Energy Storage Will Replace Many Peaker Spinning Reserve Plants

Energy Storage Will Replace Many Peaker Spinning Reserve Plants

The 150-kW storage system that S&C Electric installed at its Chicago headquarters is a model for the future. They needed a working demo to show their customers how they would benefit from energy storage. They can see how you can reconfigure the network if there is an induced fault. There is a small working demo of PJMs frequency regulation market. The move to battery storage is inevitable, and enables the incorporation of much larger amounts of intermittent energy such as wind and solar. Troy Miller, S&Cs Manager, business development Power Quality Products, explained why battery storage will replace many peaker spinning reserve plants.

In North America, electric power is generated at about 60 Hz.

As electricity is more intermittent, fuel-powered plants are kept idling to ramp up quicker when there is a need for more power. They take minutes to respond and, in many cases, it has taken more than 20 minutes to minimize the mismatch between generation and loads.

One of the benefits of energy storage is that it can respond in less than two seconds across the board, Miller said. If you are responding in seconds, you can take care of irregularities before they become a bigger problem, he added. If you have a frequency excursion and you arrest that excursion, then you remove the need for much of the spinning resources to take care of the secondary event.

So a comparatively small amount of energy storage that acts fast can displace a larger amount of spinning reserve generation, he said.

Younicos, in Germany, claims battery storage technology can take the place of 25 fossil fuel burning plants, and enable the grid to carry 60% renewable content annually.

Miller said the percentage is up for debate, but battery storage will definitely enable more renewable content.

His response to Younicos claim that 5 MW of battery storage can displace 50 MW of conventional energy was an emphatic Yes.

An energy storage device can provide resources both up and down, so it can source 5 MW and also you can charge the battery, said Miller. So it becomes a resource in both directions, as opposed to a spinning reserve which can only go in one direction.

You also asked if battery storage could replace peaking power plants and the answer is yes, he added. We have a significant amount of generation online whose only job is to take care of the peaks as they occur. Energy storage is much more efficient.

It can significantly reduce individual customers bills by shaving off demand and peak power.

Energy storage can do the same thing for utilities. Currently, an infrastructure that transmits 8 gigawatts normally  has to be built out to 19 transformers, cables and everything to be able to deal with a 19 gigawatt peak.

If you could place storage strategically throughout the network so that you took care of those 8 gigawatts appropriately, you would not have to build up such a large infrastructure, said Miller. This would amount to significant savings globally across the grid.

Source: Clean Technica

SMART GRID Bulletin March 2017

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