Monday, January 2, 2017

Battery Storage Poised to Expand Rapidly - The 2016 Los Angeles gas leak put battery storage of electricity on the fast track

[In 2016] amid fears of rolling blackouts across the nation's second-largest metro area and beyond, utilities like Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric latched on to a solution that for years had been quietly deployed, but needed an event like a looming gas shortage to be thrust into prime time. The solution was large-scale battery storage.
The technology is preparing for unprecedented growth in the United States over the next several years. As much as 1,800 megawatts of new energy storage — mostly from lithium-ion batteries — is expected to come online by 2021, according to GTM Research....

That's eight times larger than total U.S. installed energy storage capacity in 2016 and should translate into nearly 5,900 megawatt-hours of stored electricity that can be dispatched quickly to address power outages, shave peak demand charges or simply enhance grid reliability....

Energy storage is also critical to solving the intermittency challenges associated with renewable energy...

By early next year, the two Southern California utilities responding to Aliso Canyon — SCE and SDG&E — will bring 104.5 MW of new energy storage capacity online....

Paul Griffo, an SCE spokesman, said the utility's commitment to storage is based on both performance and cost analyses of the technology. In many cases, officials found that storage is less costly, more nimble, and easier to site and permit than new natural gas peaker plants. “It's tough to find sites that work for peakers in highly urbanized areas,” he noted.
Green Mountain Power ,,, the Vermont utility, which serves roughly 265,000 residential and commercial customers, recently began deploying storage technology in the city of Rutland, where a 2.5-MW solar array combined with a 4-MW lithium-ion battery is helping to shave peak demand charges for GMP's customers, in some cases by as much as $200,000 per hour.

The company is also partnering with battery maker Tesla to install hundreds of Tesla Powerwall battery systems in Vermont homes. Customers can lease the batteries for $37.50 a month or purchase the battery through the utility and recover their costs via energy credits, according to GMP officials.
By Daniel Cusick
Scientific American
January 1, 2017
from ClimateWire - E&E News. E&E provides daily coverage of essential energy and environmental news at

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