Wärtsilä, Eolian Complete 200 MW Standalone ESS in Texas

Highlights :

  • Wärtsilä said that the Texas ESS is the largest merchant battery system in the world.
  • The two projects are owned by Eolian, a portfolio company of Global Infrastructure Partners.
Wärtsilä, Eolian Complete 200 MW Standalone ESS in Texas Accelerating RE Deployment Will Save West African Countries Hundreds of Millions of Dollars by 2030 

Finnish engineering company firm has announced that it has reached commercial operation date (COD) for two major interconnected energy storage systems in South Texas totaling 200 MW and owned by Eolian, a portfolio company of Global Infrastructure Partners. The two ESS projects are called Madero and Ignacio plants that will be operated using Eolian software, enabling full participation in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market.

Wärtsilä said that this will add much needed year-round reliable operational ramping capacity to the system. The order for Wärtsilä was booked in February 2021.

The facilities’ multi-hour continuous dispatch capability provides the longest duration of any energy storage assets operating in ERCOT, and as a combined site, the project is the world’s largest (in MWh) fully-merchant and market-facing energy storage facility built to-date, claimed Wärtsilä.

Wärtsilä said that the ESS project is also the first use of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for standalone utility-scale energy storage systems, which was introduced through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022.

Wärtsilä began the construction of the projects began in January 2021 to meet the rapidly evolving flexibility and reliability needs of the ERCOT market. The facility reacts instantaneously to sustain electricity output and keep the lights on when power generation fails or cannot respond quickly enough to rapidly-changing conditions.

Risto Paldanius, VP Americas, Wärtsilä Energy, said, “Texas needs more flexible capacity solutions like energy storage for grid support and energy resource optimisation. This will help the state as it faces the natural replacement cycle of older inflexible generators and adapts to more frequent extreme weather events.”

“Madero and Ignacio are the definition of functional dispatchability and will keep the lights on while keeping electricity affordable,” added Aaron Zubaty, CEO, Eolian.

The Technology Employed

The GEMS Digital Energy Platform of Wärtsilä is a critical aspect of the system, which monitors and controls the flow of energy, enabling these projects to provide grid support during periods of grid instability. With the tech company’s Storage+ Solution, the projects will deliver key ancillary services required for grid stability, such as fast frequency response and frequency regulation. The Madero and Ignacio sites are the first systems to use GEMS to qualify for fast frequency response in the ERCOT market.

The project includes Wärtsilä’s GridSolv Quantum, a fully-integrated modular and compact energy storage system that offers the lowest lifecycle costs, fastest deployment times, highest quality control, and maximum flexibility. GridSolv Quantum is a certified UL 9540 compliant design fitted with several safety features.

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