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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Replacing Power Plants with Batteries

In IEEE Spectrum: Mostly as a demand leveling device,  not unlike methods still used, pumping water into uphill reservoirs to store energy.   Some of the statistics are interesting, some power plants, built to address urban peak needs, have been used as little as 29 hours per year.

" .... High costs have limited the use batteries in the electricity grid, but emerging technologies will make batteries a more compelling way to supply power during hours of peak demand. And they'll do it soon, say battery firm executives.

Utilities and energy project developers are now considering batteries as alternatives to traditional grid infrastructure, such as substation upgrades and natural gas-fired “peaker” power plants that only run a few days a year, according to industry executives who spoke at the Utility of the Future conference in Washington D.C. last week. Once the price of energy storage goes below US $300 per kilowatt-hour, batteries could transform how power is delivered, they said. ...  "

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