In 2023, GridLab worked with Telos Energy to provide an analysis of replacing Maryland based coal plant Brandon Shores with a battery energy storage system (BESS). The Brandon Shores coal plant recently announced its plan to cease operation in mid-2025. However, upon study PJM found that the plant is needed to provide reliability to the Baltimore, Maryland area until a portfolio of new transmission can be built. Unfortunately, the new transmission projects are not forecasted to come online until the end of 2028. PJM’s solution to this gap is to continue to run the Brandon Shores plant under a reliability must-run (“RMR”) condition until the transmission projects are completed. GridLab and Telos were asked to evaluate whether there was a more cost effective solution that could technically solve the problem without relying on a 30+ year old coal plant.
The analysis required the re-creation of PJM power system models and an in-depth study of the reliability risks posed by the retirement of the plant. Engineers at Telos then completed contingency analysis, generation deliverability analysis, and load deliverability analysis following the same procedures developed by PJM. The effort determined that there were meaningful reliability concerns with Brandon Shores retiring and not being replaced with new generation. However, a combination of storage, reconductoring, and expediting voltage support projects was found to meet the reliability needs of the area while also potentially saving hundreds of millions of dollars.
The analysis was presented to Maryland government officials and aims to demonstrate that there are alternatives to RMRs that should be evaluated to maintain reliability as future coal plants retire.