California to Assess Value of Energy Storage to the Grid

The California Independent System Operator will kickstart a two-month market simulation to assess the commercial-scale energy storage services provided by the University of California at San Diego. The academic institution runs what is likely the largest energy storage plant in the United States among the universities, in terms of capacity. The 5 MW facility allows UCSD to rack up savings of close to $1 million annually through a variety of energy storage solutions, such as lithium-ion batteries, zinc-bromine flow batteries and fuel cells. The CAISO will be putting UCSD’s energy storage test bed under the microscope, and arrive at answers to important questions including how the grid benefits from energy storage integration, and the cost incurred by implementing energy storage to strengthen the reliability of the grid.

The head of the energy storage project at UCSD, William Torre, has hopes that the evaluation will result in “a better idea of how to value grid support”, before adding that the school is “rethinking the paradigm of how to design an energy efficient island community with microgrids, energy storage and demand response capability, which may be more efficient than the grid going forward”.

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