Stanton Energy Reliability Center

by Mary Prendergast, E3 Marketing Director

It is no secret that the growth of renewables has increased the demand for energy storage in recent years. Energy storage, especially battery storage, is expected to grow at a rapid pace. Over the last few years, the E3 Consulting team has had the good fortune to work on a number of high-profile energy storage projects.

The Stanton Energy Reliability Center (SERC)

E3 recently wrapped up work on the Stanton Energy Reliability Center (SERC), a state-of-the-art hybrid energy storage system.  E3 served as the Independent Engineer for the SERC project, which was developed through a joint venture of W Power, LLC (W Power) and Wellhead Energy, LLC (Wellhead), with W Power serving as the majority owner.  E3 has had a long relationship with Wellhead and W Power over its history, providing technical due diligence services on its projects that have gone out for financing.

The project consists of two General Electric (GE) LM6000 simple cycle combustion turbine generator (CTG) packages, integrated with lithium-ion batteries housed in a purpose-built battery enclosure (the Battery Energy Storage System or BESS).  The hybrid system is referred to as the Hybrid Enhanced Gas Turbine (Hybrid EGT®), which utilizes a proprietary software system co-developed by GE and Wellhead Power Solutions, LLC.  This project was especially interesting because it paired the BESS with a thermal power station, rather than the more typical renewables, especially solar, pairing.  SERC is the first new build of this technology.

SERC, located in the City of Stanton, Orange County, California, was constructed to be a reliability resource for the West Los Angeles Basin local reliability area of Southern California Edison’s service territory.  The project provides a number of unique reliability benefits that neither turbines nor batteries can provide on their own.  “We believe that this is the technology of the future and will provide the bridge that California needs to a carbon-free future,” stated Hal Dittmer, President and CEO of Wellhead.

E3 Managing Director Ginger Elbaum was the Project Manager for the financing portion, while Mike O’Dell, an Executive Director, provided construction monitoring services for the Project. Team members began working on the project when it was in the development stage, supporting the owners as they sought financing. Later, during construction of the facility, E3 provided construction monitoring services on behalf of lenders. The gas facility achieved commercial operation in July 2020 with the BESS portion of the project achieving commercial operation soon thereafter.

Energy Storage an Emerging Market for E3

As energy storage continues to grow, E3’s Joe Mendez has coordinated an outreach campaign to educate our clients and prospective clients about our capabilities in this market, particularly with respect to the evaluation and financing of BESS projects.  Joe’s outreach introduces our qualifications and experience on not only BESS projects, but with solar and wind generation projects as well. He also discusses E3’s collaboration with Ascend Analytics (Ascend), a reputable Boulder, Colorado-based market analytics firm that has strong qualifications in the BESS market and provides a complimentary service to E3’s role. Joe’s outreach has been met with excellent response and enthusiasm, and E3 and Ascend have held a series of calls with clients and prospects to delve further into our joint capabilities.