Texas Adds Utility-Scale Liquid-Cooled Battery Storage System
A 150 MW/300 MWh liquid-cooled battery storage project started commercial operation in West Texas.
Revolution, a 300 MWh grid-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) in West Texas, has begun operations to support the regional grid operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). With 150 MW of capacity, the two-hour BESS is among the largest projects in the U.S. and will assist Texas’ ongoing shift from conventional fossil fuel plants to wind and solar resources.
A 134-container battery storage system recently started operating in West Texas. Image used courtesy of Spearmint Energy
Battery storage systems are a valuable tool in the energy transition, providing backup power to balance peak demand during days and hours without adequate sunshine or wind.
The liquid-cooled energy storage system features 6,432 battery modules from Sungrow Power Supply Co., a China-headquartered inverter brand. Sungrow’s PowerTitan Series BESS was delivered and installed last year, though commercial operations didn’t launch until January.
A 34-person team headed by construction firm Mortenson spent over 40,000 hours installing 134 battery containers and 45 power conversion system (PCS) units at the site. Mortenson also built the battery storage facility, substation, and transmission line linking to the grid. Florida-based Spearmint Energy provided the BESS, and ERCOT will operate the facility.
Revolution’s BESS Technology
The Sungrow PowerTitan BESS features a liquid-cooled heat dissipation scheme to keep its lithium iron phosphate battery cells at a balanced system temperature. The modular design houses all the major components, including the battery pack, DC-DC controller, and internal wiring.
The DC-DC controller, which adjusts the charge-discharge ratio, integrates BMS functions to provide rack-level battery management. Combined with the PCS, the integrated design can adapt to system commissioning needs.
Design visualizations for Sungrow’s PowerTitan battery storage system and components. Image used courtesy of Sungrow (Page 6)
The system uses 4D sensing technology to collect cell temperature and operating data. This feature matches the battery’s required cooling capacity to reduce heat loss.
The system can maintain a 2.5°C temperature difference in the battery cells compared to air-cooled heat dissipation. This lengthens the battery life by two years and increases the discharge capacity by 15% across the entire lifecycle.
Growing Battery Storage Demand
Revolution will serve homes and businesses throughout ERCOT’s West Texas service area. The BESS provides additional flexibility for the Lower Colorado River Authority’s transmission network, a growing wind and solar hub.
According to recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Texas’s rapidly expanding solar and wind generation fleet makes it one of the nation’s leaders in battery capacity additions, with 3.16 GW installed. The state accounts for roughly half of the 300 utility-scale battery storage projects expected to come online in the U.S. by 2025.
Texas’s power mix is increasingly weighted towards renewables, necessitating additional resources to store and dispatch energy when needed. As of Jan. 9, ERCOT’s fuel mix comprises 22.8% solar, 33.6% wind, 24% natural gas, 10.3% nuclear, and 9.3% coal and lignite, with less than 1% of power storage.
ERCOT has over 4 GW of battery storage capacity in operation today. Since late 2023, the organization has approved six planned projects totaling 351 MW, including 311 MW of solar and 40 MW of battery storage.
Planned battery capacity additions by month in the ERCOT region. Image used courtesy of ERCOT (December 2023 report)
Spearmint Energy aims to capitalize on this demand, eyeing a spot leading the state’s fast-growing battery storage industry. The company recently secured a $200 million credit facility to support its 1.2 GW/2.4 GWh portfolio of assets in the ERCOT market. In addition to Revolution, it has acquired a 900 MW/2 GWh BESS portfolio across three West Texas counties.