In current years, the price of photo voltaic and wind power has declined precipitously, which has accelerated the expansion of those renewable power applied sciences. Increasingly, utilities at the moment are planning for a future grid dominated by photo voltaic and wind. That would require modifications in grid administration and transmission upgrades as properly as the addition of storage to clean out the provision from variable turbines.
Grid storage is nonetheless fairly early days, however we’re already seeing large price reductions as the business matures. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) highlighted this not too long ago, exhibiting that grid-scale battery-challenge costs in the United States dropped 70 p.c in only a few years.
Between 2015 and 2018, common challenge costs decreased from $2,152 per kilowatt-hour of storage to $625. Costs might want to drop a lot more for grid batteries to scale, however that’s an enormous enchancment in a short interval of time.
By the tip of 2018, the US had 869 megawatts of battery energy capability and 1,236 megawatt-hours of power capability. (Power is the speed at which the batteries can provide electrical energy, while power is the overall quantity it could possibly provide when going from full cost to empty.) EIA additionally has set up information for 2019, which noticed the addition of one other 150 megawatts/450 megawatt-hours. And in simply the primary seven months of 2020, one more 300 megawatts of energy capability have been put in.
EIA doesn’t see this slowing down. It expects put in battery storage to extend by 6,900 megawatts “in the next few years”—a determine ambiguous sufficient to permit for a speedy spike in deliberate tasks.
While you would possibly suppose that one battery is more or much less the identical as one other, there are regional variations hidden throughout the common costs of current tasks. In in the Midwest-to-mid-Atlantic area of the grid managed by PJM, for instance, the common price between 2013 and 2018 was $1,946 per kilowatt-hour. Projects in Hawaii averaged simply $947 per kilowatt-hour.
Much of this distinction could be defined by the truth that batteries are serving many alternative functions. In the PJM area, for instance, that price drops to $1,004 if you calculate it per kilowatt quite than per kilowatt-hour. And by that metric, Hawaii’s common price goes as much as $1,498.