The Los Andes battery energy storage system is now one of the best performing reserve units in Northern Chile, according to reports issued by CDEC-SING, the region's grid operator. Located at AES Gener's Los Andes substation, the 12MW energy storage system delivers Capacity Release for Power Generators, a service developed by AES Energy Storage to enable a battery-based installation to meet system obligations for spinning reserve, allowing power generators to produce -- and sell -- power previously required to be held in reserve.

Performing continuously for more than 18 months as a critical reserve unit for Chile's northern grid, CDEC-SING reports that the project is the only reserve unit that has responded to all generator assisted fault restorations since January 2010. During this time it has demonstrated a response speed consistently higher than others units, while continuously overachieving in delivering the committed level of response. In addition to fast and accurate response times benefitting the grid, the project has allowed AES Gener to increase power generation from its Norgener plant by 4 percent.

"This project has been effective in improving the efficiency and reliability of the power grid in Northern Chile, allowing our Norgener plant to generate more electricity for this important industrial region," said Javier Giorgio, vice president operations of AES Gener. "We are excited to continue our work with AES Energy Storage to add similar projects to our portfolio, helping to improve plant efficiency, enable optimal operation, and deliver power for system operator requests nearly instantaneously."

In May 2011, AES Gener and AES Energy Storage began construction on another 20MW project in Northern Chile that will deliver the same service. AES Energy Storage will develop the system and implement it in cooperation with Empresa Electrica Angamos SA (Angamos), a subsidiary of AES Gener. Located near a new Angamos thermal power plant, the system will increase AES Gener's storage capacity from 12MW to 32MW and allow the Angamos plant to more effectively use its generating capability while still providing critical spinning reserve services to the northern grid. The system has been approved and is expected to begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2011.