In hundreds of installations and over years of run-time, customer-sited energy storage technology has been proven to offer a multitude of benefits to the electricity supply chain. The challenge and opportunity are that the term “energy storage” can mean different things to different people; more often than not, it’s simply batteries in a box. From our perspective, customer-sited distributed storage means an integrated platform where best-in-class components are chosen for their reliability, safety and performance and integrated with cloud-based controls and algorithms into a UL-certified appliance intended for use as a grid asset. When aggregated and orchestrated to serve as a single resource — a Virtual Power Plant — this option represents an attractive, economically viable approach if all potential value streams are accounted for and properly compensated.
Building the business case for storage swimming upstream
For storage projects to pencil out and technologies to take hold, the business case needs to make sense. From a network perspective, a commonly acknowledged value stream is the avoided or deferred capital expenditure associated with conventional grid capacity augmentation or reinforcement. Through load shifting and solar smoothing, integrated energy storage platforms can reduce grid strain caused by high penetrations of renewables and help utilities defer costly distribution infrastructure improvements.