Renewable Roundup: Big batteries for big grid stability

  • Published on May 14th, 2020

Remember how the climate change denialists told us that intermittent renewables would destroy grid stability? Now we find that stabilizing the frequency with grid-scale batteries and DC-AC inverters is of at least equal importance. Grid operators pay real money for it. We have of course been talking about using grid-scale battery and other storage for load balancing and time shifting for years.

Australiea's Hornsdale power reserve - Tesla's "Big Battery"

By Mokurai

One big battery installation in Australia has been worth AUD [Australian dollars] $40 million in its first year alone. And they are just getting started.

The Tesla Powerpacks for the Hornsdale expansion are expected to be installed, and system operational, by mid 2021.
The Tesla Powerpacks for the Hornsdale expansion are expected to be installed, and system operational, by mid 2021. Photo by Neoen

Australia to host 600 MW battery — PV Magazine

As the developer of the world’s largest operating battery – the 100MW/129MWh Tesla big battery in South Australia, known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve – Neoen has enjoyed a significant surge in revenues. Frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) provided by the Tesla Big Battery, which is now set for a 50% expansion [image above], contributed most of the 56% jump in revenue banked by Neoen in the final quarter of last year.

In its first year of operation, the Tesla Big Battery saved almost AUD 40 million in grid-stabilization costs. But perhaps the project’s most significant contribution is that it has raised the profile of energy storage and has demonstrated its unique capabilities.

Pretty soon we’ll be talking about big installations, and real money.

In Australia, Hornsdale Battery for solar power backup has stabilized the grid and lowered costs

Garth Heron is the head of development for French energy company Neoen, which owns and operates the Hornsdale installation. He says batteries smooth out fluctuations in the flow of electricity that can destabilize the grid. The Tesla battery is capable of responding to such frequency events more quickly than coal or gas fired generators and at much lower cost. “The grid has a heartbeat that needs to be regulated,” Heron tells Bloomberg. “I think there will be a faster battery roll-out than most people expect. They really are able to solve a multitude of problems.”

… BNEF analyst Ali Asghar says, “Not only has the Hornsdale Power Reserve identified how batteries can physically help the grid, it has also showed how they can make money along the way. More importantly, it has boosted investor confidence in the storage market by showing developers how revenues from different power based services can be stacked to build a business case for storage in Australia.”

Tesla’s Big Battery rescues Australia’s grid. Again.

Last Saturday afternoon, lighting strikes in Australia temporarily interrupted transmission lines that interconnect the electrical grids in the eastern part of the country. For a time, the grids in Queensland and South Australia were turned into energy islands, cut off from the national grid infrastructure. The Australian Energy Market Operator termed the incident a “power system emergency.”

Customers in New South Wales and Victoria experienced widespread power outages while those in in Queensland and South Australia noticed little more than a momentary flicker of their lights. In Queensland, that happy circumstance was due to an abundance of renewable energy available to meet that state’s energy needs. Some of the excess was being shared with NSW before the transmission line between the two was put out of commission.

South Australia was largely unaffected, thanks to the Hornsdale Power Reserve, known affectionately in SA as the “Tesla Big Battery.” It kicked in immediately to add 84 MW of power to the state’s electrical grid and stabilize the frequency of the local grid, which was disturbed when the link to neighboring Victoria was disrupted.

Energy storage systems Market to hit $500 billion by 2025: Global Market Insights, Inc.

Amirite?

Then we can talk about using EVs of all sizes for grid storage. Anyone remember the nuclear sub powering an island in the book of World War Z? (The Brad Pitt action-adventure movie has almost nothing to do with the book.)

From the same PV Magazine story:

French renewable energy developer Neoen plans to develop a massive battery storage system near the Australian city of Geelong that will dwarf its largest project to date, the 100MW/129MWh Tesla big battery in South Australia.

The Australian city of Geelong, Victoria, has unveiled plans for a AUD 300 million ($185.5 million) battery system. French renewables developer Neoen submitted the application for a planning permit for the project, which has dubbed the “Victoria big battery.”

The 600 MW battery storage facility will provide fast frequency response [FFR] services to the National Electricity Market (NEM) and serve as reserve to augment power supplies in Victoria, while also providing improved grid reliability, the company said in its application.

“Such energy storage facilities can reduce spot price volatility and protect the grid from network disturbances thus improving reliability and potentially reducing power costs,” the company added.

As the developer of the world’s largest operating battery – the 100MW/129MWh Tesla big battery in South Australia, known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve – Neoen has enjoyed a significant surge in revenues. Frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) provided by the Tesla Big Battery, which is now set for a 50% expansion, contributed most of the 56% jump in revenue banked by Neoen in the final quarter of last year.

In its first year of operation, the Tesla Big Battery saved almost AUD 40 million in grid-stabilization costs. But perhaps the project’s most significant contribution is that it has raised the profile of energy storage and has demonstrated its unique capabilities.

And in addition, Victoria is telling the national government to take a hike.

A project of this size is aligned with the Victorian state government’s decision to sidestep sections of the rules that govern the operation of the NEM. The state is set to introduce legislation that will fast-track priority projects like grid-scale batteries and transmission upgrades, as it seeks to make more room for more large-scale solar and wind capacity on the grid.

Using Fast Frequency Response Services to Improve Frequency Stability of Low Inertia Power Systems — IEEE

The increasing penetration of non-synchronous renewable energy sources (NS-RES) has led to a decrease in power systems inertia which introduces major challenges to frequency stability. This paper investigates impacts of inertia location and network topology on frequency stability of power systems by the means of time domain simulations. We assess the contribution of fast frequency response (FFR) services on frequency performance of the system by considering the impact of FFR controller activation time delay. Furthermore, we derive analytical expressions to approximate rotor frequency and rate of change of frequency (RoCoF) which show that the impacts of reduced inertia can be studied by avoiding computationally extensive simulations. The results show that the FFR services provided by the NS-RES are attractive options in low inertia power systems.

Frequency Response in Grids with High Penetration of Renewable Energy Sources — IEEE

The increase in the penetration of photovoltaics (PVs) and wind energy resources has decreased the inertia of power systems and made them inverter-based. This makes the modern grid susceptible to frequency instability when facing generation-load imbalances. In this paper, we provide an overview of the changing trends in frequency response and frequency control strategies in the modern power grid under high renewable penetrations. Virtual inertia emulation through Energy Storage Systems (ESSs), which have fast-ramping capabilities, is reviewed as a potential solution to the frequency instability issue. Recent grid codes and rules related to fast frequency services in the power system are discussed. A case study of the PJM interconnection, which was one of the first ISOs/RTOs to introduce the use of ESSs for frequency response, is then presented. The challenges faced to properly procure and reward such fast frequency response services in the PJM interconnection is analyzed in detail.

(Crossposted with DailyKos.)

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