Who should pay for storage?

Energy storage is changing the world. I use the word “changing,” as opposed to “will change,” for a reason, as there are more than 750 megawatt hours of operational, grid-scale battery energy storage installed around the world. Despite what some contend, energy storage is beyond the theoretical and test projects. At S&C Electric Company, we’ve [...]

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Overcoming the Challenges of Broad-Scale Microgrid Integration

As the aging grid is increasingly strained by higher peak loads, it often fails to distribute power reliably from centralized generation. That’s one key reason microgrids are becoming mainstays for military installations, hospitals, and other facilities that can’t risk losing power. These facilities use microgrids to switch between grid-tied and “islanding” modes. Integrating more microgrids [...]

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Energy Storage Is Essential for Grid Efficiency

Utilities have always strived to balance electricity production with demand using traditional generation. Primary sources are coal and nuclear power plants along with natural gas turbines, including the inefficient and costly “peaker” plants that are used only during periods of unusually high demand, typically a few dozen hours per year. To help make the grid [...]

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The Year in Solar Energy: What We’ve Gained

Solar has become an essential source of new electricity generation in the U.S. During the first half of 2014, solar comprised more than 50% of all new electricity generation capacity, according to reports by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research. That number will continue to climb, fueled largely by growth spanning solar-progressive [...]

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Three Ways Utilities are Using Energy Storage for T&D Deferral

Each year electric utilities spend billions of dollars upgrading and replacing transmission and distribution (T&D) equipment. Some of this investment is unavoidable, but often these expensive projects can be delayed for years by adding energy storage resources to the system, yielding significant savings. Utilities continue to find profitable ways to deploy energy storage systems across [...]

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48 Hours Without Power at Home

Today’s power grid is an absolutely amazing feat of engineering and the United States grid is about 99.9% reliable. But when that .1% happens, it costs power users billions. We’ve discussed Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s study on the economic impact of power outages before, which calculates estimated outage costs for electricity customers. Residential customers experience [...]

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