We are pleased to share our Energy Storage interview with Nicholas Tumilowicz, Principal Manager, Grid Integration Of Distributed Energy Resources, ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE – EPRI. Mr. Tumilowicz will lead the Energy Storage Academy Masterclass in Berlin (10-11 October 2017).
What recent technology developments / advances in energy storage do you believe will mostly affect the Energy industry and how?
Iterative improvements on conventional storage mechanisms like compressed air and flywheels will continue as a function of technology enhancements and cost reductions. Lithium batteries will continue to dominate the battery storage market as it’s gaining traction as an option over conventional lead acid. Very early technology readiness level concepts like solid state storage are making their way through lab development, and will take years before the industry gathers product confidence until standardization, compliance, validation, and bankability are demonstrated.
What are the biggest challenges faced by the market players’ and how can they be overcome?
Some of the biggest challenges to deployment relate to (1) bankability concerns due to lack of historic data (2) misunderstood value specific to various applications/market rules (3) early stage attempt to standardize deployments. It is important to graduate beyond the proof of concept, demonstration, and pilot phases by collecting long term system performance data. This is will validate and derisk the asset for long term investments. Due to a variety of rules and regulations across various geographies, and early stage attempts to capture multi-use application value through co-optimization of assets, it’s important to clearly define and calculate the long term value based on actual regulatory framework. Tools are being developed in this area to help (ex/ ESIC and StorageVET). There is much work to standardize on design, data communication and controls, operations, and disposal. The industry will adopt to maximize efficiencies and streamline processes as deployments increase in a structured way.
Share your most recent interesting and challenging project that you have worked on?
This is the best part of my job, and difficult to select only one project. An increasing number of projects are including a mixed and varied allocation of distributed energy resources (DERs) outside of energy storage alone (i.e. management systems, solar, electric vehicles, demand response, etc). A particularly challenging project required design, installation, and maintenance of a variety of customer-sited DERs (PV, BESS, EV, DR, EE). This zero net energy community project is testing the sustained data management and control algorithms required to co-optimize multiple benefits from end user, DSO and TSO today.
How to enable revenue stacking?
Value stacking like resiliency/reliability and self-consumption are demonstrated at some scale today. Considering the expansive opportunity to serve multiple stakeholders (end users, DSO’s and TSO’s) with a singular storage asset, has yet to become fully realized. The industry is converging on a series of pilots and demonstrations to co-optimize battery energy storage in conjunction with variable generation toward multi-use applications. Much detail is required of the controls operations to manage time-valued energy, increase PV hosting capacity, market services, and customer satisfaction.
How to create more standardization and clearer specifications?
The industry needs collaboration entities to consolidate requirements and communicate with standards, compliance, and regulatory bodies to form a cohesive approach to utility and vendor standardization. It is important to note global standardization continues to be a challenge and will require a considerable effort to align product standards with DSO requirements. This is much easier to achieve within a specific geography, and it likely the best place to start to develop and iterate on improved standards and specifications.
ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE – EPRI provides thought leadership, industry expertise, and collaborative value to help the electricity sector identify issues, technology gaps, and broader needs that can be addressed through effective research and development programs for the benefit of society.
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