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Puget Sound Energy innovation project

Glacier battery storage project

2018 project updates


Future testing will take place in the spring of 2018 to complete the automation of the batteries powering the Glacier downtown core in the event of an outage. This testing will require a planned power outage of approximately two hours, with power turning on and off during the two-hour window.

  • The Glacier battery units have been online since September 2016, however, the automation of the batteries has not yet been completed. This means that the units cannot automatically shift the power load of the island from the power grid to the batteries and back to the grid.
  • During planned power outages on March 28, 2018 and March 29, 2018 we completed some very useful and valuable testing of the battery automation and successfully used the battery to back up the island of customers in Glacier. Future testing of the automation feature will be required.
  • During a planned power outage on Oct. 24, 2017 we completed testing of the automation, during which the batteries successfully powered the island of the town for approximately 6 hours.
  • During a planned power outage on Aug. 28, 2017 we successfully used the battery to back up the island of customers in Glacier.

Project overview

Puget Sound Energy has worked hard over the last few years to improve the reliability of electric service for customers in the area. Just this year, we’ve brought the Glacier battery project online, moved power poles farther from SR 542, trimmed and removed trees near power lines, and installed equipment necessary to use the batteries for backup power during an outage.
These upgrades allow us to meet the current and future power needs in your community, as well as your expectations for safe, reliable and affordable electric service. Read below to learn more about the battery pilot project and other projects in the Glacier area.
Battery storage project
The glacier battery will serve as short-term back up power source to a core "island" of businesses and residences during outages.

The project entails installation of a 2 megawatt (MW) / 4.4 megawatt-hour (MWh) lithium-ion battery system at the existing Glacier substation. The project is funded in part by a generous $3.8 million Smart Grid Grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce in addition to $7.4 million invested by PSE.

The Glacier battery storage pilot project performs three primary functions:

  • Serves as a short-term backup power source to a portion of the local Glacier circuit during outages.
  • Reduces system load during periods of high demand.
  • Balances energy supply and demand, helping to support greater integration of intermittent renewable energy generation on PSE’s grid.

For more information, see our Glacier battery storage project factsheet  and frequently asked questions.

Other PSE work in the Glacier area

In addition to the battery pilot project, there have been several other projects completed in the Glacier area in recent years. 

  •  In 2014, PSE installed supervisory control and data acquisition technology (SCADA), allowing us to receive information about Glacier’s electric system remotely. With the addition of the battery system, we can now learn about outages in real-time and remotely activate the batteries to restore power after an outage. 
  • In 2015, PSE replaced a pole and its switch which allows PSE to more reliably respond to storms and other issues in the area’s power system.
  • In 2016, PSE worked with Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to move power poles farther away from SR 542 to meet requirements for the “control zone” – an area adjacent to the roadway that should be free of obstructions. This will improve safety and reliability in the area by reducing the likelihood of pole-vehicle collisions.
  • PSE has also trimmed and removed trees near poles to reduce the frequency of tree-related power outages.
 Learn More