By Jason Deign
Batteries look set to face a major challenge in a pilot where energy delivery is needed when it makes more commercial sense to store it.
The business model for storage will be tested to the full in the Southern California Edison (SCE) Preferred Resources Pilot (PRP) because load peaks are expected to coincide with maximum solar output periods.
This means energy in the pilot area of central Orange County, California, will be at its cheapest precisely when it would usually be best to store power rather than discharge it.
The unusual set of circumstances is likely to occur because the area has heavy daytime peak loads with little local generation capacity following the closure of the 2.2GW San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
As a result, energy needs to be brought in from outside the area, straining the transmission network served by two SCE substations, Johanna and Santiago, and increasing flows with neighbouring San Diego Gas & Electric’s grid.
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