MATTHEW ROGERS: The loan to AES to build an advanced frequency regulation module in the – New York state, provides a wonderful lens on where the electric power industry is going.
AES is going to use A123 batteries – some of the most advanced batteries in the world – to provide a frequency regulation service that today is basically provided by natural gas-fired power plants. So you have the opportunity to provide much tighter frequency regulation using batteries than you did using a power plant, with much lower CO2 emissions. This goes at the core of how does a grid handle the frequency regulation issues that come up when you bring on more variable loads – that is, more renewable coming into the system – and things like plug-in hybrid vehicles, creating variable demand coming off of the system?
In order to maintain the system flowing at a regular – at regular intervals, which all of our power electronics require, we need frequency regulation service. This offers the opportunity to deliver that frequency regulation service at dramatically lower cost and much higher performance levels than currently can happen. And this ability to bring together the most advanced batteries and a new application – these are batteries that can be used in cars and are now being used at grid scale – provides the ability to take that technology and provide new services.
And what we begin to see throughout this is new technologies creating new services, creating the opportunity then for another set of services as we move into the future.