Energy Storage For Buildings: One Block At A Time
Energy storage for residences and businesses is only recently gaining attention. From a consumer view point, the advantage lies in being able to go off-grid (with solar) or lower bills by managing demand during peak hours (for businesses). For utilities, the advantages are even higher – better transmission / distribution efficiency, cost avoidance (by reducing peak demand), and better voltage / frequency regulation.
The economics of LiB energy storage depend on a number of factors: where the storage is located (e.g. behind the meter, at transmission, or at distribution), regulations, power pricing tiers, and the scale of the installation. Also, depending on the use case, the utilization of the battery pack may be significantly low (e.g. peak demand reduction). So, there are advantages is stacking other uses (emergency power, PV storage for self-consumption). However such stacked services need reduced regulatory barriers. In addition, utilities need to consciously look for opportunities to reduce building new plants by leveraging energy storage, as well as plethora of other services that have cropped up recently including smart grids, smart metering, and smart-distribution devices.