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The contemporary grid limits renewable energy and other distributed energy sources from being economically and reliably integrated into the grid. While a national renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS) has yet to be established, 35 states have forged ahead with their own RPS programs and policies. As this generation becomes a larger portion of a utility’s portfolio, it may decrease its ability to provide dispatchable energy and maintain grid frequency, voltage, and interia, which could disrupt the utility’s ability to provide reliable service.
Currently, utilities use controllable generators to meet electricity demand and to maintain grid reliability and stability. As renewable energy penetration increases, these controllable generators will be replaced, making it difficult to meet demand and provide reliable and stable services.
Energy storage provides a solution to this issue. By incorporating energy storage into their network, a utility can compensate for renewable generation variability through energy timeshifting and maintain network stability. Additionally, even without increased renewables penetration, the grid requires many services for reliable and stable operation. Energy storage has the potential to provide a more costeffective solution than current grid assets.
Sandia collaborates with industry, academia, and government to reduce the cost of storage, demonstrate the effectiveness of storage technologies in the grid and analyze policy options to value and perpetuate storage integration. Sandia deploys an integrated approach to grid storage challenges from technology development through testing and demonstration.