ARKANSAS, Nov 18 (Future Headlines)- Dominion Energy Virginia is collaborating with California-based EnerVenue and Virginia State University (VSU) to develop a cutting-edge 1.5 MW battery storage project on VSU’s Ettrick campus in southern Chesterfield County. The initiative aims to provide backup power to the university’s multi-purpose center, hosting a range of events from athletic activities to community gatherings.

EnerVenue, known for its metal-hydrogen technology inspired by aerospace applications, will manufacture and install an energy storage system. The nickel-hydrogen chemistry utilized by EnerVenue’s batteries enables discharge for up to 10 hours, showcasing a high safety profile and eliminating risks like thermal runaway or fire propagation.

Dominion Energy Virginia meticulously evaluated various non-lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) technologies before selecting EnerVenue. The chosen system demonstrated the unique ability to cycle multiple times per day when required, maintain a low self-discharge rate during idle periods, and offer the potential for siting the system on customer property with a reduced safety equipment footprint.

The project serves as part of Dominion Energy’s broader efforts to explore alternative battery storage technologies. In Henrico County, the utility plans to test two innovative battery storage technologies, including one capable of discharging power for an impressive 100 hours—far exceeding the typical four-hour limit of most battery storage systems in the U.S.

If approved by state regulators, the VSU battery storage project is anticipated to be operational by the end of 2027. Virginia State University intends to leverage this initiative as an educational tool for students pursuing careers in the energy sector. The project will provide hands-on experience and facilitate the development of curriculum within VSU’s College of Engineering and Technology.

Dominion Energy Virginia is actively advancing its battery storage capabilities, evident from its groundbreaking initiative at Dulles International Airport, set to become the utility’s largest battery storage facility. The company currently operates battery storage sites in Powhatan, Hanover, New Kent, and Chesterfield counties, with a sixth installation underway in Sussex County.

This collaborative effort aligns with Dominion Energy Virginia’s commitment to clean energy outlined in its annual request for proposals, seeking solar, onshore wind, and standalone energy storage projects. The acquisition of such projects supports Virginia’s future energy needs, adheres to the Virginia Clean Economy Act, and contributes to Dominion’s goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Reporting by Alireza Sabet; Editing by Sarah White