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Dynamics of Traditional Utility Scale Electrical Power Generation

Traditional Utility Power Generation

Utility Companies have enjoyed monopoly markets for almost 100 years. You are obligated to connect your home or office to a grid source of power and pay whatever rates are dictated by your local public utilities commission (PUC). The responsibility of the Utility company was to provide electrical power to your your dwelling under all conditions. To accomplish this, they had to build extra capacity for the worst case scenario. This extra capacity is called peak capacity, "Peakers". An example of when peak capacity is needed is when on the hottest day of the year, every building has their air conditioners running at full capacity. This place undue stress on the power delivery system and extra power plants are "fired up" to handle the increased demand. In normal circumstances the peakers sit idle.

Peak Power Plant Used Only When Needed. Unable to Store Output
Peak Power Plant Used Only When Needed

This is because all the power that is generated is used immediately. None is saved. With new battery storage technology the power can be generated and saved for later use. This reduces the amount of peak power generation needed, as well as smooths out renewable power source erratic generation curves. Many large companies are investing in battery research to meet this growing application.

Promising Battery Storage Projects

There are many companies, research centers, and universities working on improving battery capacity

  • Seeo/Bosch
  • Sakti3
  • Tesla/Solar City Power
  • Donald Sadoway's Ambri Liquid Metal Battery Technology

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Tags: energy storage, battery technology