Battery Energy Storage System Opening Celebration - Carolina Country
December 2022

Industry partners learn about the battery configuration from FlexGen engineers.

On Thursday, October 27, Randolph EMC and North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives commemorated the activation of our new Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) at Five Points substation in Randolph County. Co-op representatives gathered with project partners and local officials, including U.S. Representative Ted Budd and N.C. Senator Dave Craven, to “flip the switch” and mark the energizing of the array. U.S. Representative Ted Budd, whose thirteenth congressional district includes REMC’s service territory, delivered remarks on the importance of the project to rural member-owners.

“This technology is an excellent example of an innovative solution to drive down energy costs for North Carolinians. It is outstanding to see this ground-breaking project unveiled for their benefit,” said Budd.

Construction for the project began in January 2022. The battery storage system is one of ten similar projects being deployed in rural areas by North Carolina’s electric cooperatives. Collectively, the ten projects provide 40 MWs of battery energy storage and join a growing network of innovative energy resources integrated by N.C. cooperatives, including 14 “solar + storage” sites and four active microgrids with another currently in development.

Battery Energy Storage System (BESS)

Pictured from left to right: NCEMC CEO Joe Brannan; REMC Directors Jeff Sugg, Lee Isley, Scott Cole and Jerry Bowman; U.S. Rep. Ted Budd; N.C. Sen. Dave Craven; Randolph County Commissioners Maxton McDowell and Hope Haywood; REMC CEO Dale Lambert

Dale Lambert, CEO of Randolph EMC, introduced honored guests and spoke on the purpose for building the battery array.

“This battery installation allows us to reduce demand costs, strengthen the grid and reduce outage times for co-op member-owners,” said Lambert.

The substation batteries can be charged when demand for electricity is low and discharged during moments of peak demand for power. This cutting-edge technology not only enhances electric reliability but should also provide cost savings over the lifetime of the batteries. Because cooperatives are nonprofit, at-cost energy providers, co-op members will benefit from those savings.

Joe Brannan, executive vice president and CEO at North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, discussed the Brighter Future vision that all North Carolina electric cooperatives share.

“Randolph EMC’s Five Points project is the first of its kind, integrating a stand-alone battery energy storage system into North Carolina’s cooperative electric grid,” said Brannan. “The battery will not only support Randolph EMC’s efforts to supply affordable energy to its members, but it is also capable of enhancing the reliability and resiliency of the cooperative electric grid.”

The battery configuration can operate as its own microgrid and will store energy for later use. It has the capability during an outage to provide power to a geographic location near the system.

“We will continue to lead the integration, management and optimization of resources and technologies that benefit our community and local member-owners, now and in the decades to come,” said Lambert.

About Randolph EMC

In the 80-plus years that Randolph EMC has been in business, the cooperative still adheres to many of those same founding principles from the 1930s. We are still “owned by those we serve.”

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