A consortium led by International power equipment manufacturer ABB today announced it has won a $30m order from Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA), an electric utility serving Fairbanks, Alaska for the supply, installation and project management of the world’s largest Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).

The 40-MVA system comprises a massive nickel-cadmium battery, power conversion modules, metering, protection and control plus station service equipment will provide continuous voltage support during normal operation as well as providing energy back-up, in the event of a power failure to reduce customer interruptions.

The traditional solution of producing capacity well in excess of power demand is not cost-effective in the region and BESS offers a viable alternative, producing 40 MVA of power for several minutes allowing the utility to bring back-up power on line.

GVEA placed the order with the ABB consortium which also includes Saft AB, which is supplying the battery made up of 13 760 cells in four strings.

The first two battery strings are scheduled for commercial operation during the summer of 2003.

ABB said that the BESS system will facilitate a major reduction in the cost of providing spinning reserve on the GVEA grid.