Determining the Best Energy Storage Options

Sandia National Laboratories and the Department of Energy have released a new tool – ES Select, to help utilities, developers and regulators identify the energy storage options that best meet their needs. The tool promotes public understanding of energy storage options and the benefits they offer when applied on the electric grid. This enables the easy determination of the value of energy storage technologies for a specified application, which developers predict will increase the adoption of energy storage technologies.

The tool is designed to provide users with fundamental insights regarding the capacity of energy storage technologies.  Previously, utilities and developers who want to use energy storage undergo an arduous process when considering which energy storage technology to apply. All have different costs, and estimating revenue from using various applications is difficult. This is set to change with the advent of ES-Select which aggregates all relevant factors into a single decision-support tool that runs in a few minutes. Rather than basing decisions on a single factor such as capital cost, ES-Select assesses how an energy storage technology performs while addressing uncertainties in application value, storage cost, cycle life, efficiency, discharge duration and other parameters.

ES-Select should benefit utilities, independent power producers, industrial and commercial enterprises, regulators, lawmakers and the public, including those doing research on energy storage. It will also encourage those who might not have considered energy storage before to think more seriously about it and evaluate its potential as a viable option.

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