Energy Storage Projects and Why We Need to Hurry Up

The modernization of our electrical grid will require the adoption of energy accumulator systems for optimization. The future of energy storage will find applications to counterbalance the intermittency of renewable energy sources, load-leveling and time management of peak demand on the grid and avoiding the erection of expensive transmission and distribution infrastructure.Energy Storage systems do present technological and legal issues, but that can be a discussion for another time.

With the advent and promotion of the integration of more renewable resources in our energy pool, storage implementation becomes even more critical. When it comes to harvesting renewable energy, it’s critical to complement it with a high-quality energy storage system in order to bring out the energy’s full potential.

Energy Storage at a Glance

As for energy accumulator usage, recent reports demonstrate how the latest energy storage innovations have been employed on specific renewable energy projects. One of these projects is the wind generation solution in Maui, Hawaii as reported at On this project, storage has been promoted as First Wind added 21 MW capacity on the Kaheawa Wind Project, thus stabilizing its energy supply and security.

On other part of the world, Ray Power Systems in China will also have a 2MW storage system. According to the press release posted at MarketWatch, this company concentrates on frequency regulation and other technologies related to this market. The additional grid project will be provided by A123 systems, a company known for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries and other storage technologies. The main target of this project is to provide more accurate frequency regulation services.

These are just two of the latest projects installed utilizing ethis technology. Currently, there are other ongoing projects focused on providing better services for their target market or services.

The Latest

Just a couple of weeks ago on August 2, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted to approve a proposed agenda for AB2514 for examining California’s energy storage needs. The crux is that the CPUC is now considering establishing mandates for energy storage for California investor owned utilities (IOUs).

“We find that the final proposal is a significant step forward in establishing policies for the procurement of viable and cost-effective energy storage,” the president and commissioners stated.

Summary of AB 2514

1. Required the Commission to open a proceeding to determine appropriate targets, if any, for each load-serving entity to procure viable and cost-effective energy storage systems.

2. By October 1, 2013, to adopt an energy storage procurement target, if determined to be appropriate, to be achieved by each Load Serving Entity (LSE) by December 31, 2015, and a 2nd target to be achieved by December 31, 2020.

3. Consider a variety of possible policies to encourage the cost-effective deployment of energy storage systems, including refinement of existing procurement methods to properly value energy storage systems.

4. The Commission shall reevaluate the determinations made pursuant to this subdivision not less than once every three years.

The large California utilities, SCE, PG&E, and SDG&E, all opposed specific procurement figures. According to the CPUC website, “SCE argues that a procurement mandate would not address legal and regulatory barriers, but rather would only serve to increase the return on investment of private storage developers. Procurement mandates and subsidies may have short-term investment impacts, but in the long term are counterproductive by creating a cycle of dependency for storage developers and diverting efforts from technological development to regulatory affairs.”

Fortunately, a lot of experts are focusing on improving storage to meet the changing requirements set by consumers. Of course one of the main benefits will be the influx of new companies manufacturing solutions for energy storage spurning innovation in the space. In addition to the main storage options, the collateral effect will see these firms also come up with new solutions that will make their whole energy system more efficient than before. Both the energy market and the business industry will look for these solutions as the energy supply becomes more diversified and expensive.

Michael Vargas is an expert in cost engineering best practices and Green Building approaches. Michael has over 12 years of construction experience and project management insight, and has proven experience in highly technical and sophisticated management systems. For more information on how Atlas can help your firm, please contact Mic

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