Energy, Energy Storage, renewable, Renewable trends, Solar, Solar Energy, US Solar Industry, US Wind Energy

Energy storage: A “front page news” market worth $4 billion in 2-3 years

Energy storage, not only  improves the way we generate electricity, and helps during power outages,  but also, it can balance the power supply and demand immediately.

Traditionally, in order for utilities to handle any extra (peak) load, or outage, they have to start extra facility which  of course costs utility companies lots of money. By accessing grid-scale storage, utilities can access it instantaneously and save money.

The wide spread adaption of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and other ‘intermittent’ sources have created urgent needs for additional energy storage. Renewable energy sources are intermittent in nature producing energy when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing only. These clean energy sources will need to store energy  to create a continuous, “reliable stream of power throughout the day.

That is why utilities are considering deploying electrical energy storage systems.

Tesla completed massive 100-MW battery and signing another 20-MW battery in South Australia. Also,Tesla may build a massive battery in Queensland larger than the first two. Hyundai energy storage €37,87 million system, is expected to be commissioned this month and will be the largest battery in the world. Successful projects in Australia, Texas, California, and Puerto Rico. Utilities in Arizona, New York, and California are proposing electrical energy storage modernization plans.

According to a report from the Center for Sustainable Systems in University of Michigan, 1,315 energy storage projects were operational globally in 2017, with 14 projects under construction. 39% of operational projects and 50% of projects under construction are located in the U.S. California leads the U.S. in energy storage with 198 operational projects (4.3 GW), followed by Virginia and Texas.

Figure_1_U.S. Grid-Connected Energy Storage Projects by State in 2017

Many of the electrical energy storage system technologies are still in research phases, but few systems already been used by utilities. In the United State, in 2012, the first large-scale, utility application energy storage system was commissioned for Portand General Electric (PGE). This systems was the first of its kind and used lithium-ion battery technology. This early energy storage, utility scale  application was part of the U.S. Department of Energy Smart Grid Demonstrations.

Here are some examples:

Grid-Scale, Power Reserve Battery 

(Lead-acid, lithium-ion, nickel-based, sodium-based) stores electrical energy in the form of chemical energy, which will be converted back into the grid when needed.

Flywheels Energy Storage

Mechanical systems store electric energy via kinetic energy by spinning a rotor in a frictionless enclosure up or down to shift energy to or from the grid.

Compressed Air Energy Storage

To create electricity, the pressurized air is heated and expanded in an expansion turbine, driving a generator to create energy on demand.

Pumped Hydro-Power

Creating large-scale reservoirs of energy with water to generate electricity by pumping water from a low to a high reservoir, releasing the water from the higher reservoir through a hydroelectric turbine when electricity is needed.

A report authored by  Morgan Stanley last August, shows that the demand for energy storage will increase from less than $300 million in 2017 to $4 billion in the next 2–3 years ( 85 GWh would be enough to supply most of New York City for a year).

Energy storage has great benefits and saving. Utilizing energy storage systems means, electrical system will operate efficiently, which means lower prices, less emissions and more reliable power. “Energy storage technologies also improve the quality of power through frequency regulation, allows companies to produce power when it is cheapest and most efficient, and provide an uninterruptible source of power for critical infrastructure and services.” “The grid of the future is becoming more complex, necessitating improved grid infrastructure to accommodate a proliferation of distributed energy resources,” Morgan Stanley report says.




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