History of Grid-Scale

Since the electrical grid has existed, so has the need for stored forms of energy that can be drawn on to meet times of peak demand and regulate frequency. In the past, the bulk of this extra energy came from fossil fuel plants that were fired up and down with demand.

Source: The Energy Times, United States Department of Energy

As variable renewable resources make up a larger percentage of power generation resources, the need for stable and flexible forms of energy storage technologies continues to increase. At the time of writing, nearly all worldwide electricity storage capacity (especially large scale energy storage) is made up of pumped hydropower — the potential to generate vast loads in seconds makes it an extremely valuable storage resource. Pumped hydro storage was first used in Italy and Switzerland at the end of the 19th century.

Thermal energy storage also has a long history. Using solar power to heat water has been recorded as far back as one hundred years, although utility-scale thermal storage such as molten salt ESSs are a more recent invention, being first demonstrated in 1996 with the Solar Two project.

Just 6 years ago, only 0.34 GW of non-pumped hydro storage energy storage could be found worldwide. In 2017, energy storage installations increased nearly 50% over 2016, close to 6 GW of capacity. The bulk of this explosive growth is from battery energy storage systems (BESS) — specifically, lithium-ion BESS.

The first utility-scale demonstration was a 5-MW/1.25-MWh BESS, commissioned for Portand General Electric (PGE) in October 2012. It took just five short years for the first 100 MWh BESS to be commissioned, then completed, in South Australia to support the grid during summer’s peak demands.

Interested in learning more? Sign up to our newsletter for the week’s top stories or join our Energy Storage World Forum Group on LinkedIn with over 11600 members for industry insights. We also organise training courses, industry events and conferences.


Cutting costs for bulk ES

What technologies are being explored to cut costs for bulk energy storage?

Making energy storage cheaper is a key goal of a horde of companies. But how are they looking to store energy at much larger – gigawatt-hours, not megawatt-hours – scales? Increasing energy density or improving component manufacturing efficiency can only go so far. Nothing can yet match pumped hydropower, however the limited availability of suitable…

Read More

Quantifying the market potential

Energy storage systems for C&I: Quantifying the market potential

C&I: A growing energy storage market In 2017, only 4.3% of battery storage deployment could be classified as for commercial and industrial (C&I) use. Nevertheless, the sector has only recently begun to be explored by project developers and presents major opportunities for growth in several markets. According to Navigant Research, revenue for the C&I segment…

Read More

energy storage industry news

Would you like to receive energy storage industry news, free powerpoint presentations and opinion articles from our team?

YESand if I don't like it I will unsubscribe! MAYBE LATERI am busy now thinking all things energy storage