Georgia Power to Launch First Battery Energy Storage System on State’s Transmission Grid

Monday, October 11th, 2021

Georgia Power has received approval from the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to build, own, and operate a new battery energy storage system. Known as the Mossy Branch Battery Facility, the grid-charging battery system is located on 2.5-acres in Talbot County, near Columbus, Georgia. This innovative facility will be the first standalone Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) on the Georgia Integrated Transmission System and represents a key milestone in the company’s efforts toward a more sustainable energy future. The 65 MW/260 MWh system is part of a larger 80 MW BESS portfolio approved in the Company’s 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

“It is an exciting time to be working on new ways to maximize the value of sustainable, renewable energy and the addition of battery storage complements and enhances the value of renewable generation. Developing storage technologies of this magnitude will help us to continue meeting our customers’ needs,” said Georgia Power Renewable Development Director Wilson Mallard. “The Mossy Branch project will help the company evaluate the value and benefits battery storage provides to the electric system, as well as learn how to optimize operation and maintenance of the BESS facilities.”

The Mossy Branch Battery Facility will be designed as a standalone unit that will connect to and charge directly from the electric transmission grid – the interconnected system of high voltage wires and equipment that moves large amounts of electricity across the state.

The company has selected Wärtsilä to provide this new facility's Engineering, Procurement, and Construction services.

Project to Provide Learnings, Enhance Renewable Generation
The goal of the Mossy Branch Battery Facility is to evaluate in a real-time environment the technical performance and economics of the system, including the ability to use the BESS for multiple applications. Data received from the facility will help the company validate and support the optimization of the energy storage assets to meet customer needs. Mossy Branch will also allow Georgia Power to refine maintenance practices that maximize battery storage reliability and useable life.

 Battery energy storage integrated with the electric system both complements and enhances the value of intermittent renewable generation. It has a fast response capability such that it can quickly respond to and provide electricity when a renewable resource is no longer providing its intended output due to weather or other causes. Additionally, batteries aid the performance of intermittent resources by storing excess energy that intermittent facilities produce during periods when demand for electricity is low, for use when demand is higher, such as cold winter mornings. This improves the utilization of renewable resources and the overall efficiency of the system. Battery storage can also rapidly respond to other system events, such as other generating units going offline, which ultimately helps increase the reliability of the Georgia Power system. 

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