Dependency on hydroelectric power is expensive, hence the need for alternative sources of power. Many countries have turned to solar and wind technology because they are more reliable, inexpensive, and conserve the environment. They also help curb emissions and pollutants from plants. But what happens in scenarios where it’s not sunny or windy?
Since these renewables depend on nature, there’s a need for a backup plan. That’s where energy storage systems come into play_the most prevalent type being lithium-ion batteries. Initially, they used to have a capacity of a few megawatts, but nowadays, they go up to 866 megawatts.
The goal of utilities is to produce sufficient electricity enough for the demand quickly. Wind and solar are excellent supplements for nuclear plants, coal, and gas, which often pollute the environment. On the other hand, if you are using one of the electric companies in your area it is easy and quick to switch. Start by visiting the HomeEnergyClub website to learn details about dozens of electricity companies serving your area and choose the best electricity plan for your home.
Consistent energy storage is vital for both short term and long-term goals. Variable renewables are proving to be a perfect choice.
What are Utility-scale Batteries?
Connecting stationary batteries with power-generation assets is ingenious. Alternatively, grid-scale batteries are placed on transmission systems to help keep a balance between supply and demand of electricity.
This implies that whenever variable renewable energy charges, the energy is stored into power systems for future use. In doing so, it improves flexibility enabling power to be available 24/7 regardless of the weather.
Lithium-ion batteries are becoming a dominant technology as experts continue to make improvements. It is foreseen that soon we could have utility-scale batteries that last between four to eight hours.
Using batteries as storage systems is becoming popular thanks to their ability to absorb, store quickly, and reinject electricity. They come in handy whenever there is a high electricity demand.
Other than lithium-ion batteries, other technologies include lead-acid and sodium-sulfur batteries. All of them can work well in grid applications.
How do Utilities Store Electricity?
The most common way is to pump water from a low reservoir uphill to a high one, approximately 1500 feet up. Then when there is a need, the water is released back through turbines to the lower reservoir. One limitation of pumped hydro is it’s a location-based system.
Another method entails the usage of concentrated solar power plants where molten salt stores heat enough to generate electricity. The integration of batteries and solar panels gives rise to solar batteries. The batteries preserve energy from the solar panels to be used whenever there is no sun.
Batteries are now the most sought after energy storage systems across the globe. Reduced costs has made countries like Singapore add batteries to solar installations. Numerous companies have resorted to cheaper, less toxic safe batteries for energy storage Singapore. These services are available for residential, commercial, and also electric grid shoppers. There has been a sharp growth of lithium-ion batteries as a way to help cope with the high energy demand.
Impact of Utility-Scale Batteries on Power System
Utility-scale batteries are beneficial in many ways. For instance, they revamp the usage of variable renewable energy. The energy penetrates the grid much better and stores any excess through capacity firming of energy output.
Besides, when these batteries are paired with generators, they provide cheap and reliable electricity in grids. Resource developers ensure that renewable energy gets onto the grid during periods that it is needed most.
Those who depend on diesel can now opt to use these useful batteries instead. Listed below are some services that these batteries provide.
- Frequency Response
Whenever there is a difference between power supply and demand, a dip in grid frequency occurs. Thermal power plants try to control this imbalance but at a costly price. Sometimes this traditional method is inefficient because it requires the use of many standby generation plants.
On the other hand, battery storage provides regulation services that are faster and work within milliseconds.
2. Regulation Reserves
Energy stores get charged during the day, or when there is low demand, then discharged when the demand costs are high. Storage helps maintain a balance of intermittent renewables, resulting in smooth, high-quality, reliable renewable grids.
3. Capacity credit
Current generation plants are unable to feed the peak demands of electricity. Expanding these transmission systems is costly. Storage is an advantageous way to provide energy during peak hours quickly. The massive use of electronic devices calls for more power demand. A fast response storage system ensures immediate power quality.
4. Black Start Services
Grid failures require power to restore them. In most cases, diesel generators located within the plants provide this boost. Similarly, grid-scale scale battery storage systems can also provide the needed power to black start generator plants after power outages.
Battery storage systems help increase flexibility in the power supply. If integrated correctly, it offers the best energy storage alternative solutions. They provide a steady supply of energy and, in turn, reduce electricity bills, safe for the environment, and provide grid flexibility. Traditional methods have limitations. Thankfully, bulk energy storage systems help to fill the gaps.