Technical advances in energy storage metrics accelerate the attractiveness and roll-out of battery storage to balance rising volumes of intermittent renewable energy supply to the grid. In the United States, the utility-scale battery fleet is operating with an average monthly round-trip efficiency of 82% – more than the 72% efficiency of pumped-storage.
Scotland’s Shetland Islands are relying on Wärtsilä to provide grid balancing services and reserve power through an energy storage system. Once operational, the system will deliver 8 MW/6 MWh of electricity and will be managed by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), part of the UK’s largest utility SSE.
South Korea’s conglomerate SK Group has decided to invest $1.5 billion in the hydrogen fuel cell provider Plug Power as the two South Korean companies enter a strategic partnership. The aim is to provide full cells, hydrogen fueling stations, and electrolysers to the Korean and broader Asian markets.
Toshiba has developed an aqueous rechargeable lithium-ion battery in a bid to realise the world’s first large-scale battery that can operate at -30°C. The high durability battery has over 2,000 charge- and discharge-cycles and by using water as aqueous electrolyte, it is safe even if exposed to fire.
Energy capacity cost of utility-scale battery storage in the United States has rapidly decreased from $2,152 per kilowatthour (kWh) on average in 2015 to below $625/kWh in 2018, falling further since. Long-duration batteries are cheaper and costs vary by region, coming in at just $947/kWh in Hawaii.