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Six actions to overcome distributed energy storage barriers

This author no longer works for DNV GL.

“Over the next decade, implementation of 150 GWh to 300 GWh of installed distributed energy storage (DES) capacity could help support the nation’s focus on modernizing our electric grid infrastructure—assets critical to supporting America’s prosperity, security, and quality of life,” states the National Alliance for Advanced Technology Batteries (NAATBatt) white paper “Distributed Energy Storage: Serving National Interests.”

To capitalize on the potential benefits of DES, however, the United States needs to overcome its barriers.

DES benefits
The NAATBatt white paper outlines several benefits of DES systems, including their significance to U.S. interests.

DES can provide multiple services on the grid, including

  • Electric supply capacity and energy time shift
  • Ancillary services
  • Transmission and distribution system support
  • Electric utility customer energy cost management
  • Renewable energy integration

In addition, DES system deployment offers the following U.S. benefits:

  • Enhances national grid security by reducing the vulnerability of local distribution systems to disruption from natural and malicious causes
  • Enables state renewable energy goals to be achieved by protecting the national grid’s stability
  • Supports national energy independence by making electric vehicles more affordable

DES barriers and recommendations
To achieve wide-scale implementation of DES in the United States, barriers related to regulatory, technology cost, cost of interconnection, and limited operational experience need to be addressed.

The white paper presents six recommendations to advance DES implementation at the  scale necessary to support the United States’ energy policy objectives and secure its competitive position in the global DES market:

1) Establish a coordinated program of geographically diverse, small, and fast-to implement demonstration projects that will help electric utilities gain experience with DES systems, standardize their design and applications, and demonstrate their value proposition
2) Create a policy mechanism that will enable local electricity ratepayers to recover the national interest value of DES systems in which local ratepayers invest
3) Establish a coordinated nationwide approach to DES regulatory treatment that will permit DES system operators to be compensated for the full range of grid benefits they provide and include standardized interconnection
4) Continue to coordinate with existing energy storage standards development processes and help inform standardization of battery testing for grid applications
5) Continue to fund research, development, and deployment (RD&D) to reduce DES costs, including cell chemistry, materials and manufacturing, packaging, thermal components, and balance of plant-related costs such as power conversion, interconnection, communication, controls, and protection
6) Implement a national outreach campaign to educate stakeholders about the benefits of DES systems

DNV GL Energy & Sustainability served as the advisor and technical writer for the NAATBatt white paper. For more information, download a copy of “Distributed Energy Storage: Serving National Interests.”

DNV GL’s energy storage experts will attend the 5th Annual Storage Week in San Jose, California, June 25–27, 2012. Director, Energy Storage, Chet Lyons will moderate the panel “Storage Developments in the Northwest” on June 26 at 3:45 p.m. Vice President, Storage Applications & Support, Rick Fioravanti will moderate the panel “Enhancing the Value of Distributed & Residential PV: Firming & Time-Shifting” on June 27 at 10:45 a.m.

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