360 MW Of Grid-Scale Energy Storage Systems Launched In 2013-2014

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Navigant Research has released a new report stating that between January 2013 and September 2014, 91 new grid-scale energy storage systems were announced or launched. The total capacity for these systems is 362.8 megawatts. Lithium-ion technology is the leader for these storage systems, but flywheels and flow batteries are also emerging as options for storing electricity produced by clean sources.

Backup_BatteriesWhile 360 MW might not sound like much compared with the amounts of renewable energy that are being generated in places like California, which reached 4.8 GW of utility-scale solar power generation in September of 2014, it should be noted that these storage systems are emerging technologies,, and they need to be supported.

Navigant Research analyst Anissa Dehamna explained, “This is a critical time for the advanced energy storage industry. The market has started moving quickly across a number of  technologies, but in order for the industry to continue to scale, more systems integrators are needed.”

A separate Navigant research report found that the market for grid energy storage and support services will grow in the next ten years from $675 million annually to $15.6 billion. That’s an increase of over twenty times in ten years. Investors, take note.

Everyone who follows renewable energy knows that solving the energy storage problem for solar and wind is sort of a holy grail, because once it is resolved, there really isn’t much of an argument against clean energy. Intermittency is an acknowledged barrier to more solar and wind power, but the energy storage trend seems to very gradually moving towards catching up.

There are clean energy storage precedents. Over one hundred years ago, an American engineer named Charles Brush built his own wind turbine and home battery system.

Also, pumped hydroelectric is a form of energy storage, as explained by the USGS:

The reservoir acts much like a battery, storing power in the form of water when demands are low and producing maximum power during daily and seasonal peak periods. An advantage of pumped storage is that hydroelectric generating units are able to start up quickly and make rapid adjustments in output. They operate efficiently when used for one hour or several hours. Because pumped storage reservoirs are relatively small, construction costs are generally low compared with conventional hydropower facilities.

So, energy storage has been around for a long time, meaning that it isn’t weird or impossible, it simply is taking other forms now. The cost of the new ones are also dropping.

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Jake Richardson

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10 thoughts on “360 MW Of Grid-Scale Energy Storage Systems Launched In 2013-2014

  • If you want a really intriguing storage technology look up “Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage” in Wikipedia A paper mill in Wisc. get’s it high peak power from such a unit. Maybe not practical for the avg. home, but very “cool”.

  • It looks like Germany, Denmark, … will have PV+wind “baseload”, batteries for short term backup, biogas+biomass+hydro to fill usual gaps and coal/gas for 10-20% of the year when all above won’t be enough.
    The question is what will ” Lovins’ ” tricks do – ice storage, thermal storage, demand response, efficiency, …

  • storage unit is MWh. Otherwise it is meaningless

    • I’m always amused by this sensitivity to including “h” after the “MW” or the “KW” they must have hit you with a ruler at engineering school to make you sensitive. It really does make those in the Electric Biz hair stand on end…we generalists and dreamers amuse ourselves by tormenting you by erasing “h’s” from web postings. Hey Bud, just kidding.

      • Just imagine a post saying that some new train reached a speed of 500 Km, that would be ridiculous.
        This is exactly the same.

      • versonata, in this case I agree with drevney. The amount of energy stored is important. For instance, if the 360MW can only be delivered for 1 second it is much less useful than being able to deliver 360MW for an hour, or 5 hours, or a day…just say’n….

  • Just add Ultracapacitors and profit. The power density on that technology is increasing exponentially. They already have small caps with 1000s of Farads, today.

    • links please….

  • V2G, Vehicle to GRID can also help and give distributed back up. It’s already being done in Delaware by the University. They have tariffs so the vehicles get paid over $1,000 a year to be plugged in when not in use.

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