Asheboro, NC - On Thursday, October 27, Randolph EMC, N.C. Electric Membership Corporation and honored guests officially commemorated the full activation of our Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) at Five Points substation in Randolph County. The opening celebration marked the culmination of many months of planning, construction and integration of this cutting-edge technology into the grid.
Dale Lambert, chief executive officer of Randolph EMC, introduced honored guests and spoke on the purpose for constructing the battery array.
This battery installation allows us to reduce demand costs, strengthen the grid and reduce outage times for co-op member-owners," said Lambert.
Joe Brannan, chief executive officer of NCEMC, discussed the Brighter Future vision that all North Carolina electric cooperatives share.
North Carolina's electric cooperatives are committed to innovation that is affordable, reliable and supports their sustainability goals," said Brannan.
Dennis Mabe, vice president of operations and engineering at REMC, described how industry partners worked with cooperative engineers to make the installation a reality.
U.S. Representative Ted Budd, whose thirteenth congressional district includes REMC's service territory, delivered remarks on the importance of the project to rural citizens.
This technology is an excellent example of an innovative solution to drive down energy costs for North Carolinians. It is outstanding to see this ground-breaking project unveiled for their benefit," said Budd.
After the program, guests flipped a symbolic light switch to recognize the completion of the construction phase and the energizing of the array.
Other elected officials participating in the event included the following:
US Representative Ted Budd, whose 13th congressional district includes Randolph EMC's service territory,
NC Senator Dave Craven, whose 26th district includes REMC territory,
Randolph County Commissioner Hope Haywood, and
Randolph County Commissioner Maxton McDowell.
Honored guests participating in the event included the following:
Representatives from N.C. Electric Membership Corporation,
Industry partners from from Booth & Associates, engineering consultants, and
Industry partners from FlexGen, energy storage and software designers.
“We will continue to lead the integration, management and optimization of resources and technologies that benefit our community and local member-owners, now and in the decades to come,” said Lambert.
About the BESS Configuration
The battery installation is one of ten substation batteries being deployed in rural locations this year by North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. Collectively, the batteries will provide 40 MWs of power. They will be charged when demand for electricity is low and discharged during moments of peak demand for power. This not only enhances electric reliability but should also provide cost savings over the lifetime of the batteries. Because cooperatives are nonprofit, at-cost energy providers, co-op members will benefit from those savings.
Installation of the battery energy storage system began earlier this year in January, and now REMC and North Carolina’s electric cooperatives announce the array’s activation. In addition to installing substation batteries, Randolph EMC and the network of cooperatives in North Carolina have worked together for years to lead innovative energy strategies, including community solar, microgrids, demand response programs and solar plus storage initiatives.
The battery configuration can operate as its own microgrid and will store energy for later use. It has the capability during an outage to provide power to a geographic location near the system. This type of energy storage helps electric cooperatives achieve their carbon emissions reduction goals.