With an anticipated brutal winner approaching, doubt is mounting that the electrical grid will be able to handle the increased demand. In a recent GLOBE NEWSWIRE press release, Elevate Renewables, a renewable energy development company, announced that a substantial upgrade in transmission investment must be made at domestic power plants. Elevate specializes in battery energy storage and can be a solution when managing high-demand load areas.
“Our domestic power plants are staring down at a tsunami of demand from several challenges,” said Eric Cherniss, Elevate Renewables’ founder and head of development. “Whether it is a result of population growth, technological advancements, the electrification of energy, transportation, climate control, or behavioral changes, significant transmission upgrade investment is essential to ensure the reliability, flexibility, and sustainability of the U.S. electrical grid.
According to the press release, privately owned energy storage can be added to existing renewable energy sources for storing excess energy. It can then be injected into the grid when needed and, as a result, shore up reliability. Additionally, this practice possesses the ability to reduce emissions of the current thermal supply as it maneuvers to back up the renewable grid.
“We believe that private investment in energy storage is an efficient and logical solution to mitigate the cost of increasing demand on our electric power infrastructure,” added Cherniss. “Not only does energy storage facilitate our national clean energy initiative as well as help de-carbonize the grid, but a non-wires alternative will also be significantly cheaper for the ratepayer.”
Realizing Capital Needs
According to Cherniss, to maintain reliability at the Brandon Shores power plant in Baltimore, MD, Exelon was directed to spend $785 million on transmission upgrades. With implementing a battery energy storage system, or BESS, Cherniss suggests a 40 to 60 percent reduction in upgrade expenditures. This could exemplify where energy storage should be encouraged to be used with existing or replacement thermal power generation.
“The Brandon Shores transmission upgrades are cheap as compared to what happened in California when San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station retired,” said Cherniss. “For that project, CAISO planned to spend $2.3 billion on the necessary reliability upgrades.”
Methods of Successful Implementation
Battery storage is the most realistic means of meeting the increasing demand for electricity while managing the effect of aging infrastructure found in the nation’s power plants. Through multiple applications, it can mitigate costs and challenges associated with infrastructure aid.
Load balancing and grid stabilization can be accomplished through battery storage systems. Excess stored energy can be released during peak periods. This practice reduces grid strain and assists in preventing overloads and dangerous blackouts.
Battery storage can additionally shave instances of peak usage by providing additional electricity when needed. This offers cost savings by reducing the need to construct additional power plants and upgrade grid infrastructure.
Due to their ability to respond at a quick pace to voltage and frequency changes, battery storage systems provide a viable method of regulating power. This is most significant in managing grids with an increased supply of intermittent renewable energy sources. Battery storage injects resilience into the power grid with the ability to execute a backup supply when the primary means falter. This ensures continuity in power supply with minimization of outages.
Future Paved Through Cost Reduction
As a champion of the renewable energy sector, the possibilities of battery storage have grown into a realistic component in servicing the energy grid primarily due to the costs associated with their use. Battery storage can reduce the losses associated with transmission and distribution by providing power directly to the electrical grid. By helping to avoid blackouts and downtime, their costs far outweigh those paired with repairing and improving existing infrastructure.
Battery storage systems can optimize grid operations when deployed in critical areas. They shore up resilience reliability, and increase efficiency. By offering an improved method to safely and effectively ensure a reliable power supply, battery storage systems offset the costs of design and construction of infrastructure that, while adequate when first implemented, will only begin to fail as the demand increases proportionately with population growth. Implementing battery storage provides a more cost-efficient means of responding to that growing demand to ensure grid reliance.
Nick Vaccaro is a freelance writer and photographer. In addition to providing technical writing services, he is an HSE consultant in the oil and gas industry with twelve years of experience. Vaccaro also contributes to SHALE Oil and Gas Business Magazine, American Oil and Gas Investor, Oil and Gas Investor, Energies Magazine and Louisiana Sportsman Magazine. He has a BA in photojournalism from Loyola University and resides in the New Orleans area. Vaccaro can be reached at 985-966-0957 or email@example.com.