CHARLESTONW.Va., July 20, 2006 – At a commissioning ceremony in Charleston today, Appalachian Power dedicated a new 1.2-megawatt battery that is the first megawatt-class sodium sulfur (NAS) battery to be used in North America. This advanced energy storage technology will help ensure that customers in and around Charleston have a reliable supply of electricity this summer and in the future, and will allow Appalachian Power to defer an otherwise larger upgrade to help keep overall costs low.

“This battery and the other units we are considering putting on our system represent a significant step in making electricity more reliable and efficient for the future,” said Appalachian Power President and Chief Operating Officer Dana Waldo. “Using batteries to boost power reliability and defer larger upgrades is a real breakthrough in our U.S. electric distribution system.”

Appalachian Power, an operating unit of American Electric Power, and its partners in the project participated in the commissioning ceremony. NGK Insulator’s NAS Battery Division supplied the battery, S&C Electric’s Power Quality Products Division supplied the power electronics and served as system integrator, and Kanawha Manufacturing made the steel housing for the battery. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), through Sandia National Laboratories, was a supporting sponsor and contributed to the funding of the project.
“We are pleased to have Appalachian Power host the first megawatt-class NAS system outside of Japan and look forward to the deployment of follow-on systems,” said Tsurayuki Okamoto, director, senior vice president and group executive of the Power Business Group of NGK. “NGK is proud to be working with AEP and S&C to introduce the NAS battery to the North American utility market.”

Joining Okamoto and the NGK delegation from Japan was Akio Nakamura, managing director and executive general manager of the Engineering Research and Development Division of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). TEPCO had the vision of the NAS Battery for utility-scale applications back in the mid 1980s and since that time TEPCO and NGK have emerged as strategic co-developers and have successfully commercialized the NAS battery system in Japan.

“We congratulate the AEP team on a successful project and we share AEP’s vision of energy storage being a strategic component in a more reliable and cost effective grid of the future,” Nakamura said.
Robert Alworth, senior vice president of S&C Electric Company, spoke at the event about the importance of using new technology to strengthen the power grid.

“The application of new technologies like this NAS battery system are essential to optimizing the performance of the nation’s power grid,” he said.
The battery installation is expected to delay the need for equipment upgrades to the facility by six to seven years. The peak-shaving battery unit is capable of supplying 7.2 megawatt-hours of energy – enough for 500-600 households for six or seven hours. It will provide electricity to customers during the day, and will be charged at night when demand is lower.

 The North Charleston installation is the first megawatt-class NAS battery system on a U.S. distribution system. Another NAS battery system of the same rating is now being installed on Long Island in New York.

Appalachian Power provides electricity to 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 36,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. 
NGK Insulators Ltd., headquartered in Nagoya, Japan, is the world’s largest maker of electrical insulators. NGK produces ceramic insulators and other equipment for power transmission and distribution lines and substations and makes fine ceramic components for automobiles, printers and semiconductors. NGK’s engineering group designs and constructs water and sewage treatment systems.

S&C Electric Company, headquartered in Chicago, Ill., specializes in switching and protection systems as well as customized turnkey power system solutions. Their family of PureWave® Power Quality Systems have been installed at facilities worldwide to correct and eliminate power-quality problems. Information about S&C is available at www.sandc.com.

The Energy Storage Research Program is part of the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability at DOE. The program is managed through Sandia National Laboratories. The goal of the program is to develop advanced energy storage technologies and systems, in collaboration with industry, to increase the reliability, performance and competitiveness of electric generation, transmission and use in utility tied and off-grid systems.

Jeri Matheney
Corporate Communications Manager
(304) 348-4130
Cell: (304) 543-1377

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