Industry turns to energy storage

June 16, 2022

Energy storage in the past? Just have the accountants pay the electric bill on time. Energy storage now? Let’s look “behind the meter” and adopt a combination of suitable options to save power and revenue, improve sustainability and gain other benefits.

Several trends are driving industrial energy consumers to refocus on energy storage and reexamine their options, including how digitalization can help, says Prudence Hoffman, interim general manager and technical leader, Energy Storage team, Honeywell Process Solutions. These trends include:

  • Looming climate crises due to global warming and how net-zero targets by government and business can aid prevention;
  • Growing demand for renewables and clean energy sources by decarbonizing industrial companies, utilities, transportation providers and other sectors; and,
  • Increasing need for flexibility to coordinate greater use of renewable sources, decreasing use of synchronous machines on the grid, and allowing greater use of alternative models that allow industrial users more resilient energy solutions and utility providers more flexible service options.

Economics improving

“The cost of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries has declined over the past 10 years, and other battery technologies are gaining traction, especially for longer-durations,” says Hoffman. “Just as software is the key to unlocking flexibility and value from assets, controls and remote operations are key to energy storage and sustainability.”

Typical challenges and the power storage and support solutions that help remedy them include:

  • For poor power quality from the grid that can hinder operations—improve stability with battery energy storage systems (BESS) and energy management systems (EMS);
  • To cut emissions in support of environmental sustainability goals (ESG) and net-zero targets—implement renewable assets, such as photovoltaic (PV) solar generation assisted by BESS and EMS;
  • For increasing energy bills—reduce grid impact and shave peak-usage charges by adopting renewables like solar with BESS and EMS, which can help send power back to the grid and often produce revenue;
  • To manage diesel generation, combined heat and power (CHP), solar and other alternative energy sources onsite—replace or supplement costly generation methods like diesel and gas, again with renewables, BESS and EMS;
  • For increasing use of electric vehicles (EV)—manage and optimize EV charging infrastructure with a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) program, which likewise can be enabled by BESS and EMS;
  • To address grid constraints impacting user operations and expansion plans—avoid costly reinforcement of traditional infrastructure with BESS and EMS; and,
  • For handling energy efficiency of buildings and sites—implement building management systems and optimization software that can improve energy and demand management.

“Energy storage and digitalization are essential for enabling the modern grid,” says Hoffman. “The best way is for each user to configure these available solutions to whatever degree and in whatever configuration makes the most sense for them.”

For instance, Canada-based Aypa Power recently implemented several turnkey BESS units and a remote operations center (ROC) managed by Honeywell for its 90-MW/180-MWh energy services business at multiple sites in southern Ontario. The project also included a KPI-based performance contract, predictive analytics for maintenance, mobile access control for digital voltmeters (DVM), and asset management and peak prediction services. Adds Hoffman: “Aypa is providing energy as a service (EaaS) to users to reduce their peak electricity costs by supplying power from their onsite BESS.”