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PXiSE simplifies battery storage management for Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)

PXiSE is thrilled that its Renewable Power Plant Controller will be used by SMUD to manage long-duration battery energy storage systems (BESSs) in Sacramento, CA. The project is part of SMUD’s vision to add 1,100 megawatts (MW) of battery storage over the next decade, a keystone to their 2030 Zero Carbon Plan, which will eliminate all carbon emissions from the power supply, maximize local solar generation, provide neighborhood resiliency, and increase social justice and equity.

PXiSE’s Power Plant Controller will manage the real power output of the BESSs to meet an energy shifting schedule while ensuring the power output remains within equipment limitations. The Controller will operate autonomously but also offers a manual override via a user-friendly interface for operators to access if needed.

“This is an easy task for our Power Plant Controller, which is designed to handle multiple resources with multiple control objectives,” Tim Allen, PXiSE President & CEO said. “The built-in functionality simplifies configuration, which is critical to meeting SMUD’s aggressive timeline for getting this project online.”

Specifically, the Power Plant Controller will manage the BESS to facilitate:

  • Energy shifting – storing solar power so it can be dispatched later in the day after the sun goes down
  • Volt/VAR control – dynamically adjusting reactive power (VAr) output in response to voltage measurements
  • Automatic dispatch via direct SMUD interface, which adjusts the power output based on utility provided setpoints
  • BESS State of Charge (SOC) management – ensuring operation within the BESS bounds

The Power Plant Controller will rely on measurements provided by phasor measurement units (PMUs) placed at strategic locations on the power network to assess real-time network conditions. Analyzing the PMU data up to 60 times per second, the Controller will instantly dispatch commands to the battery systems to provide precise real and reactive power control.

At the first of SMUD’s battery storage sites, PXiSE’s technology agnostic Controller will coordinate a battery energy storage system consisting of six 75kW ESS Energy Warehouse iron-flow batteries, which include Trumpf Hüttinger TruConvert AC 3025 inverters. Later, another installation will add 16 battery units (each 125 kW) which will all be managed by PXiSE’s Controllers. All sites will connect to the SMUD distribution system where they will be dispatched by SMUD’s distribution management system.

The first installation is slated for completion by fall of this year.