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Rolls Maintenance-Free VRLA
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fuctuating load. Even when
peaker plants aren’t actively delivering power, they are
paid to be on standby.
If the above scenario
sounds ineffcient, it is; and
all this excess generation (and
excess transmission capacity) is extremely expensive. In
fact, according to the recent
State of Charge report from
the state of Massachusetts,
the top 10 percent of electricity demand hours each year
account for 40 percent of the
state’s electricity system costs
— over $3 billion annually.
That’s all about to change.
If a small municipal utility like Sterling can save big money by
relying on its own batteries rather than remote and expensive
peaker plants, other utilities can do the same. And when enough
utilities install batteries, it will change the face of the grid. It will
mean more renewables can be deployed, without the intermittency that can cause instability; more grid services can be provided by distributed resources close to load, increasing competition, reducing ineffciencies and opening markets; and more
municipalities can take control of their energy purchases and
costs. It will also mean more energy resiliency in local communities, where solar+storage can provide critical backup power during emergencies.
That’s a new electricity business model that lowers costs, is
good for the environment, and potentially saves lives. à
Todd Olinsky-Paul is Project Director at the Clean Energy
Group/Clean Energy States Alliance and is a frequent contributing writer for Renewable Energy World.