VSU To Partner With Dominion Energy In Cutting-Edge Energy Storage Project

The project will provide emergency backup power to the Multi-Purpose Center and serve as a teaching tool for students pursuing careers in the energy sector.

Virginia State University has announced that it will partner with Dominion Energy on an innovative battery storage project. The project will provide backup power to the VSU Multi-Purpose Center, the university's state-of-the-art venue that seats more than 6,000 guests and hosts many of its athletic events, as well as commencements, live concerts, family shows, trade shows, and more.

The battery storage project, proposed to the Virginia State Corporation Commission in September, is among several initiatives by Dominion Energy that will test alternatives to lithium-ion batteries. These alternatives are expected to discharge power for significantly longer durations, promising enhanced reliability and efficiency.

"These projects could be game changers for how we store energy and deliver it to our customers," said Ed Baine, President of Dominion Energy Virginia. "With longer-duration batteries, we can store energy from renewables for longer periods of time, so it's available when our customers need it the most. That's important for reliability and clean energy. We're thrilled to partner with Virginia State on this cutting-edge project."

The project calls for a 1.5-megawatt battery connected to the Multi-Purpose Center. The Energy Storage Vessel will be able to discharge energy for up to 10 hours and will be developed by EnerVenue, a California-based company specializing in metal-hydrogen technology.

By leveraging cutting-edge battery storage technology, VSU aims to enhance the Multi-Purpose Center's electric reliability, ensuring uninterrupted operations during outages or emergencies.

Additionally, the battery storage project will serve as a valuable learning resource for students in the VSU College of Engineering and Technology. Through collaboration with Dominion Energy, the university will develop a comprehensive curriculum that enables students to gain hands-on experience and an in-depth understanding of battery storage technology. This unique opportunity will prepare students for careers in the rapidly evolving energy sector, equipping them with the knowledge and skills required to meet industry demands.

"Our collaboration with Dominion Energy marks a significant step in advancing sustainable energy solutions," said Dr. Dawit Haile, Dean of the College of Engineering and Technology. "This partnership offers invaluable hands-on experiences for students and workforce development while reinforcing our commitment to innovative research in clean energy technologies. We're thrilled to offer transformative learning experiences and inspire the next generation of STEM leaders."

VSU is committed to creating a sustainable campus while preparing its students for career success in emerging industries. The partnership with Dominion Energy in the battery storage project represents a significant step towards achieving these goals.

If approved by the SCC, the project is expected to be operational by the end of 2027.