Enbala Blog

Adding PV to the grid: It takes more than firming

By Enbala on Oct 19, 2016 9:20:00 AM

If you’re like most people who’ve gone to a conference lately – or read this blog from its inception – you’ve already heard warnings about what could happen to grid voltage and stability when stray clouds waft over neighborhood solar arrays and block PV generation. The sudden drop of renewable power is what many people point to as the key challenge of variable generation resources.

After all, that’s why utilities are looking for ways to “firm” renewable generation, which is the process of backing variable resources up with some combination of fast-ramping power or demand-side management to jump in when power production subsides. But, while loss of power gets most of the attention, over-production is an equally daunting challenge for grid operators.

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Topics: DERs, DERMs, Solar, photovoltaic, renewable firming

Linking Distributed Energy Assets to Generate Higher Value

By Bud Vos on Jan 7, 2016 7:38:59 AM

When it comes to planning for distributed energy resources (DERs), the State of California is one to watch. In 2015, major electric utilities submitted extensive plans for integration of distributed energy resources (DERs), with special focus on how such technologies will change planning for the last-mile distribution system and what process changes will be necessary.

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Topics: distributed energy resources, Distributed energy resource management, Solar, Solar energy, DERs, distributed energy integration

Distributed intelligence: You can’t really be smart without it

By Malcolm Metcalfe on Dec 17, 2015 1:14:45 PM

Not long ago, one of the largest electric utilities in California told me they have 180,000 generating sites, and they expect this to almost triple by 2025. That’s just one of many reasons I believe no grid optimization can truly occur without distributed intelligence and control in grid-edge devices.


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Topics: distributed energy resources, Solar, DERs, distributed intelligence, grid edge, grid optimization

The Economics of Hybrid Storage

By Malcolm Metcalfe on Dec 8, 2015 10:06:04 AM

 

Hybrid storage – the process that leverages the flexibility of behind-the-meter resources to support grid services – is dramatically less expensive than other generation or storage options, plus it has other benefits. On the price side, Enbala has found that our hybrid storage solution typically costs as much as six times less than peaker plants and more than a third less than utility-scale storage options. By the numbers, that means utilities would spend some $900 per kW for a peaker, $500 per kW for utility-scale battery storage and $150 per kW for Enbala.

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Topics: Distributed energy resource management, Solar, battery storage

Why Distributed energy resources aren’t living up to their potential … yet

By Bud Vos on Nov 30, 2015 3:35:56 PM

Distributed energy resources (DERs) like household solar and battery storage could provide enormous support to large and small electric systems that are now threatened by rising penetration of these technologies. DERs bring new capabilities and value. But, here’s the problem. Few jurisdictions facilitate distributed energy participation in grid markets to promote grid reliability and power quality.

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Topics: distributed energy resources, Solar, battery storage, battery energy storage

Smarter solar: Go West!

By Bud Vos on Nov 18, 2015 6:44:41 PM

Anyone who’s seen the California ISO “Duck Curve” knows south-facing roof-top solar is not particularly good for utilities. The problem, which appears so clearly in the eloquent graph below, is that daily peak continues to grow, so utilities still have to build out new generation, transmission and distribution facilities. But, household solar reduces overall energy sales, and this is where most of the money comes from to pay for the new capacity. Some utilities are referring to this as the “death spiral.”

 

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Topics: photovoltaic, distributed energy resources, Distributed energy resource management, Solar, Solar energy

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