Burns & McDonnell complete three 20-MWh energy storage systems in West Texas

Burns & McDonnell has completed construction of three 10-MW/20-MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage systems (BESS) in West Texas. The three project sites were constructed, commissioned and put into operation in just five months, delivering the project on schedule amid a volatile supply chain and logistics market.

The batteries are designed as stand-alone energy resources to provide support for the Texas power grid as it experiences fluctuations in supply and demand. The addition of more renewable energy resources means a reduced likelihood of rolling blackouts as well as reduced emissions.

Challenges | The integrated engineer-procure-construct (EPC) team overcame many challenges, including an unseasonably rainy summer in West Texas, impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, and congestion at maritime ports and customs. To maintain schedule the team worked weekends and closely communicated with suppliers and logistics partners to deliver the project on time.

“Having an integrated EPC team allowed for a smooth transition between each phase of the project,” says Josh Tucker, project manager at Burns & McDonnell. “It also allowed us to pivot and work with our construction team to modify schedule, re-sequence tasks and properly hand over the system between construction and commissioning to see that the project was brought online and generating revenue by the promised completion date.”

Burns & McDonnell  energy storage site

System specs | From the onset of the project Burns & McDonnell worked closely with the battery provider, LG Energy Solution, to coordinate design, as well as delivery of equipment and materials to the site throughout construction and commissioning. Burns & McDonnell integrated the system components with Emerson’s Ovation automation technology enabling reliable, secure and robust asset monitoring and control. As an open-source platform, Ovation software increases visibility into battery operations and simplifies system management, allowing the BESS owner/operator to view, optimize and modify the controls even years after commissioning if system requirements change.

“Battery energy storage projects are fast-paced and maintaining schedule was vital to getting the project online and providing Texas customers with reliable power.” says Sara Graziano, partner and investment committee chair at Sustainable Environmental Renewable (SER) Capital Partners. “Having a battery provider with a deep understanding of their technology working together with an integrated EPC contractor who understands the system integration requirements was vital to this project being delivered on time.”

The integrated EPC team collaborated closely with SER for a seamless transition to the operations phase by providing training to SER during the startup and commissioning activities.

“I’m excited about what we accomplished with LG Energy Solution and SER on this project,” says Matt Domeier, director of EPC storage at Burns & McDonnell. “The battery storage units will provide reliable and resilient energy to West Texas.”

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