The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

What Can Lithium Ion Battery Technology Do for Transmission & Distribution Investment Deferral?

Advanced energy storage technology continues to develop, with projects moving out of the pilot stages and into commercial-scale, economically viable deployments.

Lithium ion battery technology is technically and economically superior to traditional generation-based mechanisms used for ancillary services, including frequency regulation, spinning reserve and renewable integration

In addition to those services, another existing scenario where advanced energy storage demonstrates significant promise is in helping to defer investment in and optimize costly transmission and distribution (T&D) upgrades, especially where right-of-way is limited or accessibility is reduced.

T&D assets are sized to meet peak demand, but are rarely used at those levels. As demand increases, T&D assets need to be upgraded to serve growing peak demand, while maintaining all assets in the T&D delivery chain within their ratings.

The cost of adding T&D assets, which includes the capital cost of equipment, an annual financial carrying charge and operation and maintenance fees, can be significant. In most cases, however, the total capacity of the T&D asset increase is not needed immediately as the upgrades are generally planned to support projected demand several years ahead of time and typically come in large incremental blocks of added capacity. 

Advanced energy storage can be deployed to defer the considerable cost associated with adding T&D capacity by offering a solution that can be added to the grid incrementally, which coincides with the incremental increase in demand. Storage can also be permitted and placed close to load, thus relieving the complete delivery chain—from the original source of generation, through the T&D delivery chain and to the point of use.

For example, a utility determines that it needs to add 2 MW of T&D assets to an 8-MW distribution system to meet projected demand. In the U.S., demand typically increases by a few percentages points per year, so the utility will likely only need to increase capacity by about 240 kW per year. Instead of implementing the entire 2-MW T&D upgrade, the utility can opt to deploy 240-kW advanced energy storage systems to keep up with demand, the cost of which is comparable to the annual carrying charge associated with the full asset deployment.

Over time, the T&D upgrades — including new transformer banks as well as additional transmission lines and distribution circuit capacity — must ultimately be executed to meet the demand increase. At that point, the modular design of lithium ion battery energy storage solutions enables them to be economically detached and redeployed at another point in the distribution system for T&D deferral at a different substation. Because lithium ion battery systems offer a lengthy service lifetime, this process can be repeated several times as necessary.

In addition to mitigating the significant costs associated with T&D asset investment, deploying advanced energy storage for T&D deferral can increase asset utilization by eliminating the need for capital upgrades to meet brief duration peak system loads. The ability to “peak shave” at the circuit, substation and even system level through aggregation will offer utilities a reliable and effective new alternative to increasing total system asset capacity factor, which measures asset utilization. Better asset utilization ultimately means delivering maximum value for utilities’ rate-payer investment in T&D delivery assets.

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Welspun Commissions 52-MW Solar Power Plant in India

Vince Font Leading Indian solar developer Welspun Renewables has commissioned the construction of a massive solar plant in the state of Maharashtra. The planned 52-megawatt (MW) solar plant will be located in the city of Baramati. The...

Energy Storage and Geothermal Markets Look To Team Up in the Hunt for Lithium

Meg Cichon In today's fast-paced tech environment, no one can make a splash quite like Elon Musk. So when he decided to enter the energy storage game in 2014, he did it with gusto. Musk is now in the process of building what he coined...

Regional News from the July/August 2015 Digital Edition of Renewable Energy World

Renewable Energy World Editors EcoFasten Solar announced that it launched a new mounting "Rock-It System" that it would be displaying during Intersolar. Product compliance was determined through testing per UL Subject 2703, which reviews integr...
Chris Campbell is responsible for A123 Systems’ global go-to-market strategy for the Energy Solutions Group business unit. He is defining and developing the worldwide markets for A123's energy storage solutions, exploiting a rapidly expanding smar...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

5th Annual Hydro Plant Maintenance

Join maintenance professionals to discuss the challenges in maintenance ...

Presenting at Infocast's Utility Scale Solar Summit 2015

Oct. 21, 2015 4:30-5:15pm Albie Fong, National Director, Solar Frontier ...

COMPANY BLOGS

Compression: That’s What It's All About

With Intersolar already 2 weeks behind us (how did that happen...

Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

Behind Every Good Decision

When something about your business isn’t working, you set out to c...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS