Saft Delivers Cold Weather Energy Storage System in Arctic Alaska

Saft has delivered its Intensium Max+ 20M containerized Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) with “Cold Temperature Package” on schedule during Q3 2015, to Kotzebue Electric Association Inc. (KEA), an electric cooperative based in Kotzebue, Alaska. The system will allow the existing hybrid wind-diesel power system to achieve its full potential, providing cleaner, more reliable and less expensive power to Kotzebue, located above the Arctic Circle in Alaska’s Northwest Arctic Borough (an area the size of Illinois).

Kotzebue is not connected to an electrical transmission grid or to any road system, and has historically been dependent on diesel powered generators for electricity. The annual average temperature is 22°F and area residents face some of the highest costs for energy anywhere in the nation.

The Saft BESS provides battery storage technology designed for extreme cold environments. It is the first container system of its kind in North America to utilize the Intensium Max+ 20M product platform. In addition to the Intensium Max+ 20M battery container, which provides 950 kWh and has the ability to operate in environments reaching ambient temperatures of -58°F, the delivered BESS also includes a 1.2MW EssPro Power Conversion System and grid connect transformer, supplied by ABB. The key benefits to the KEA microgrid will be the ability to ride through fluctuations in wind output and to time-shift excess wind energy, providing significant reductions in diesel consumption.

This is Saft’s second project for a remote community above the Arctic Circle. Alaska and other cold temperature regions, where fuel transportation and electricity costs are high, represent a rapidly expanding marketplace for specially-designed battery energy storage systems serving microgrids and other hybrid power systems.

While serving the energy needs of 980 members in the Kotzebue region and generating over 21 million kilowatt hours per year, KEA is committed to improving energy reliability and efficiency, and reducing operational costs. Several other remote villages in the region are being evaluated for Saft BESS installations similar to the one at Kotzebue.