World-Gen Nov/Dec 2018

WORLD-GENERATION NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 8 (continued page 23) If you happened to read the third quar- ter US Energy Storage Monitor, you would have seen that the market jumped 42 per- cent between Q1 and Q2 this year. Produced by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables in conjunction with the Energy Storage Association, this report also noted that Q2 year-over-year growth in energy storage systems topped 60 percent. No one would call such growth tepid. Still, analysts expect storage markets to gain even more dramatically in coming years, and research from the 2018 Strategic Directions: Electric Report support these forecasts. Produced by Black & Veatch, this report reflects survey responses from utili- ty professionals. Their answers – combined with market trends – foretell eye-popping acceleration to come in energy storage installations. FOLLOWINGTHE SUN One of the key drivers for strong growth in storage markets is strong growth in renewables. Remember when industry experts said the grid could only handle 30 percent renewable generation? That view predomi- nated just a few years ago, and it has quick- ly been proven wrong. This past April 28, California’s power grid reached a remarkable milestone: 73 percent of demand was met by renewable resources that day. Granted, it only lasted for an hour or so, and it happened during the springtime when three important renewable sources were running full force: wind, solar and hydro. But, it shows that renewables can penetrate power grids far more pervasively than previously thought. They can even play a leading role. What’s more, the cost of renewables has reached parity with fossil-fuel-based generation. This year, Xcel Energy in Colorado received bids from energy devel- opers to supply solar and wind-generated electricity — with battery storage included — at a lower cost than conventional genera- tion. Now, the utility plans to procure some 275 MW of solar-paired storage by 2022. In the Black & Veatch 2018 Strategic Directions: Electric Report, Black & Veatch renewable energy experts Jeremy Klingel, Jason Abiecunas and Lou Graving had this to say about Xcel’s coming storage deploy- ments: “While Colorado’s supportive regu- latory environment helped make this a real- ity, the major takeaway is that in 2018, renewable energy at utility scale can not only be price-competitive with fossil fuels, but it can even cost less.” How will utilities deal with ever more renewable generation on the grid? When asked to choose the best options for inte- grating renewables, 66 percent of utility professionals surveyed for the Black & Veatch report named utility-scale storage as their first choice. Respondents also were asked what sys- tem improvements they recommend to help utilities deal with the variability of renew- ables. Among the choices were demand management, storage management, real- time monitoring and rapid cutover solutions to meet a sudden drop in output. The most popular choice was quick response resources, selected by 56 percent of survey participants, followed closely by load control devices (51 percent) and advanced system control devices (48 per- cent). Storage can certainly handle the fluctu- ating power renewables bring. It also deliv- ers the fast-ramping response needed when generation drops or load profiles follow California’s infamous duck curve. According to the Energy Storage Association, in competitive ancillary mar- kets, flywheel and battery energy storage systems can beat a power turbine’s response to a dispatcher’s signal and pro- vide a more accurate response as much as ten times faster than a turbine’s capabilities. OPTIMIZING FOSSIL-FUEL-BASED GENERATION Along with supporting renewables inte- gration, storage can help utilities make the most of fossil-fuel-based generation. In the 2018 Strategic Directions: Electric Report, my colleague, Alap Shah writes, “Gas turbines have long played a central role in helping supply meet demand, given their ability to quickly flex up or down to demand peaks and dips. But their efficiency is diminished when running under or above optimal load.” Now, some utilities are starting to pair storage with traditional generation. An example Shah points to is the retrofitting of a 50 MW gas turbine with a 10 MW battery energy storage system (BESS). This was done by Southern California Edison (SCE). The result is a system with faster response in both starting and ramping. SCE also entered a power purchase agreement (PPA) with AES Corporation for 1,284 MW of combined cycle capacity with 100 MW of BESS capability. The combined cycle plant is slated to come online in 2020, and the BESS will follow in 2021. Because the BESS facilitates greater performance from the combined cycle plant, it allowed for lower PPA pricing. Other companies that have announced storage plus conventional generation include NextEra Energy and Southern Company, Shah notes in his section of the Black & Veach report. “New scenarios are BATTERY STORAGE MARKET BY JOHN CHEVRETTE President, Black & Veatch Management Consulting PERSPECTIVE