BATTERY ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM
COMMERCIAL SCALE BESS WITH LITHIUM-ION TECHNOLOGY.
Battery storage is an essential part in making the most of solar PV installations, as it allows any excess energy produced to be stored for a later application. Utility scale battery technology is a rapidly emerging technology in the USA. This use of batteries is growing in the US, as solar PV is becoming increasingly popular and cost-effective. They are able to provide stability for the transmission network, store energy for use when demand is high, and help optimize the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar PV.
Batteries are increasingly being used to store energy and provide stability to the transmission network and can be used to store the excess energy generated for release into the grid when demand is high. Batteries also help stabilize the grid when the supply of energy fluctuates and can provide emergency power if the grid fails. This helps ensure reliable and steady power to all users of the national grid.
Lithium-ion is currently the leading battery technology for utility scale applications. These batteries are lightweight, have a high energy density, are safe and reliable, and are cost-effective. They are mainly used in solar PV battery storage as they can hold their charge for long periods of time, allowing for charging during peak daylight hours but then allowing the charge to be released up to six months later. They can also function at high temperatures which is often necessary at solar sites. However, flow batteries are also starting to become an interesting option for solar PV storage. If they are developed further, they could provide an option that has a much longer and low maintenance lifecycle and have very little environmental impact.
As we are seeing a global demand for the increase in renewable energy use, then so we see a rise in battery use and development. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that the number of grid connected batteries in the US will increase from 4,360 megawatts in 2020 to 32,000 megawatts by 2050. This growth is driven by the increasing demand for renewable energy sources, such as solar PV, and the need to provide stability to the grid. Several companies in the US are investing in onshoring the manufacture of large batteries with assistance from the US government. Companies such as Tesla, LG, and Mercedes Benz are investing in setting up manufacturing plants in the US to produce batteries for utility scale applications. This will help reduce the cost of batteries and create new jobs.
Ethical concerns surrounding the use of utility scale batteries are being addressed in several ways. First, batteries must be properly disposed of to avoid environmental contamination. Second, manufacturers must ensure that the materials used in their production are sourced ethically.
Finally, batteries must be kept in good condition to avoid fires and other safety hazards.
Battery disposal technology is also being heavily researched with the aim to produce and dispose of batteries in a more environmentally friendly way and potentially recycle some if not all the material used.