Brunswick Electric customers in Bolivia to benefit from new battery energy storage technology

The technology could help customers save money by turning on the battery during peak hours.
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 6:22 AM EST
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BOLIVIA, N.C. (WECT) - New technology coming to one rural community is expected to make energy resources more reliable and provide cost savings for customers in the long run.

Brunswick Electric will soon add what’s called battery energy storage technology in Bolivia.

The battery will charge during non-peak times. That energy will then be released during peak times, like when families are cooking dinner or getting ready for work or school in the morning.

“Peak times are the times of the day when the most people are using electricity at the same time. That’s usually when people are getting ready for work early in the morning, turning on all their appliances at once or when they get home from work and they are settling into their evening,” said Brookes Versaggi, Communications and Member Engagement Manager at Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation. “It’s also when Brunswick Electric has to pay the most for our wholesale power. So, by putting a battery online that can store energy during nonpeak times and be released onto the grid during peak times — we’re not having to purchase nearly as much whole sale power.”

Because cooperatives are not-for-profit, at-cost energy providers, customers should benefit in the long run from those cost savings.

The battery in Bolivia is one of 10 substation batteries being installed in rural locations around the state this year.

It’s being done by North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, which includes Brunswick Electric.

All of these batteries will provide 40 megawatts of power across the state, which could power 40 Walmarts.

In Brunswick County, it will power 3,000 homes for two hours in Bolivia.

The batteries are being engineered and constructed by North Carolina-based FlexGen.

The battery also improves electric reliability by providing short-term support in the case of an outage.

Brunswick Electric hopes to break ground in Bolivia soon and have it online sometime this upcoming summer.

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