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Kodiak eyes battery storage

November 12, 2012

The Kodiak Electric Association (KEA) has contracted Xtreme Power Inc. to install a 3 MW power management and energy storage on its Pillar Mountain Wind Project.

Pillar Mountain is Alaska’s first utility-scale wind farm and currently provides nearly 10 percent of the power in KEA’s generation portfolio. To take advantage of this lower-cost alternative to diesel power generation, KEA made the decision to expand Pillar Mountain to a total capacity of 9 MW.  KEA added 4.5 MW of wind power in July 2009 with the completion of Phase I of the Pillar Mountain Wind Project. However, the intermittent nature of wind power on this scale can create grid instability issues, leading KEA to explore energy storage and power management options.

When discussing the integration of renewable energy sources like wind and solar onto the grid, variability of generation is the challenge in areas with remote grids, high levels of renewable penetration, or critical loads. Furthermore, renewables can often generate power during off-peak times, or times when the demand for energy is low. Energy storage systems enable greater integration of renewables onto the electric grid by smoothing and time-shifting that renewable power.  With an integrated storage solution in place, power producers can benefit from firm, dispatchable power, as well as increased revenue. Energy storage systems can also add reliability and flexibility to the existing electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure.

Energy storage systems are not just a battery, but a comprehensive solution.  In addition to the storage capabilities provided by technologies such as batteries, capacitors and flywheels, a complete energy storage system will need the following:

The correct integration of these components is critical. When connecting complex power systems, it is important to note that systems will only perform successfully with components that operate together under the direction of appropriate controls.

Kodiak Electric Association, Inc. (KEA) is a rural electric cooperative which generates and distributes electrical power in Kodiak, Alaska. KEA is committed to providing safe, reliable energy and a high level of service excellence to enhance the quality of life of its members and of the community. KEA was formed by and is owned entirely by the members we serve. KEA operates an isolated grid system. The main power source comes from two hydroelectric turbine generators at Terror Lake. KEA also operates four independent diesel generation facilities.

Xtreme Power designs, engineers, manufactures, and operates integrated energy storage and power management systems and is based in Texas.


KEA has turned up its Pillar Mountain wind project, but it is unclear from the KEA website, when the battery storage phase will be completed or how much it will cost. Battery storage is a complementary technology to wind energy.