GRID AND ENERGY STORAGE
response in that the business does not have to curtail its energy
use, but instead uses the solar/storage system to offset need for
grid power. The system is being rolled out in California, Massa-
chusetts and Connecticut.
Meanwhile, in China, wind and solar farms have been built,
but remain unconnected to the grid because of concerns about
the impact of their variability to the larger transmission system.
The government is looking to storage as a way to solve this problem. To that end, Canadian battery manufacturer Corvus Energy
is working on a 10 MWh grid-tied energy storage project in Dun-huang, Gansu Province, China.
China’s Transmission Growth
China also is undertaking a dramatic build out of new transmis-
sion lines because its generation sources are so widely spread
around the country, according to equipment supplier Alstom.
China has coal deposits in the north, great wind potential in the
far west and nuclear plants on the coast.
State Grid Corporation of China and China Southern Power
Grid are investing in ultra-high voltage lines, and by 2015 that
investment will reach $75.5 billion, according to Alstom.
“It will function as the backbone of the whole system, connected to 400 GW of clean energy sources, of which hydropower will
account for 78 GW, and wind power from the North a further
signifcant portion. Wind capacity by 2020 is planned to be 100
GW,” said Patrick Plas, senior vice president for grid power electronics and automation at Alstom Grid.
Meanwhile, in Western Europe, transmission expansion is
driven largely by aggressive European Union renewable energy targets for 2020, according to Plas. Germany is looking at grid
improvements to correct growing diffculties on existing north-to-south lines transmitting wind power. The German government has okayed a proposal to build 1,740 miles of high voltage new lines (AC and DC), and upgrade 932 miles of existing
grid, he said.
“Plans for a 1,400 MW HVDC link to beneft from Norway’s
hydro potential are a promising answer to help Germany meet
its renewable energy objectives,” Plas added.
France also is investing in transmission to accommodate
renewables and improve security of supply, he said. The grid
operator RTE plans to invest EUR 15 billion on the nation’s grid
by 2020 and an additional EUR 20 billion by 2030.
More and more storage projects are being
announced elsewhere in the
U.S., as well, particularly as
Connecticut, for example,
awarded $18 million in 2013
to nine microgrid projects,
many which encompass battery storage, fuel cells, solar
or combined heat and power.
The state plans to offer an
additional $15 million in
2014 for microgrid projects
selected in a competitive bidding process.
Driving Down Costs
The coming year also is likely to accelerate use of solar
and storage to support the
larger grid and manage consumer costs. Standard Solar
and Solar Grid Storage offer
an example with their 402-
k W plant in Maryland. The
solar/storage system not only
serves Konterra’s corporate headquarters, but also
sells services into the PJM
Solar City is using storage
to drive down the demand
charges businesses pay. The
company is making this move
using Tesla battery technology. The system works by regulating the amount of energy the business buys from
the grid during peak periods. It differs from demand