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Battery Energy Storage System: Unique Asset for Power Generation & Flexible Grid Operation

By Ram Saini, P.E., POWER Engineers


Energy storage systems encompass a broad range of renewable energy technologies that store excess energy and deliver it during peak demand. Some of the existing energy storage technologies include battery, compressed air, hydro pump, thermal and flywheel. Placing energy storage systems strategically across utility transmission systems offers a way to optimize the entire power system.

A battery energy storage system consists of power conversion hardware, including battery charging controller, storage batteries, DC to AC inverters, MV/HV power transformers and reactive power management equipment. This system provides the flexible means to peak load leveling as well as fast response to power shortages or brownouts, grid stability and reliability. Fourteen cutting-edge battery technologies are available in the market and another 10 emerging battery technologies are being tested. There are four test facilities where battery storage systems can be tested by independent entities under controlled conditions.

Some of the regulatory requirements and utility policies remain ambiguous or unknown presently and create financial risks in deployment of battery storage systems. Effort is being directed towards developing a set of technical specifications and standards to create a model for a modular architecture. Large-scale battery energy storage systems are expected to become a very important part of the power delivery system in coming years. Independent technical due-diligence assessment is essential to confirm the commercial maturity of the selected battery technology, design reliability, system configuration, system testing and regulatory compliance.

This paper was presented at the 2016 CIGRE Grid of the Future Symposium.

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