Grid-scale energy storage may serve as a solution to the integration challenges of high penetrations of renewable energy, reduce air pollution from the grid, and therefore yield better environmental outcomes. However, understanding the total impact of using energy storage for grid applications are challenging because each application yields to different responses to the complex grid system. System characteristics that influence outcomes include renewable penetration, the existing grid power mix, and electricity demand characteristics.
Comprehensive sustainability assessments are necessary to yield the best environmental outcomes for grid-scale energy storage systems. To achieve this, we develop fundamental green design principles specific to grid-connected energy storage, coupled with a systematic and robust sustainability assessment algorithm to inform design and technology selection. These principles address key issues such as material sustainability, service life, and environmental performance of grid generations’ assets. An algorithm is developed to deploy the design principles of energy storage systems that meet various grid applications. This process takes into account the service that the energy storage would provide. Energy storage applications range from distributed power for built environment to large scale energy storage applications such as renewables integration, ancillary services, time shifting, electric supply capacity, renewable energies capacity firming and micro-grid capability. Each application has specific requirements. For example, ancillary services require bulk capacity in order to keep power system quality, reliability and security (Eyer and Corey 2010). In this algorithm, the potential alternatives (including energy storage) are screened to satisfy performance requirements and sustainability criteria in meeting a specific application. Life cycle assessment (LCA) and cost analysis methods are applied to evaluate environmental and economic sustainability performance. The proposed principles guide the selection process and improve the design of storage technology.
References Eyer, J and Corey, G. 2010. Energy storage for the electricity grid: benefits and market potential assessment guide. Sandia National Laboratories.