Potomac Edison, Williamsport, MD, United States, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., Akron, Ohio, United States, (NYSE: FE), has received approval from the Maryland Public Service Commission for two battery energy storage projects in Allegany and Frederick counties, the latter of which will be paired with a new electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging station.
Potomac Edison proposed the two projects in response to the state’s Energy Storage Pilot Program, which was established in 2019 to examine new technologies that could have a transformative impact on electric distribution systems. The program required all investor-owned electric utilities to submit at least two energy storage proposals for the commission’s consideration.
“These two projects will allow us to evaluate the potential benefits of energy storage for our residential customers and to learn more about the interaction between energy storage systems and electric vehicle charging stations, which will help inform future grid development efforts,” said James A. Sears, Jr., president of FirstEnergy’s Maryland operations.
A 1.75-megawatt battery energy storage project in Allegany County, located on National Pike in Little Orleans, will be designed to provide back-up power to more than 1,000 customers in Allegany and Washington counties during outages, enhancing service reliability in an area west of the town of Hancock.
Potomac Edison plans to partner with storage developer Convergent Energy + Power on the project, which will allow Potomac Edison to determine best practices for engineering and operating a battery energy storage system as a reliability solution and will provide an opportunity for the company to learn more about its potential benefits.
Potomac Edison also will install a battery energy storage system at the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Park and Ride Lot in Urbana, located in Frederick County. The project will be adjacent to a new Potomac Edison electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging station at the Park and Ride Lot, located near the Interstate 270 and Route 80 interchange, and will bundle battery energy storage with EV charging.
Owned and operated by Potomac Edison, the $1.1 million system will include a 500-kilowatt battery that provides uninterruptable electric vehicle charging and reduces the load drawn from the grid by the charging station during peak demand times. Because fast-charging stations create significant demand on electric distribution grids, the bundling of the storage system with a fast charger will allow Potomac Edison to study how energy storage can help minimize the impact of such demand spikes on its distribution network.
In the event of an outage, the Urbana fast-charging station will be able to run off of battery-supplied energy. The battery system is expected to provide 1,000 kilowatt hours of energy, equal to approximately eight hours of uninterrupted EV charging.
Both projects are expected to be complete in 2022.
Potomac Edison recently installed its first fast-charging stations in Maryland as part of its EV Driven pilot program, a five-year Maryland Public Service Commission-approved program designed to benefit the state’s environment by reducing auto emissions and supporting Maryland’s goal to reach 300,000 zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025. Over the course of the program, Potomac Edison will install 59 charging stations, including 20 fast-charging stations, across its seven-county Maryland territory.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company’s transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.