ORIGINAL REPORTING: Will batteries do for wind what they're doing for solar?
Will batteries do for wind what they're doing for solar? Will batteries do for wind what they're doing for solar?
Herman K. Trabish, May 31, 2018 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: The use of storage with large-scale New Energy generation is increasing as prices continue to drop.
Energy storage is storming the U.S. power industry, driving changes from the bulk system level to the customer level. At the system level, February's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order 841 required bulk system operators to design new rules to integrate storage. April's Order 845 rewrote the rules on interconnection, opening new opportunities for storage. At the customer level, state lawmakers and regulators in 32 states considered 57 policy actions on deployment, targets, studies and rebates for energy storage in Q1 of this year. Until about 2015, utility executives and renewable energy skeptics regarded cost-competitive battery energy storage as unachievable. Today, it is a central focus of the power sector.
"We always called it the 'holy grail' because we knew too much wind and solar would break the grid without energy storage, but we thought it would always be too expensive," former Southern California Edison VP Jim Kelly told Utility Dive a 2015 conference. As the stack of services storage can offer, including capacity and resilience, became understood, it went from a holy grail to the hottest topic in energy. Lithium-ion batteries have captured the most attention, but there are several other fast-advancing battery chemistries and storage technologies, according to the November 2017 Levelized Cost of Storage Analysis from Lazard. Battery storage's cost is highly variable because of the range of technologies and applications, but the much-discussed cost plummet is real. The overall estimated cost fell 32% in 2015 and 2016, according to the 2017 GTM Reseach utility-scale storage report. That will slow over the next five years…But battery storage is — in certain places and applications — on its way to cost-competitiveness… click here for more