Utility-scale battery storage is very limited today, but as technology advances and energy requirements change, the future electrical grid begins to look even more safe, reliable and environmentally friendly.
For years, utilities have examined efficient methods of large-scale energy storage for use on demand, with cost as one of the major barriers. However, thanks to evolving technologies such as lithium-ion batteries, costs are decreasing, further incentivizing innovation.
A universal battery-powered grid is a ways down the road, but it’s being studied more and more. Keep reading to learn some potential future benefits of utility-scale battery storage.
4 benefits of utility-scale battery storage
- Consumers could gain quicker access to more reliable electricity. Power plants can take minutes or even hours to turn on, whereas battery storage could bring electricity to the grid in milliseconds. Preventing power outages in this way can help avoid a lengthy and expensive recovery process.
- Energy storage could propel renewable energy adoption. Utility-scale battery storage could be reserved for periods when intermittent renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, are not available, ultimately maximizing the output of renewable assets.
- Utilities could address peak energy demand more easily. The amount of electricity consumers use varies according to the time of day and season. Storing energy in off-peak hours and using that energy during peak hours saves money and prolongs the lifetime of energy infrastructure. This is especially true for distributed generation “peaker” plants.
- Technological advancements could help the environment. Utility-scale battery storage could alleviate the need for traditional power generation sources like coal and natural gas, cutting down greenhouse gas emissions.
Ultimately, utility-scale battery storage has the potential to bring much-needed grid flexibility in the years to come.