American Electric Power (AEP), an electric utility headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, recently announced plans to expand its use of large-scale battery technology on its electricity grid.

Currently the only U.S. utility using advanced energy storage technology as part of its electricity infrastructure, AEP will add stationary sodium sulfur (NAS) battery technology in its West Virginia and Ohio service territories next year. In addition, the company says it will work with wind developers to identify a third location within its 11-state service territory for battery deployment next year, employing the storage capability to help offset the variable nature of wind generation.

“These new installations will move us a step closer to the full potential of advanced energy storage technologies in areas like reliability improvement, peak-load shaving, and the use of stored energy from renewable sources like wind to supplement available generation sources,” says Michael G. Morris, AEP's chairman, president, and CEO.

In keeping with AEP's goal to have 1,000 megawatts of advanced storage capacity on its system in the next decade, this deployment will add 6 megawatts to the company's system.