KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Tennessee Valley Authority will be able to store enough energy to power more than 10,600 homes for three hours with its first battery storage system.

The public utility said Monday it is building its first owned and operated, grid-scale, battery energy storage system near in Vonore.

“TVA is building the energy grid of the future,” Senior Manager Dale Harris, who
leads research and development for TVA, said. “This pilot project will help us to innovate and adopt
new technologies that will provide businesses clean, low-cost, reliable electricity while helping
them meet their sustainability goals.”

The Vonore Battery Energy Storage System will use lithium-ion batteries, the same technology used in most electric vehicles, to store 40 megawatt-hours of energy. The facility is scheduled to be operational in 2022.

Rendering of the Vonore Battery Energy Storage System. Courtesy: TVA

Once operational the battery energy storage system will serve industrial customers of the Loudon Utilities Board without building additional transmission lines.

According to Loudon City Manager and LUB General Manager Ty Ross, the battery energy system will allow energy to be stored when demand and prices are low for use when demand is higher, which in turn reduces costs.

“TVA’s battery will provide premium power for the industrial complex customers we serve,” Ross said.

The Vonore BESS will also serve as a testbed for TVA.

“We are at the forefront of using large-scale battery storage,” Harris said. “Battery
storage has many energy applications, and the Vonore BESS will help TVA make broader use
of this important technology as we continuously work to provide safe, clean and reliable power
to the 10 million people who live and work in the region we serve.”

In February, TVA announced a solar project in Lowndes County, Mississippi, for its Green Invest programs that will include 200 megawatt-hours of battery energy storage. Both battery storage projects are part of TVA’s plan to add up to 5 gigawatts of energy storage capacity through 2038.