There are several potential benefits to pairing electricity generation with energy storage, but US network operators still have some way to go to best accommodate the fast-growing interest in so-called ‘hybrid resources’.
Standalone battery energy storage can potentially offer better value to the US electricity system than pairing batteries directly with solar or wind generation, but the pros and cons of each approach vary greatly from project to project.
Construction has begun on more than a gigawatt of large-scale renewable energy projects with battery storage attached in Texas, by Enel Green Power North America, the regional renewable and clean energy arm of European utility Enel.
Hickory Park Solar project, a 200MW PV power plant in the US state of Georgia, will be equipped with a battery energy storage system that allows the local utility company to maximise the benefit of the renewable resource.
While interconnection queues for America’s electric transmission and distribution operators are “swelling up” with growing numbers of energy storage projects, some of the big challenges ahead include enabling fair market participation for both standalone storage and storage paired with generation.