Make the Grid More Reliable and Reduce Your Monthly Energy Costs
Grid energy-storage solutions are a big priority at the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Office of Electricity as a tool for future-proofing the grid. Not only does storage reduce volatility issues associated with generation, but it also reduces price volatility while boosting grid resiliency. The DOE’s Office of Electricity allocates many resources to improve the reliability of these storage solutions while working on improved modeling and analysis to validate their need.
But it’s not just the DOE leading these efforts; national and state policies, including some included in the Inflation Reduction Act, directly address energy storage. For example, California has various programs establishing grid storage requirements as part of its energy storage enhancements initiative announced at the end of 2022. Energy storage requirements may also be coming to other states like New York.
Energy storage solutions benefit more than just the grid. It’s important to note they offer immediate benefits to properties with on-site storage, too. Environ helps you find the ideal storage solution for your space to help you reap the benefits outlined below.
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Explore the Benefits of On-Site Storage
Even though everyone benefits from a more reliable grid enabled by energy storage, on-site solutions directly help your campus, too. Usually, storage reduces your energy costs in two ways. One has to do with peak pricing. During hours when a lot of electricity is being used (e.g. late afternoon), prices tend to be higher. Access to stored energy means you don’t have to go to the grid when prices are exorbitant. This is sometimes referred to as “energy arbitrage”—you fill the storage when the cost of electricity is cheap and use it when the cost of electricity is high.
However, storage also tends to offer better financial returns by lowering your “demand” values. With storage, you can change the times of day when you’re pulling electricity directly from the grid. This means that even if you use the same amount of energy throughout the month, your demand charges (which are based on the maximum energy you use at any given time) will drop. Since the battery keeps you from constantly pulling directly from the grid, it limits the maximum amount of energy you pull at once. These charges make up a significant portion of your electricity bill and can be reduced with on-site storage.
Choosing the Right Storage Solution
Not all energy storage solutions are optimal for on-site applications. For example, some grid-scale solutions include pumped hydroelectric power and compressed air systems, which often require vast industrial projects and should be part of public works. However, there is constant research and development in the industry to try and generate more options for smaller-scale, on-property solutions.
Right now, the go-to is still batteries that store energy from the grid or on-site renewable resources (most commonly solar panels). These batteries are usually lithium-ion, lead acid, or lithium-iron and are designed to store large amounts of energy. Our team would advise on the number of batteries needed based on the campus size to achieve optimal financial returns.
Regarding building applications, thermal energy and flywheel systems may not be as common as batteries, but they are still viable solutions in some cases. Other emerging technologies like hydrogen storage could play a vital role as well, though they’re not ready for general use yet.
Bring storage solutions to your campus with the help of Environ. Explore the many options for your space and see the direct impact of adding storage. Contact our team by calling or filling out our online contact form.