Energy Storage for PV is growing in Australia

Fueled by the requirements from some utilities including Horizon Power, energy storage in connection with PV is growing on the residential scale. We recently got to discuss it with James Martin II, who is writing for SolarChoice, an Australian solar broker company, which also runs a very informative news blog, and the first part of his article can be found here. From the utility side, the prime driver for demanding energy storage in connection with PV is to provide firming and ramp rate control in order to compensate for the intermittentcy of the PV power generation. On a cloudy day the output can vary dramatically over a very short time frame, and it is too fast for conventional fossil fuel power plants to compensate, where as energy storage can compensate in a fraction of a second. Even though the energy storage device may not support the output for extended time, it can control the output rate sufficiently to allow the rest of the grid to compensate. Energy storage can also provide other service for the grid and according to Mr. Martin, one such service that is being explored is voltage regulation at the customer side, preventing over or under voltages which could otherwise damage household equipment.

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