Five key tools for energy storage

Several new tools from the US Department of Energy (DOE) and other organizations are available or in development to help advance energy storage and improve the electric grid. Anyone involved in storage or considering its use should take note of this wealth of resources.

DOE Energy Storage Project Database
This free, interactive database, accessible to the public, features worldwide energy storage projects, as well as US state and federal legislation and policies. Managed by Sandia National Laboratories, it has an array of search filters for projects, which include the following:

  • Technology type, e.g., batteries, flywheels, compressed air energy storage
  • Benefit stream (the service or value provided by the storage system) such as frequency regulation, onsite renewable generation, and voltage support
  • Location, including country and state/province
  • Grid interconnection level

Users can also add their projects by creating a login account. Access the DOE Energy Storage Project Database.

DOE/EPRI energy storage handbook
In partnership with Electric Power Research Institute and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, DOE is developing a how-to electricity storage handbook, slated for release in the end of 2012. The handbook features the following:

  • Details on commercially available energy storage technologies
  • Information on applications, sizing, siting, installing, and interconnecting
  • A cost database

Energy storage selection tool (ES-Select)
DNV GL experts designed the ES-Select model for high-level decision makers to facilitate the planning process for energy storage integration. It provides technical and economic information on storage technologies and enables a comparison of features and a cost/benefit analysis. ES-Select is available for public use via the Sandia National Laboratories website.


Samples of ES-Select comparison screenshots

Energy storage guidebook for utility regulators
Sandia National Laboratories and other industry experts are developing this guidebook to ensure an informed, impartial analysis of competing technologies in order to encourage the integration of the most economically attractive technologies into the grid. The guidebook’s core functions include the following:

  • Inform regulators about the system benefits of energy storage
  • Identify regulatory challenges to increase deployment
  • Suggest responses & solutions to address challenges
  • Identify energy storage valuation principles
  • Provide sample economic evaluations for regulatory commission submissions

The guidebook, Evaluating Utility Owned Electric Energy Storage Systems: A Perspective for State Electric Utility Regulators, is expected to be available online through Sandia National Laboratories Energy Storage Systems Publications when it is final.

Protocol for energy storage system performance
DOE, through Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, is developing a protocol to measure and quantify the performance of energy storage systems. The protocol is intended to

  • Allow technology developers, power grid operators, and other end users to evaluate the performance of energy storage technologies in a consistent, uniform method
  • Assist utilities in making more informed decisions as they consider potential applications and uses of storage

These new tools, coupled with FERC’s enforcement of Order 1000 and the development of standards such as those to come from TC 120: Electrical Energy Storage Systems (International Electrotechnical Commission’s new committee), are helping to accelerate energy storage as a major industry.

Chet Lyons

Chet Lyons formerly served as director, Energy Storage, for DNV GL

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