Wind plus Storage Faces Hurdles But Plays a Key Role in Decarbonizing the Energy Sector

In an article for North American Clean Energy, Guidehouse says wind plus storage projects are gaining momentum but face technological, regulatory, and business-model barriers

The maturing global energy storage market is experiencing a fall in prices for new projects, resulting in a growing interest in wind plus storage projects that use batteries or other technologies for wind integration services. However, technical and economic factors must be addressed for stakeholders to embrace the development of wind plus storage projects.

 In an article for North American Clean Energy, Ricardo Rodriguez, research analyst at Guidehouse Insights, says wind has fallen behind solar in adopting energy storage but offers similar benefits and potential.

“The pace of new projects combining energy storage with wind generation is accelerating. Most new wind plus storage projects are built to meet site-specific interconnection requirements or to simply take advantage of cost-savings through collocation,” Rodriguez said. “Over time, the continually growing penetration of renewable energy on the grid is expected to drive new opportunities for larger scale wind plus storage projects, including those using innovative long-duration storage technologies.”

The article explains that technological, regulatory, and business-model barriers have impacted development of wind plus storage projects. One major factor is the longer periods of low or no production that are not always easy to forecast and do not follow the predictable patterns of solar. Furthermore, wind plants are typically most productive during off-peak hours, which means the amount of energy that must be stored and shifted from a wind plant to offer an economic use for energy storage is high. Lastly, a premium above wholesale market prices, which is regulated by power purchase agreements, is often paid. This reduces the need to shift production to peak periods as revenue is guaranteed per megawatt-hour generated, according to the article.

“In the near future, companies that are expected to be best positioned for success are those with existing experience integrating energy storage with wind farm operations,” Rodriguez said. “Establishing this early experience as the market begins to grow is crucial to being prepared for greater opportunities.”

Note:  To read the full article, see page 74 of North American Clean Energy's September-October 2021 issue.

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