CHARLOTTE — Duke Energy says it has began operating the “largest battery system in the state” — a 9-megawatt (MW) lithium-ion Samsung battery system in the city of Asheville.

It is operating next to a Duke Energy substation in the Shiloh community.

With a total cost of less than $15 million, Duke Energy said the project will primarily be used to help the electric system operate more efficiently, offering frequency regulation and other grid support services.

“Energy storage will play a significant role in how we deliver energy to customers now and into the future as we act to reduce carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2030 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president, in a statement.

Duke Energy has more than a decade of experience with battery storage. At one time, the company’s 36-MW battery system next to the company’s Notrees Wind Facility in Texas was the largest battery operating in the United States. It remains one of the country’s biggest.

Duke Energy has plans to invest $600 million for 375 MW of energy storage across its regulated businesses.

Additional Duke Energy projects

In Haywood County, the company installed a solar plus storage microgrid on top of Mount Sterling at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The project included the removal of a single overhead electric line, which resulted in 13 acres of park land returned to its natural state. This facility continues to serve a remote emergency communications tower in a less expensive and more reliable way.

“We have a long history of testing new battery technologies with a number of battery manufacturers,” added De May, in a statement. “Our research work is now paying off with larger projects that will provide customers more reliable service with lower overall emissions.”

In Madison County in the town of Hot Springs, the company is planning a 4-MW lithium-ion battery system that will help improve electric reliability for the town, along with providing services to the overall electric system.

In South Carolina, Duke Energy is planning a 5-MW lithium-ion battery at the Anderson County Civic Center in Anderson County. The battery will provide backup power at the facility, which serves as a critical shelter for emergency service agencies. As a grid asset, the battery will also provide benefits to the bulk power system to enhance reliability.

The battery storage project is just one of many Duke Energy investments in the region. The company recently finished construction of the $817 million Asheville Combined Cycle Station, which became fully operational April 5, 2020. The new station replaced a 344-megawatt, two-unit coal plant at the Asheville site, which retired on Jan. 29, 2020.

The company also recently announced a 5-MW solar facility for the town of Woodfin in Buncombe County.

Duke Energy, a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.