NewEnergyNews: The Battery Energy Storage Gamechanger

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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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    Friday, December 13, 2019

    The Battery Energy Storage Gamechanger

    Batteries Will Change the Energy Industry Forever; Energy storage is no longer an asset class that utilities can ignore.

    Travis Hoium, December 11, 2019 (The Motley Fool)

    "...[E]nergy storage is suddenly an economical asset to consider as part of the electric grid. If regulators and utilities find ways for energy storage to generate revenue, finance companies will open up their wallets and fund investment...Utilities see value in energy storage as a way to offset expensive peak generation on high-demand days...[A trial Southern California Edison rate charges $0.38/kWh for peak use] but rates during off-peak hours are just $0.13...The $0.25 difference can be cost savings for homeowners with a battery...Depending on the size of the battery, savings could be a few dollars per day for consumers and for utilities it means buying less power from expensive peaker plants, helping lower rates for everyone...

    Utilities are also seeing it as a way to reduce transmission and distribution costs, and even put off investment in new power plants...Con Edison is using batteries as part of a plan to defer $1.2 billion in substation investments...SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN), and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) are starting to build energy storage systems that reduce on-site electric bills and can even bid capacity into electric grids by creating a virtual power plant...When batteries cost thousands of dollars per megawatt (MW), it was tough to justify their value to the grid because the up-front expense was too high. But costs have fallen nearly 90% in the past decade...and will be only $8 to $14/MWh by next year, or about a penny per kWh. For perspective, the average kWh of electricity costs about 13 cents...

    Combined directly with wind and solar, energy storage starts to become really compelling. NextEra Energy estimates that post-2023, wind plus energy storage costs will be $20/MWh to $30/MWh...[And, matching natural gas,] solar plus energy storage will be $30/MWh to $40/MWh...As the cost of energy storage becomes competitive with traditional fossil fuel assets, there is a growing demand..." click here for more

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