The deployment momentum of microgrids is unequivocal, and increasingly powered by renewable resources. More and more projects are being approved for grid-tied microgrids under various islanding scenarios, which can deliver essential benefits to the surrounding distribution system as well as to the microgrid owner, including enabling high levels of renewable generation.
Microgrid projects require a high quality, reliable source of electrical energy, a means of managing the ever-increasing cost of that energy, and a way to ensure power quality and reliability, even during disruptions of grid service and blackouts. In addition, by integrating storage with solar and other renewable sources, self-generated power is used to provide both economic and environmental benefits.
For example, long duration energy storage (LDES) can help reduce expensive demand charges by allowing energy users to store inexpensive electricity produced at night for use during peak hours of the day. In the advent of temporary outages, LDES such as ElectriStor™ Vanadium Redox Flow Battery (VRFB) acts as the energy buffer and enables continuous and safe operation of the microgrid, enabling variable renewable energy sources to produce their maximum energy output. And ElectriStor™ VRFB can ensure that onsite renewable resources are leveraged to their full capability by storing power as it’s generated, for smooth delivery and use later, when it’s needed.
These energy users are typically large commercial, industrial and mining sites; government and military installations; first responder and hospital facilities; and remote power grids. In summary, ElectriStor™ VRFB based Microgrids can provide these critical energy services across all these energy users:
- Power Resiliency: Critical loads that must be backed up during long outages or specific loads that must be continuously on with UPS
- Peak Shaving: VRFB is appropriate for shaving peaks for typical load shapes while a short duration battery with a limited cycle-life can only shave infrequent, very sharp peaks
- Time-shifting Energy: Revenue can be earned through grid energy arbitrage and/or time shifting self-generated renewable energy by cycling the VRFB when required
- Demand Response: Revenue can be earned for reducing energy demand during a demand response event, in addition to using the VRFB for the above services