Skunk Works Advisors
Battery Energy Storage System
What is a Battery Energy Storage System ("BESS")?
A battery energy storage system (BESS) is an electrochemical device that charges (or collects energy) from the grid or a power plant and then discharges that energy at a later time to provide electricity or other grid services when needed. BESS have a substantial technical advantage over conventional generation units that allows it to easily perform certain tasks. The systems are clearly the dominant technology currently.
As the share of renewables in the power production increases, so does its intermittency. This leads to an increased need for flexibility providers, such as Battery Energy Storage Solutions (BESS), on the electricity grid. The grid itself must maintain balance. When energy is created if it is not used, it expires. Also, when demand for energy is needed, it must be met. Energy Storage resolves these problems. They maintain the balance of demand for energy, provide storage for what would otherwise be wasted, and are able to meet the need of energy at peak demand times.
This is important to today’s market. 60 years ago, we had an unpredictable load, but a very predictable generation. You could ramp-up and ramp-down generation by turning a dial. Today, we have more and more intermittent resources and renewables dispatching the grid resulting in more demand response. We now have both unpredictable load and unpredictable generation, making it much more difficult for the operators of the grid to balance the two. There is an opportunity for batteries to act like shock absorbers for the grid and keep things stable.
Battery storage can be paired with intermittent renewable resources like solar, wind, wave power, etc. The ever-increasing levels of renewable energy demand the need for frequency control services to manage increased variability and uncertainty in the power system. For instance, we are now able to place stand-alone batteries closer to load generated from large-scale wind and solar projects. This provides an opportunity for frequency response and regulation in that it allows grid operators to dispatch generators more efficiently.
Low Environmental Impact- Energy storage has many environmental benefits that can make it a valuable tool for meeting sustainability goals. By improving the overall efficiency of the power grid, storage accelerates the broader adoption of renewable energy.
Small Land Footprint- On a more local level, an energy storage system has no emissions, so it can be placed anywhere with nearby power load with no environmental or air quality impacts. The battery's small footprint reduces the need for land.
Utility companies require that a BESS project comply with all performance and availability requirements for services it provides. This maximizes their value to the grid and project developers. This multi-use approach to BESS is known as value-stacking. An example of these are as follows.
Load Levelling: System operators charge batteries during periods of excess generation and discharge batteries during periods of excess demand to more efficiently coordinate the dispatch of generating resources.
Peak Shaving: Use stored energy during peak times to reduce or eliminate demand charges. Reducing costs. System operators must ensure they have an adequate supply of generation capacity to reliably meet demand during the highest-demand periods in a given year, or the peak demand.
Load Shifting: Battery energy storage systems allow businesses to shift energy usage by charging batteries with solar energy or when electricity is cheapest and discharging batteries when it’s more expensive
Emergency: Provide power during power outages
Renewable Integration: Energy storage can smooth the output of renewable power generation sources. Solar produces cyclically – day vs. night, summer vs. winter. Energy storage allows solar energy production to mimic the consistency of fossil fuel energy sources
Microgrids: Eliminate expensive generator usage and reduce interruptions from blackouts with continuous, reliable power.
Grid Services: For utility-scale customers, battery energy storage can provide a host of valuable applications, including reserve capacity, frequency regulation, and voltage control to the grid.
Operating Reserves and Ancillary Services: To maintain reliable power system operations, generation must exactly match electricity demand at all times. There are various categories of operating reserves and ancillary services that function on different timescales, from sub seconds to several hours, all of which are needed to ensure grid reliability. BESS can rapidly charge or discharge in a fraction of a second, faster than conventional thermal plants, making them a suitable resource for short-term reliability services, such as Primary Frequency Response (PFR) and Regulation. Appropriately sized BESS can also provide longer-duration services, such as load-following and ramping services, to ensure supply meets demand.
Commercial BESS Storage Applications:
Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) Site Placement opportunities:
Industrial & Commercial zoned land
Brownfield & Greyfield Sites