Generators Must Consider Energy Storage, Session Attendees Are Told

Energy Storage

“Energy storage is no longer the technology of the future,” David Walls of Navigant Consulting and the moderator of a Wednesday morning conference session told the audience.

Some technologies are being used now, but significant work remains to be done on other energy storage technologies, Walls said.

Thomas Golden, technology development manager at Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK), who presented in the session, had a compelling message for electricity generators/suppliers.

“Energy storage will offer challenges and opportunities to power generators, and they must find a way to use energy storage to their benefit,” he said.

The 9:30 a.m. session, “Energy Storage Applications from a Generator’s Perspective,” drew a large crowd, and the presenters supported Wall’s opening remarks. Many different types of energy storage technologies are in development. Some have moved beyond the demonstration stage to full installation; others are in their infancy and still waiting to move to the demonstration stage; most are somewhere in between.

Golden explained why energy storage technology is so important to the industry, especially grid owners and operators.

The electricity industry is the only industry that does not have a place to store its inventory somewhere in its supply chain, Golden said. And as more renewable energy sources, which are highly intermittent, are added to the supply mix, storage will be key to ensuring electricity reliability.

Renewables and energy storage go hand-in-hand, Golden told the audience. Renewable energy sources—especially solar—are becoming more economically competitive with other sources of electricity. Grid owners and operators must figure out how to integrate these intermittent resources.

Duke Energy has tested six different types of batteries, Golden said. All have worked, and as the technology gets cheaper, batteries will be used for ancillary services, transmission infrastructure services, distribution infrastructure services, bulk energy services, and customer energy management services, he said.

In his conclusion, Golden emphasized that although energy storage will be an important technology going forward, it is only one of many solutions to the changing grid.

Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES)

Jim Heid and Bobby Bailie of Dresser Rand spoke about their company’s involvement with Pathfinder Wind Project, a mammoth project in which wind energy from Wyoming will be transported via a 540 mile-long transmission line to salt caverns in Utah where the electricity will be used to compress air and store it in salt caverns. That compressed air will then be used to generate electricity that will be transmitted hundreds of miles over existing transmission lines to California.

The CAES generated electricity will be especially useful to grid operators in California that must offset the loss of large amounts of solar energy in early evening when demand for electricity often peaks, Heid said.

Bailie explained the technology that Dresser Rand is using to compress the air at night and then use it to generate electricity during peak times.

“It is like cutting a combustion turbine in half,” Bailie said. “Compression is on one side, and generation is on the other.”

He said Dresser Rand was selected to provide the compression and generation equipment because of its extensive experience with compressed air in the oil and gas industry.

Liquid Air Energy Storage

Song Wu of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems America spoke about his company’s liquid air energy storage technology--ReFLECS™.

“Liquid air as a form of stored energy is not new,” Wu said. “In 1902, the liquid air car was introduced.”

Wu said a one-size solution does not fit all energy storage needs and explained the benefits of liquid air energy storage.

“Liquid air energy storage is designed to provide similar storage as pumped hydro and CAES, but without the restrictions on location,” Wu said. “There are no special site requirements. It can be built anywhere.”

ReFLECS can be used alone with air as the only fuel—pure energy storage—or it can be used in tandem with a combustion turbine to increase efficiency and reduce the fuel requirement. In either instance, the storage technology can store from 50 to 600 MW. In addition, its discharge rate can range from two to 12 hours, and the technology has a 30-year life.  

Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

Oliver Deneux of EDF closed out the presentations by speaking about the economic benefits of using CHP plants as energy storage.

At times it can be beneficial to store the hot water from these plants and generate electricity when prices are high. This type of CHP operation provides another energy storage option, Deneux said.

2014 Articles

Harvard Law School professor pays Clean Power Plan is unconstitutional


Laurence H. Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard University and former mentor to Barack Obama, said in an article last week that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan is unconstitutional.

3 SKorea workers die at nuke plant construction site


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Three South Korean workers died Friday after apparently inhaling toxic gas at a construction site for a nuclear plant being built by South Korea's monopoly nuclear power company, which has come un...

UMaine in business of certifying turbine blades


ORONO, Maine (AP) — The University of Maine has tested its largest wind turbine blade to date. UMaine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center completed static strength testing this month of a 184-foot-long wind turbine...

Mergers, EPA carbon plan generated much attention during 2014


Mergers, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Power Plan, cheap natural gas and the polar vortex were among the most noteworthy generation stories of 2014.

Developer opens Ohio review for 800-MW, gas-fired project


Clean Energy Future-Lordstown LLC plans an 800-MW, gas-fired power project, and on Dec. 24 applied with the Ohio Power Siting Board for certain routine waivers it needs before filing a full siting application for this proj...

New England utility exec named to Vermont PSB


A woman who worked for Vermont's Department of Public Service for 17 years is going to become the next member of the utility-regulating Public Service Board. The appointment of Sarah Hofmann was announced Monday by Gov. Pe...

Brown picks aide to lead troubled California utility board


Gov. Jerry Brown named a former adviser on Tuesday to be the next head of California's troubled utilities commission, replacing a regulatory chief accused of back-channel dealings with utilities. Michael Picker, a former a...

Washington state carbon emissions dropped in 2011


Greenhouse gas emissions in Washington state dropped by about 4.6 percent between 2010 and 2011, led by reductions in emissions from the electricity sector, according to the latest figures released by the state. The latest...

Group wants state regulators recused from PNM case


State regulators in less than two weeks are to begin deliberating a proposal that calls for shutting down part of an aging coal-fired power plant in northwestern New Mexico that serves more than 2 million customers in the ...

Vermont Yankee plant prepares to shut down


The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant is getting ready to shut down. Its owner, Entergy Corp., says it is closing the plant for economic reasons. The plant in Vernon is expected to disconnect from the regional power grid Monday.

PSEG Solar to acquire Maryland solar project from juwi


PSEG Solar Source will acquire a 12.9-MW solar energy facility near Waldorf, Maryland from juwi solar (JSI). The PSEG Waldorf Solar Energy Center will increase the capacity of PSEG Solar Source's portfolio to 123-MW.

PG&E discloses more emails with state regulators


California's largest power utility released a dozen more emails Monday that it said showed improper back-channel discussions between the utility and top state regulators.

Indianapolis airport solar farm expansion completed


Contractors have finished bringing online dozens of acres of solar panels at Indianapolis International Airport, solidifying its status as the home of the nation's largest airport-based solar farm.

French power company to pay $772M in bribery case


A French power and transportation company has agreed to pay $772 million to resolve allegations that it bribed high-ranking foreign government officials for lucrative projects, the Justice Department said Monday.

Nebraska nuclear plant back online after short outage


The Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant is back online less than a week after its main generator unexpectedly shut down as a precaution.

Ameren Missouri plans $135M in energy efficiency


Missouri's largest electric company said Monday that it plans to invest $135 million in energy efficiency programs for customers over a three-year period.

TEPCO completes nuclear fuel assemblies removal from Fukushima 4


Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said it has safely removed the fuel assemblies from the most damaged nuclear reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

B&W Vølund to build waste-to-energy power plant in Scotland


In a consortium with Interserve, Babcock & Wilcox Co.’s (B&W, NYSE:BWC) subsidiary, Babcock & Wilcox Vølund A/S (B&W Vølund), will engineer, procure and construct (EPC) a waste-to-energy (WTE) power plant f...

SKorea holds N-plant drills against cyber threats


South Korea's monopoly nuclear power company said it began drills Monday against possible cyberattacks after online threats of attack against its plants.

PSC approves solar power project


The Public Service Commission has approved solar power project planned by Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas and Electric in Mercer County.

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now


Logistics Risk Management in the Transformer Industry

Transformers often are shipped thousands of miles, involving multiple handoffs,and more than a do...

Secrets of Barco UniSee Mount Revealed

Last year Barco introduced UniSee, a revolutionary large-scale visualization platform designed to...

The Time is Right for Optimum Reliability: Capital-Intensive Industries and Asset Performance Management

Imagine a plant that is no longer at risk of a random shutdown. Imagine not worrying about losing...

Going Digital: The New Normal in Oil & Gas

In this whitepaper you will learn how Keystone Engineering, ONGC, and Saipem are using software t...