SMUD given federal aid for energy storage test

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District is part of a group that has received $2.3 million in economic stimulus funding to demonstrate energy storage technologies.

The U.S. Department of Energy award will fund the installation of two large battery systems in the Sacramento region, each able to deliver 500 kilowatts of power for six hours when fully charged. One system will be installed at the Anatolia III SolarSmart Homes development in Rancho Cordova. The other will go to SMUD’s headquarters in Sacramento.

SMUD will evaluate how the batteries can be used to reduce summertime peak load on the electricity grid, possibly by storing power generated by solar panels in the morning and early afternoon and delivering it in the late afternoon.

SMUD is providing $2.4 million for the project and the California Energy Commission is contributing $531,000. A Massachusetts-based company is supplying the battery technology.

– Jim Downing