How Do We Get to 100% Renewable Energy? Could be Storage, Storage, Storage

"2. Storage is becoming part of the power plant

New energy storage deployments demonstrate just how quickly we can overcome the limit that the sunset creates for solar. The trajectory of energy storage substituting for conventional generation can be traced from actual practices. Beyond the early or largest examples of non-battery energy storage recently illustrated in the New York Times, going forward, there is widespread and dramatic potential for the use of battery storage by businesses and hybrid power plants.

Battery storage added at a power plant, both conventional and renewables, can take on duties that were met by old generators. First seen in remote locations, battery storage paired with generation began in isolated grids in places like Hawaii and Chile where ancillary services from very small generator fleets were unavailable or constraining the grid operations. This helped establish the technical and commercial foundation for expansion to larger grids in the United States.

Recent energy storage deployments now demonstrate a turning point. Present state-of-the-art technology adoption includes manufacturer General Electric (GE) adding energy storage to improve the performance of its line of peaking plants.

With short duration storage now understood as providing ancillary and essential services, GE is delivering hybrid plants with storage and a gas turbine integrated in a system with a single set of controls. The GE hybrid system uses the storage to provide the reliability capabilities of the gas generator with instantaneous response, regardless of whether the unit is started and burning fuel when response is needed."

Read more: Union of Concerned Scientists | June 15, 2017

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Old Coal Mines Get Revived in an Attempt to Promote Clean Energy

"For that reason, developers have begun to look in other places to try and find an alternative solution, and that’s when they thought about pumped water storage technology. Whether this technology will work in the old mines remains to be seen, but developers from the UK to Germany, to the US are all willing to give it a go.

In southeastern California, a transmission line runs along Interstate 10 that connects solar farms in the Sonoran Desert to the city of Los Angeles.  Every day, from daybreak to nightfall, electricity is pumped through the line as photovoltaic panels absorb energy from the sun.  The problem is that the line goes quiet as soon as millions of people turn on their lights, and that’s what experts are trying to stop.  As stated by Steve Lowe, president of Eagle Crest Energy Co. “When the sun sets, that line goes empty.  We want to do something about it.”"

Read more: Trend in Tech | June 4, 2017

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How water can save solar: Using bulk storage to flatten the duck

"This points to bulk storage as an ideal solution for the problem. While unlikely to be promoted by Elon Musk in a Tesla showroom, pumped hydro storage may be the most ideal technology, as it is a long tested, mature technology with widely understood costs and operating parameters. It is well suited for large, sustained discharges of energy via pumping water during low cost periods (i.e., solar overgeneration periods) and releasing the water through hydro turbines when needed.  The size and duration of the discharge is limited only by the size of the reservoirs."

Read more: Utility Dive | May 30, 2017

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