Energy storage has been marked as a key technology to help increase the deployment of clean energy and help us move towards a more sustainable society. There have been fast moving developments in this sector over the past five years or so, seeing us progress from relatively modest and expensive batteries towards large/commercial scale storage capable of holding thousands of hours of clean electricity with continually falling costs.
California is now home to the largest lithium battery farm in the world. It consists of 400,000 batteries encased in shipping containers and took 6 months to build. It stores a staggering 120 MW hours of energy, enough to power 20,000 homes for 4 hours. This can allow homes and businesses to use more clean energy and less produced from fossil fuels. It can store energy from solar or wind while it is abundant and then distribute it at times of low production.
Avoid Peak Demand Charges
Storage will also help businesses, domestic consumers and utilities to avoid peak demand charges. These can occur when there are high levels of demand from the grid, basic supply versus demand economics. Having storage enables users to participate in “peak shaving” where they use stored energy at times of peak demand to help reduce their bill.
With such a dynamic and fast passed industry developments in storage are happening every day. Not only that but the way we use and interact with our energy and storage systems is continually changing as we move toward a smart energy system. In a previous ImpactNV article we looked at how there is now the possibility to use your electric car battery as storage for your home, or even to send energy back to the grid at times of high demand. This is known as vehicle to grid or vehicle to home technology and is another illustration of the direction in which we are moving and what exciting innovations are to come, helping us to be more sustainable and save money.
BBC Radio Program on energy storage: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/science-environment-42021353/the-world-s-biggest-lithium-battery-farm