At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) located in Colorado, AES Distributed Energy (AES DE) recently completed the construction of a solar + battery energy storage system (BESS) testbed facility.  The testbed system is comprised of 240kW PV and 500kWh battery energy storage and will provide AES with a range of product validation capabilities. The testbed simulates a real-world grid-tied environment and is designed to help ensure programmatic and technical success for all AES DE solar PV + BESS facilities prior to installation. The testbed facility ensures operational success by:

  • Characterizing system response and latency;
  • Refining communication mapping;
  • Iterating and troubleshooting control algorithms crucial to system performance and delivery of energy requirements;
  • And, defining system component integration and construction guidelines to ease on-site implementation.

The testbed was constructed in advance of the operation of two solar + storage facilities for Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC). AES DE is currently constructing a 28MW PV + 100MWh BESS for KIUC, with an additional 19.3MW PV + 70MWh BESS under development. Under a controlled setting, the testbed enables emulation of the design, construction, commissioning, and operation for the KIUC projects, along with future BESS facilities currently under development. Read more about the KIUC and AES projects here. In coordination with the NREL capabilities, this infrastructure can also support exploration and validation of future designs across various global markets by mimicking varying rate schedules, fast frequency responses, black start conditions, micro-grid conditions, and utility grid conditions, including 50Hz and 60Hz frequencies. Through continuous monitoring of system data within a practical setting, we have increased our knowledge of how to design and construct each system specific to customer needs. AES Distributed Energy is an industry leader in solar PV, and solar plus energy storage development, operations, and finance. Our daily mission at AES DE is to improve lives by providing safe, reliable, and sustainable energy solutions in every market we serve.