Pilot Studies: Energy Storage

Energy Storage: 
General Assessment and Use Case Review of Options in the Southeast, Phase I

Background and Motivation: The electricity matrix in the southeastern U.S. is diverse, affordable, and increasingly low carbon.  A significant regional differentiator is the presence of large, vertically integrated and regulated utilities. These realities are to a great extent the result of sufficient scale as well as methodical, strategic and longer term energy planning. Nonetheless, risks to the status quo include energy commodity price volatility, cyber and physical security of the energy infrastructure and the electric power grid, supply interruptions due to unforeseen manmade or natural events, environmental impacts of energy production and consumption including the combustion of fossil fuels, and geopolitical uncertainty.

The increasing awareness and severity of these major risks have spawned substantial technological innovation in energy storage technologies. Thus, key benefits and motivating factors for augmenting electricity generation at the grid-scale with energy storage assets include:
•Increased reliability
•Increased resilience
•Improved integration of lower carbon energy sources such as intermittent renewables
•Reduced costs (fixed, variable, arbitrage, etc.)

Unfortunately, several barriers to widespread implementation of energy storage assets also exist. These include unproven technologies at scale, suboptimal alignment of technologies with specific applications (such as optimum time to dispatch, duration and frequency of dispatch, and reserve capacity), excessive capital or operating costs, under-utilization of other fixed assets, or mismatch of technologies within a given regional economic/regulatory context. More focused data is needed to inform future actions in view of the particular opportunities and challenges associated with energy storage in the SE region.   

Scope, objectives and key elements. This study will perform a review and help frame the benefits and options for energy storage in the Southeastern United States. Objectives and steps include:

     1. Review: 
          a. Basis, motivation, primary use cases and benefits  
          b. Existing techno-economic tools, policy approaches, instruments

     2. SE Energy Storage Assets:
          a. Identify the SE region’s energy storage assets (lab, pilot, demonstration, grid scales).
          b. Characterize key specifications, capabilities, attributes, economic considerations 

     3. Begin to develop a database of potential energy storage technologies for the region for:
          a. Utilities 
          b. Large industrial users and corporations 
          c. Municipalities 
          d. Residential uses

     4. Benchmark other assets, controls, or techniques that can deliver similar functionality to overall system performance in 
         conjunction (or competition) with energy storage technologies.

     5. Policy Implications and Recommendations 

     6. Southeastern economic development recommendations

     7. Possible future objectives (phase II): Foundation for future policy and innovation research. E.g.,
          a. Sensitivity of future regional resource mixes to energy storage scenarios  
          b. Other baselines & benchmarks including: demand charges, load shifting, energy market trading, 
              and vehicle energy storage.

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