Integrating Energy Storage Into Existing Solar Projects

Energy storage is transforming the energy industry. With the development of new technologies and falling costs of equipment, energy storage is definitely changing the way power consumers, resource owners and utilities are producing and using power.

With energy storage, rewarding benefits such as demand charge reduction, Time-of-Use arbitrage, Demand Response, and resiliency through Islanding can be realized. Utilities can also take advantage of this technology to support frequency and voltage regulation as well as reduce the loads on its distribution circuits. With energy storage, utilities can defer capital investment for costly infrastructure upgrades.

Ask These Questions Before Integrating Energy Storage Into Your Existing Solar Project

These value propositions sound exciting and rewarding. Integrated with solar and other renewable resources, the benefits appear limitless, right? Sounds simple enough, but not so fast. Here are some questions that system owners should ask before deciding to integrate energy storage to their system.

  • What are the objectives for the energy storage system?
  • Will there be renewable resources integrated with the energy storage? If so, how will all the generators be managed to satisfy any interconnection, regulatory and Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) requirements? For example, is the system allowed to export power to the grid?
  • How will the system operate to ensure that it will comply with the Investment Tax Credits (ITC) requirements if subsidies are available?
  • Does the Balance of System (BOS) equipment designed for the system have the capabilities to support the control requirements? If not, can the existing equipment be modified with hardware, software, or control logic to meet the requirements?
  • To participate in markets such as CAISO, PJM, and ERCOT, will the system be compliant with communication and control standards such as IEEE 1547 and DNP protocols?
  • When transitioning into an Island mode, can the system support a seamless transition to Island or will the system need to transfer to Black first? Can the system handle load shedding schemes to avoid system overload?
  • To maximize the life of the energy storage system, how will the system manage the State-of-Charge of the battery management system so that the system will not exceed the maximum allowable Depth of Discharge (DOD) cycles per day?

Work with Trimark to Solve Your Energy Storage Challenges

These technical challenges can all be addressed with a properly designed and highly scalable plant controller such as Trimark’s PV Plus Storage Controller (PVS). Trimark’s PVS will facilitate the integration of renewable resources into your system while optimizing the generation resources to support the load in parallel with other required control requirements such as demand charge reduction or load shifting with the energy storage system. Trimark’s PVS will also enable the system to operate independently when Islanded, ensuring that all critical loads are delivered a constant source of power after the loss of the utility interconnection.

Trimark has the engineering knowledge, experience and technology to provide you with the right solution for your needs. We will work directly with the BOS manufacturers and system design engineers to ensure that the equipment will support your requirements. Contact Trimark today to see how you can integrate an energy storage system into your new or existing project!

Author

Steve Yee resized

Stephen Yee
Director of SCADA Engineering

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