New Industry Products

Utility-Grade Battery Energy Storage Is Mobile, Modular and Scalable

September 30, 2023 by Mike Falter

The TerraCharge battery energy storage system by Power Edison can make utility-scale energy storage mobile, flexible, and scalable.   

Power Edison, a provider of utility-grade mobile energy storage solutions, has developed the TerraCharge platform, their newest trailer-mobile battery energy storage system (BESS) for utility-grade applications.


TerraCharge Mobile Battery Trailer.

TerraCharge mobile battery trailer. Image used courtesy of Power Edison


The TerraCharge platform consists of two separate trailer-mobile modules, the Mobile Battery Trailer and the Power Conversion System (PCS) Trailer. 

By separating the battery energy storage module from the power conversion unit, the energy storage system provides customers with a modular solution, along with the flexibility to scale to the specific energy storage capacity requirements of their application.

Many of the challenges associated with modern grid operations are not static and are best served by mobile storage solutions. TerraCharge is designed to meet the mobile energy storage needs of utilities, industrial customers, and power producers.


The Need for Energy Storage 

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), reliable grid energy storage capacity is essential to a more robust grid, particularly as the use of intermittent renewable energy sources increases

Energy storage can play a key role in numerous utility-scale applications, including peak shaving, backup power, and mobile electric vehicle (EV) charging. Larger energy consumers can also use energy storage to better manage their energy costs through time-based pricing arbitrage.  

For renewable power generation systems like wind and solar, energy storage is vital for balancing power supply and demand over time. Surplus energy is stored during periods of peak production for later use to help supply loads during times when wind or solar energy production is low. 


Energy storage integrates with solar power production.

Energy storage integrates with solar power production. Image used courtesy of Power Edison


Peak shaving is when an industrial or commercial power consumer reduces its peak grid power consumption. This can be achieved by scaling back operations and their associated power needs or by using stored energy to supplement grid power. 


Mobile Energy Storage

Power Edison was founded in 2016 by industry veterans with the goal of addressing the need for utility-scale, mobile energy storage by giving utilities the ability to move energy to where it is needed.   

Mobility can be a key differentiator for an energy storage solution. For example, mobile storage is often the preferred solution for utility operators to meet rising power demands. Battery energy storage is also used by operators to supplement grid power for up to three years before committing to fixed infrastructure investments.  


Mobile energy storage for land and sea.  

Mobile energy storage for land and sea. Image used courtesy of Power Edison


Mobile storage also allows power distributors to quickly move power to where it is needed most, such as during seasonal changes from summer to winter when power demands shift.  


Modular, Flexible, and Scalable Design

Derived from close collaboration with major U.S. utilities and industry partners, TerraCharge’s unique modular approach segregates the BESS into separate trailer-mobile battery storage and power conversion units. This modular approach offers a high level of flexibility and scalability to customers. Multiple battery storage units can be paired with a single PCS unit to scale as needed to meet the power requirements of the application. Additional PCS units can be added to projects that require even more energy capacity. 

Each mobile battery trailer can store up to 2 MWh or more of energy, with liquid cooling offered as an option to reach higher energy densities. The mobile battery unit currently relies on the latest lithium-ion battery technology, but it is designed to accommodate any battery type. Through partnerships with battery manufacturers, the components of the Mobile Battery Trailer (modules, racks, and enclosures) are designed to withstand the stresses of road transportation. 


Mobile Battery and PCS Trailer design provides flexibility.

Mobile Battery and PCS Trailer design provides flexibility. Image used courtesy of Power Edison


The PCS trailer contains all of the infrastructure (such as inverters, transformers, and switchgear) needed to interface the mobile battery trailer with grid following (peak shaving, renewable storage) or grid forming (mobile EV charging, backup power) applications. The PCS unit supports a wide range of voltage classes, including 120/208 V, 277/480 V, 4k V, 13k V, 27k V, and 33k V.

TerraCharge is flexible from a financial perspective with a business model that offers customers a lease option to mitigate the need for large capital investments.   


Forecast for Grid-Scale Energy Storage

According to a June 2023 report from Wood Mackenzie, 554 MW/1,553 MWh of grid-scale energy storage was installed in Q1 2023, bringing cumulative grid-scale storage capacity in the U.S. to 10.4 GW.


U.S. energy storage installation forecast.

U.S. energy storage installation forecast. Image used courtesy of Wood Mackenzie


Over the next four years, the U.S. storage market will install close to 75 GW of capacity, with grid-scale installations accounting for as much as 81% of the new additions.