Facility Scale Energy Storage: Applications, Technologies, and Barriers
Many large facilities in the U.S. are considering the deployment of energy storage technologies for electric demand response programs. Technologies developed for facility- and campus-scale energy storage show promise for managing short-term electrical demand peaks as well as longer-period demand response events.
This article’s author has investigated facility and campus-scale energy storage for efficiency program administrators in the U.S. and recently completed a storage technology research report for an international consortium of utilities. This work has identified promising avenues for distributed storage. Facility-scale storage has three primary uses: 1) power quality—the monitoring and regulation of voltage fluctuations, frequency disruptions, and harmonic distortions; 2) bridging power—short-term power supply for critical demands, often used to cover time periods in which emergency generators are powering up; and 3) energy management—energy storage on a scale to support a facility or campus of buildings for extended periods of time. These systems can be responsive to utility demand programs and time-of-use rates to reduce electrical peak demand costs.
All three of these facility-scale applications incorporate the development of strategies to use distributed storage for electric power continuity and demand management strategies.
This article considers the technical properties of current storage systems, including flywheel, compressed air, and various battery technologies. The technical and market barriers associated with distributed storage, along with proposed paths for resolving these barriers, will also be discussed.
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