Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK), LG Chem and Greensmith will team up to build a battery-based energy storage system in Ohio, designed to enhance reliability and increase stability on the electric power grid, the companies today announced.

Duke Energy, the nation’s largest electric utility, currently owns nearly 15 percent of the grid-connected, battery-based energy storage capacity in the U.S., according to independent research firm IHS Energy.

The new 2-megawatt (MW) storage project will assist in regulating electric grid frequency for PJM, the transmission organization that powers much of the eastern U.S.

The system will be built at Duke Energy’s retired W.C. Beckjord coal-fired power plant in New Richmond, Ohio, and is expected to be operational by late 2015.

It continues Duke Energy’s exploration of energy storage solutions and their potential for broad adoption.

“Fast-responding energy storage is recognized for the tremendous benefits it provides to grid operations, because it can instantaneously absorb excess energy from the grid or release energy,” said Phil Grigsby, Duke Energy’s vice president of commercial transmission. “Delivering that power in seconds, as opposed to a power plant that could take 10 minutes or more to ramp up, is the unique value the battery system provides to grid operators.

“This accurate and rapid response will help improve the overall reliability and economic efficiency of the grid. It also demonstrates the capabilities of new technologies and the potential for future applications, such as large-scale integration of renewable energy onto the grid,” Grigsby added.
The Ohio project adds to Duke Energy’s installed base of commercially operating energy storage systems. With the addition of the new project, the company will operate a total of 4 MW of energy storage at Beckjord, where a separate 2-MW storage system already exists.

Duke Energy also operates one of the nation’s largest battery-based energy storage and power management systems – a 36-MW unit completed in 2012 in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy – at the utility’s Notrees Windpower Project in Texas.

LG Chem will deliver the Ohio project’s integrated operating system, comprised of advanced lithium-ion batteries.

Greensmith will provide intelligent energy storage control and analytics software, and system integration services.

Parker Hannifin will provide a 2-MW power conversion inverter.

“We’re delighted to have been selected by Duke Energy for the Beckjord project,” said Sunghoon Jang, senior vice president of LG Chem’s Energy Storage Solutions business unit. “This will be our second project with Greensmith in PJM for fast-responding frequency regulation services.”

“The combination of Greensmith’s software with LG Chem’s battery technology will provide Duke Energy with a system that exemplifies how utilities can leverage grid-scale energy storage to improve operations and increase profitability,” said John Jung, Greensmith CEO. (Original Source)

Shares of Duke Energy opened today at $76.03 and are currently trading down at $75.53. DUK has a 1-year high of $89.97 and a 1-year low of $68.81. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $76.65 and its 200-day moving average is $79.10.

On the ratings front, Duke Energy has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on May 7, RBC analyst Shelby Tucker reiterated a Buy rating on DUK, with a price target of $93, which implies an upside of 22.3% from current levels. Separately, on May 4, Barclays’ Daniel Ford maintained a Hold rating on the stock and has a price target of $82.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Shelby Tucker and Daniel Ford have a total average return of 2.6% and 9.4% respectively. Tucker has a success rate of 61.9% and is ranked #1912 out of 3608 analysts, while Ford has a success rate of 75.4% and is ranked #511.

Duke Energy Corporation operates as an energy company. The Company operates in three business segments; Regulated Utilities, International Energy and Commercial Power.