More Utilities take a strategic approach to solar and energy storage

Utility-scale storage projects are on the rise and the storage market is expected to reach 2.6 gigawatts (GW) in 2022, according to GTM Research. The global annual utility-scale energy storage power capacity additions are expected to grow from 1,158.8 MW in 2017 to 30,472.5 MW by 2026, according to new report published by Navigant Research.

Storage installations create opportunities for utilities wishing to smooth ramping requirements, optimize the system to boost grid reliability, power quality, load leveling, facilitate the integration of renewables. As technologies improve and the number of energy storage projects increases, the cost of energy storage is declining, thus creates a new opportunity for extra revenue streams.

Battery storage pairs well with renewables and enhances their operability by shifting power delivery to match in real-time demand. California utilities have deployed successfully many solar-plus-storage systems and continue to seek new projects. Utilities from states such as Arizona, New Mexico, Florida are also researching the ways to implement energy storage into their grids and look beyond the tactical level in order to best position themselves and enhance their services.

Utility-scale solar prices have fallen below $1/watt as technology costs decline. Battery storage systems can supply dispatchable energy for several hours thus overcoming the intermittency of renewables. This also can help the utility smooth out fluctuations, as well as optimize the transmission system.

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Image credit: SolarCity

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