Battery storage installations increase as battery tech. advances

With the proliferation of solar panels and other renewable energy production technologies increasing the amount of power being pushed onto the power grid, there is a need for some sort of dampening to keep the aging grid from being overwhelmed. Battery storage is one of the major solutions to this problem, however the technology behind these storage systems has not been able to keep up with needs. Recently, utilities have been testing large scale battery storage systems.

NSW network operator Ausgrid is installing a 60kW battery storage system in the Sydney suburb of Newington to see how it can help manage summer peak demand events.

The installation of the lithium-ion storage system is the biggest battery trial so far for Augrid, which operates in the eastern half of Sydney, the central coast and the Hunter region.

“Managing peak summer demand is our key driver as network operator. If we can knock that on the head, that’s a big saving for us,” he told RenewEconomy.

The full results of the suburban battery storage program, which used batteries from Australian developer RedFlow about the size of a small fridge, have not been released.

But Myors said the program showed that the technology was reliable and customer acceptance was good.   One of the key challenges was making sure that the storage was able to dispatch for the entire peak period. “Peak lasts for a certain number of hours. You don’t want battery to run out of puff, because you will lose the benefit for the network.

Ohio is also host to a new battery storage system, being tested by AES Corp.:

AES’ Dayton Power & Light utility will use the storage at its Tait generating station in Moraine, Ohio, to stabilize an electric grid that supplies electricity to more than 60 million people, the company said today in a statement.

The facility is Ohio’s largest electric-storage system, with 800,000 cells, and adds to 60 megawatts of battery capacity the Arlington, Virginia-based company operates in the region.

If this trend continues, battery storage could become a regular part of the power grid, rather than functioning as a solution to a problem.