Energy Storage Provides Value Beyond Renewables

Energy storage is being deployed in a growing number of applications around the world.
Published: Fri 05 Dec 2014

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Energy storage can provide value in different markets and it’s necessary to put all the pieces together and ensure the incentives are there for those making the investments, John Zahuranick, president of AES Energy Storage, told Engerati at European Utility Week 2014.

“We have worked in the north of Chile with a small islanded grid and found value for storage there, and we’ve worked in PJM with a highly marketized, large interconnected grid and found value there. Most other markets fall between these two poles,” says Zahuranick.

Drivers for storage

Zahuranick says that there are two main drivers for storage. One is the growth of renewable energies. The second, less talked about, is the retirement of older generation plants.

“Having a technology with a fast response, no emissions and able to be sited in places where you wouldn’t put a power plant is what storage brings,” he says.

Business case for storage

Zahuranick says that in making the business case it is necessary to know what job needs doing with storage. He believes both distributed storage and grid-scale energy storage will emerge in different timeframes and for different uses. However, he says he thinks what is most critical is “keeping the lights on and using [the power infrastructure] that has been built and paid for most efficiently.”

“There are cases of specific transmission lines having a lot of congestion and adding storage could avoid or defer a massive upgrade.”