ORIGINAL REPORTING: Solar, wind and battery storage hybrid projects are starting to gang up on fossil generation
Utilities take note: Hybrid renewables projects are coming; Solar, wind and battery storage are starting to gang up on fossil generation
Herman K. Trabish, April 3, 2018 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: The use of hybrid projects continues to gain momentum but remains far from a significant factor in the renewables marketplace.
Only a few U.S. utilities are pursuing innovative hybrid projects that combine wind, solar and/or battery storage in various combinations. Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) is operating a solar-plus-storage project that may be the first U.S. renewables-powered peaker plant. And Arizona Public Service (APS) just contracted with First Solar for what is said to be the first utility-scale renewables peaker plant. But it's an option whose time has come, Strategen Consulting Vice President Lon Huber told Utility Dive. “Wind-plus is probably in the $0.03/kWh range in many places, solar-plus is in the $0.045/kWh range, and their dispatchability adds enormous benefits,” he said. "Every serious developer in the renewables space will be arming with a storage-plus solution.”
While some analysts ask if hybrid project advantages are theoretical or real, Huber and others, including FTI Consulting's Feng Zhao, and Grid Strategies' Michael Goggin say such projects have advantages that make them cost-competitive with traditional generation. Unlike single renewables, hybrids offer load profiles that meet system needs across the day and the year, fuller use of transmission, and two-for-one bargains on the costs of interconnection, siting, and operations and maintenance. The global hybrid market could be $1.47 billion by 2024 and the U.S. market is projected to grow from 2015’s $195 million to more than $300 million by 2024, according to Global Market Insights. The appeal is that they operate similarly to baseload power and eliminate the choice between wind or solar or storage “by combining the best of all three,” Jean-Claude Robert, GE Renewable Energy’s Hybrids Leader, emailed Utility Dive… click here for more