New 10 MW Saft Energy Storage System unveiled at Bermuda Electric Light Company

Saft delivered and installed a turnkey Energy Storage System to Bermuda Electric Light Company (BELCO). The system provides up to 10 MW power for spinning reserves and frequency response to maintain grid stability. The official ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on May 16.

Like many islands, Bermuda has relied on imported fuel to generate its electricity. However, the island is modernizing its approach to generation, distribution and sales after the Government of Bermuda passed the Electricity Act in 2016. This prompted BELCO to develop a long-term plan, which includes measures to improve energy efficiency and energy storage.

Spinning reserves are essential to provide backup power in case a generator experiences a sudden outage. They are named after the historic practice of keeping generators idling (with their internal components spinning) so that they are ready to ramp up to full power within a few minutes.

The Saft ESS provides spinning reserves, allowing the operator to switch off generators and save fuel. In addition, the ESS provides frequency response services, by injecting or absorbing energy to or from the grid within seconds to maintain consistent frequency and grid stability. As the turnkey supplier of the ESS, Saft carried out the design, delivery and installation of the ESS and connection to BELCO’s grid.

Saft’s design meets the stringent set of requirements set by BELCO, including high reliability, low operating costs and guaranteed performance over the asset lifetime. It is capable of fast response to maintain grid stability and prevent load shedding in case a generator trips. The power conversion equipment can supply active power to support the grid frequency while simultaneously providing reactive power for voltage stabilization.

Saft built the containerized Li-ion battery systems for the 5.5 MWh storage capacity ESS in Jacksonville, Florida. In addition to the batteries, the ESS integrates control and monitoring equipment, as well as power conversion components supplied by ABB and all of the equipment was installed and energized by DELTRO, both Saft subcontractors. 

Alexandra Goodson, Director for ESS in the US, attended the ribbon cutting ceremony. “Bermuda is leading the example for island utilities by modernizing its approach to electric power generation, distribution and sales.  Saft is pleased to be a part of this effort by saving BELCO approximately 2 million dollars per year in operating and maintenance costs with our Saft Energy Storage System. Congratulations to BELCO and the whole team on a great project”, she said.