Dominion Energy Virginia has secured approval from the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to build four battery storage pilot projects totaling 16MW.

The utility-scale battery storage pilot projects will use lithium-ion batteries, like those used in electric vehicles.

As per Dominion Energy, the pilot projects are expected to pave the way for additional energy storage needed to support its commitment to achieve net zero carbon and methane emissions by 2050.

Under the Grid Transformation & Security Act of 2018, Dominion Energy is allowed to invest in up to 30MW of battery storage pilot projects.

The battery storage projects are expected to become operational in Q1 2021

The four projects could cost nearly $33m to build and will offer key information on district use cases for the batteries on the energy grid. The projects are expected to be operational in the first quarter of next year. Once operational, the pilots will be evaluated over a five-year period.

Two battery systems totaling 12MW will be built at Scott Solar facility in Powhatan County.

A 2MW battery at substation in the Town of Ashland, Hanover County will be built. It is expected to boost the existing grid capacity during times of peak energy demand without the needs to engage in wholesale equipment upgrades.

Another 2MW battery at a substation in New Kent County will serve a 20MW solar facility.

Dominion Energy generation construction vice president Mark Mitchell said: “Dominion Energy will pilot these 16 megawatts of battery storage to better understand how best to deploy batteries across our system to integrate renewables and provide grid reliability by filling gaps due to the inherent intermittency of solar and wind power.

“These pilot projects will also help us learn how to incorporate this emerging technology into our overall strategy to achieve net zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions.”