Time of day
Renewables integration (ramping support)
20:00 16:00 12:00 08:00 04:00 20:00 16:00 12:00 08:00 04:00
Time of day
Grid support (Frequency response)
PV + Storage
PV + Storage
storage in which the surge in
demand required to ramp up
battery cell production and
bring down costs may not
take place as rapidly as anticipated because costs remain
too high for mainstream
adoption. Further because the
industry is anticipating lower
costs in the future, large scale
investment in storage technology is relatively limited.
The development of batteries for the electric vehicle
market may be set to break
the chicken and egg conundrum for stationary energy storage, due to developments in battery technology,
increasing manufacturing capacity and eventually the secondary use of car
Use Case: Renewables Integration and Grid Support
Both installed capacity and
investment in battery storage
are increasing in two main
areas: renewables integration
support in small or isolated grids, and grid support services for
larger distribution or transmission grids. Developers are looking
to make use of spare grid capacity available at renewable plants,
made available by the intermittent nature of the generation.
In both these cases BESS can provide more value than mere-
ly the time-shifting of renewable generation from wind and
solar PV. The value comes from the ability to support stable
grid operation through being able to respond to the intermitten-
cy of renewable generation much more quickly than is possible
through conventional means, providing services such as frequen-
cy response, voltage regulation and ramping support.
This enables much greater integration of renewables onto a
grid and reduces reliance on conventionally fueled thermal base-
load and fexible generation sources to provide spinning reserve
and other grid balancing services. The application of BESS for
the provision of grid balancing services provides a vital step-
ping stone on the route to mainstream adoption through the bulk
time-shifting of renewable generation.
Potential applications and revenue streams vary widely on a
country-by-country basis, due to the large variations in regula-
tory frameworks, grid codes and balancing service provisions.
This makes it important for other storage applications to exist
such as behind-the-meter storage for system charge management
over and above more common applications.
Key Concept: Capacity, Power and Time Matter
For the sake of simplicity, this article assumes that charging
and discharging power are equal, and thus abbreviated as (dis)
charging. In reality these could be different depending on the
application, although this is not common for utility-scale BESS.
Examples of a PV plant power output curve modified by installation of a BESS for ramping support (renewables
integration) and frequency response (grid support). Credit: Sgurr