Accommodating high levels of variable generation

However, in some applications, thermal storage can be functionally equivalent to electricity storage. One example is storing thermal energy from the sun that is later converted into electricity in a conventional thermal generator.

Another example is converting electricity into a form of thermal energy that later substitutes for electricity use such as electric cooling or heating……

Demand for electric-power cooling can be shifted by storing cold energy in the form of chilled water or ice during off-peak times and releasing that cold energy during times of peak demand.

Because renewable sources like wind and solar may not be available on a consistent and predictable basis, the utility must construct and operate conventional power plants to supplement the renewable source when necessary.After brief but intense interest in energy storage during the 70’s and 80’s, the return of inexpensive fossil fuel dampened the sense of urgency created by insecurity about our energy future. Most notably, thermal energy storage for air-conditioning applications has matured into a robust commercial product, with broad manufacturing and marketing support.Recent focus on energy storage is founded on more compelling and comprehensive motivations.As reinforced throughout a recent report supported by Sandia National Laboratories on behalf of the U. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Solar Technologies Program, energy storage is a viable solution to our renewable energy needs. There is general agreement that at low levels of variable generation, there will be minimal disruption to utility operations and negligible curtailment of the renewable resource.“Investment in energy storage is essential for keeping pace with the increasing demands for electricity arising from continued growth in U. productivity, shifts and continued expansion of national cultural imperatives (e.g., the distributed grid and electric vehicles), and the projected increase in renewable energy sources……”“One of the most promising approaches to addressing the growing limitations of the electric grid and the increasing demand for renewable energy is to incorporate stationary energy storage technologies into the U. As the renewable contribution increases, the number of variables – and goals - that must be considered expands, and the predictions become less consistent.

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