A portable energy-storage system is moving to Richland from the Nine Canyon Wind Project for the next phase of testing.
The 20-foot shipping container filled with batteries will be connected to the First Street Substation, where it will be programmed to test several electricity distribution scenarios.
They include seeing if the system can reduce electricity bought at peak times when the price is highest by storing lower-cost power until it is needed.
The system can store and discharge enough energy to power 100 homes for four hours, but it's designed to be easily scaled up by adding more modular units.
Participants in the project also will see if it can reduce temporary electrical disturbances and improve distribution system efficiency by reducing energy losses.
The test will help the city of Richland determine the costs and benefits of using storage systems compared to making other distribution system investments.
The storage system developed by Powin Energy of Tualatin, Ore., was initially tested at Bonneville Power Administration's lab in Vancouver, Wash.
This past summer it was moved to Energy Northwest's Nine Canyon Wind Project south of Kennewick to demonstrate its ability to store intermittent wind energy until it is needed.
BPA is interested in using energy storage systems rather than building more transmission lines.
After the Richland tests, the system will be moved in the spring to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland where it will be tested with solar power and evaluated for a facility in Richland.