Commercial Energy Storage
The rise of commercial energy storage technology has become a key component of the clean energy transition. According to the International Energy Association, there will be 266 GW of energy storage capacity in operation by 2030. By 2040, it is projected that 942 GW will be in operation. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 620 billion dollars will need to be invested in this field to meet the goal of limiting global warming to two degrees.
Anesco is the premier authority on commercial energy storage
Anesco is the world’s leading authority on solar energy storage systems. The company connected the UK’s first utility scale battery storage unit in 2014 and has since designed and installed over 150MW of energy storage facilities. Most businesses spend a significant amount of money on energy bills each year. Energy storage solutions reduce emissions and help businesses save money, which can have a huge impact on their cost structure, competitiveness and reputation.
The Anesco-Lascar Battery Energy Storage System is a 20,000 kW energy storage project located in Lascar, England. It uses lithium-ion storage technology, which the company developed. The project uses 16 1.25MWh lithium ion containers.
Storage is rapidly becoming a major energy source, with many states setting their own target for achieving that level by 2022. New York, for example, has allocated $300 million commercial energy storage to encourage new development of the technology. But while state mandated targets are encouraging, some challenges still hinder deployment. These barriers include wholesale market uncertainty, interconnection delays and lack of monetization. But if these barriers are addressed, more storage is likely to come online, helping the state achieve its goal of reducing energy costs for all residents.
Flow batteries are an alternative to lithium-ion batteries
Flow batteries have a range of advantages over lithium-ion batteries. They have a very low levelized cost of energy and long cycle lives. However, their low levelized cost of energy means they have higher capital costs than lithium-ion batteries. Flow batteries are not yet ready for commercial use, but they could be used in microgrids and utility company infrastructure.
Lithium-ion batteries are the dominant battery storage technology today. These batteries have a high energy density and are lightweight. They can also be upgraded to add silicon, which increases their power capacity. Their advantages also make them the preferred choice for longer-term grid energy storage.
Flow batteries are an attractive option because they are modular. They are flexible and can be easily configured to meet the energy storage requirements of large energy storage systems. In addition to this, flow batteries can be charged and discharged quickly. This is more convenient than waiting for 20 minutes for a single charge at a fuel station.
The first flow battery was developed in the 1980s by Maria Skyllas-Kazacos at the University of New South Wales. She developed a vanadium redox battery that was patented in 1986. Since then, only a few commercial installations of flow batteries have been completed. However, a 2 MW/8 MWh system was launched by San Diego Gas & Electric for participation in the wholesale market in December 2018. Although this is a small-scale deployment, it may become a viable option for commercial energy storage in the future.
Flow batteries are another type of alternative to lithium-ion batteries. While they represent less than five percent of the market, they have been successfully used in several energy storage projects. Their low energy density and high cycle-life make them a good choice for stationary applications.
While Flow batteries are an attractive alternative to lithium-ion batteries for commercial use, capital costs of flow batteries are higher than those of lithium-ion batteries. As they use commercial energy storage a wider range of discharges, their capital costs are expected to improve, but they are not at par with lithium-ion batteries at today’s pricing.
As the energy storage market continues to grow, flow batteries may be a more affordable alternative. Their long-term life and relatively low cost per unit may make them a better choice for larger systems than lithium-ion batteries. In addition, flow batteries are expected to have a low self-discharge rate and a low energy density.
A redox flow battery uses an electrolyte and catholyte, separated by a thin membrane, to produce electricity. A redox flow battery’s power and storage time depends on the electrolyte volume and electrode surface area. They can be customized according to power and storage requirements.
Large-scale battery storage projects are the most common type of battery storage. These projects are usually not large enough to replace the traditional grid. However, they can help stabilize the grid and provide relief during peak hours.
PJM’s Self-Generation Incentive Program
EES offers a PJM Self-Generation Incentive Program that rewards energy efficiency projects. In order to qualify, a project must meet certain criteria. The EES must be certified as an energy efficient project and must be compliant with certain industry standards. The EES pays on the basis of the number of kWh of electricity saved. This program is separate from utility rebates and state incentives to reduce energy use.
The program is structured in such a way that the customer is not required to pay a refundable fee if the project is not approved. For example, a customer can apply for incentives for a customized project that incorporates zero-loss drains, storage, and a new VFD compressor. If the project meets the eligibility criteria, it receives up to $50,000 in utility incentives. In addition, PJM will deliver an additional $10,000 to $15,000 in incentives based on PJM credits.
While PJM has provided some clarity, questions remain. What constitutes a “state subsidy”? How do renewable energy credits fit into the PJM self-generation incentive program? What about state renewable portfolio standards? What are the details of the competitive exemption?
The Self-Generation Incentive Program is designed to promote distributed energy resources, including solar and wind energy. The program offers rebates for deploying renewable energy and storing it for later use. Its main market has been California, where regulators have embraced energy storage and given it a major boost.
PJM is an association that coordinates the wholesale electricity market in 13 states and the District of Columbia. It operates a competitive wholesale electricity market and manages a high-voltage grid. It serves about 58 million people. It is the world’s largest electricity market and handles more than $40 billion in electric transactions annually. Members of the association include power generators, transmission owners, electricity distributors, power marketers, and large consumers.