What is Energy Storage?
Energy storage is the capture of energy produced for future use. The energy can be stored in various ways, from pumped hydroelectric, compressed air, flywheels, batteries to thermal energy storage.
A core function is to store energy when supply exceeds load and inject energy when load exceeds supply. The technology provides high round trip efficiency, low operating cost, near-instantaneous response, zero direct emissions and the ability to free up generation capacity.
Energy storage also has the potential to reduce fossil fuel generation from Natural Gas Peaker plants, enabling better utilization of surplus energy generated from renewable resources.
Across the industrial, commercial and residential sectors, energy storage is seeing massive growth in both demand and efficiency.
According to EIA’s Annual Electric Generator Report, operating utility-scale battery storage power capacity has more than quadrupled from the end of 2014 (214 MW) through March 2019 (899 MW). Assuming currently planned additions are completed and no current operating capacity is retired, utility-scale battery storage power capacity could exceed 2,500 MW by 2023.
“Corporate policy and the general public’s preference for clean energy has also had an impact on what we’re seeing in the industry,” explains Paul. “New ways that energy is now managed in homes, businesses, transportation, local distribution systems and across the Provincial grid create substantial flexibility and demand for energy storage resources.”
“In other jurisdictions, we’re also seeing hybrid renewables paired with energy storage systems which improve system performance on-site and from a grid balancing perspective, giving more of what it needs in terms of reliability,” says Paul.