Faster, more flexible, and lower cost electricity
To ensure there is always enough electricity provided to all customers on a grid, flexible resources must respond quickly to unexpected changes in load or generation. Historically, gas peaker plants have been used in this role, but they can take as long as 5 to 10 minutes to respond. A BESS can respond in milliseconds, thereby making the grid much more reliable. And as costs continue to decline, batteries are increasingly competing with gas peakers to provide this fast-response service at a lower cost.
Cleaner, healthier air
The optimal location for flexible resources has been near large population centers where demand on the electric system is high. Typical peaker plants burning diesel or other fossil fuels emit pollutants such as particulate matter and NOx. Batteries, on the other hand, create no emissions or waste products and can be located near large population centers without harming the health of the local community.
Integration with renewables
Batteries allow for many more large, low-cost solar and wind generators to be built and reliably integrated into the grid. A BESS can charge when excess power is produced from solar or wind energy and then discharge it when needed most. In addition, battery energy storage mitigates the “duck curve” observed in areas with large amounts of solar on their electric system.
Electric vehicle integration
Electric vehicles are a small part of today’s vehicle fleet, but their use as personal and commercial vehicles is growing rapidly. Grid-connected battery energy storage can integrate electric vehicles and help utilities and customers effectively manage this new load source.
Alternative to new power lines
In many cases, local constraints on the power grid require the build-out of intrusive long-distance transmission lines that can take years to build. A BESS can relieve this pressure with shorter permitting and construction timelines and at a lower cost.
No water usage
Unlike power plants that run on fossil fuels, battery systems do not require water for operation. Therefore, a BESS will never compete with other water uses like agriculture in areas where this resource is scarce.