      I am so tired of feeding the hungry shareholders of BELCO. It is time for CHANGE, Bermuda!

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