ACEP Researcher Helps Cordova Capture More River Energy

ACEP Researcher Helps Cordova Capture More River Energy

Recently, Cordova Electric Cooperative held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new grid-connected battery energy storage system. The ceremony included U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, CEC chief executive officer Clay Koplin and Imre Gyuk, the project champion, who directs energy storage research for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity.

ACEP’s Jeremy Vandermeer attended. He and his team were funded by the Office of Electricity to conduct an energy storage feasibility study with Sandia National Lab for the battery system in Cordova. This ceremony saw the culmination of Vandermeer’s modeling and research work on the project.

Cordova has two run-of-the-river hydropower plants that provide 60% of its electrical power every year; the balance is supplied by diesel generators. Hydropower energy generation costs 70-80% less than diesel power, so any reduction in generation from diesel generators saves money.

Currently, the Cordova hydropower plants divert water with the potential generation of 500 kilowatts away from its turbines as a reserve in case the demand load increases. The battery will be able to supply this reserve and allow that water to be used to generate electricity instead of being diverted. Additional grid support activities have been identified and are being researched to use the battery to improve the resilience of the Cordova grid.


CEO Clay Koplin addresses the audience during the ribbon cutting ceremony for Cordova Electric Cooperative’s new battery energy-storage system. Photo by Jeremy Vandermeer.