What is a Battery Energy Storage System

Batteries are used to store electrical energy for when it is needed. Utility scale battery systems, known as Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), can store energy and then supply it back to the grid when required. Often this will be at a time of peak demand or at a time when other renewable technologies aren’t available.

BESS can be charged by renewable technologies or can download power directly from the grid at a time of low demand.

Why the demand for BESS?

As more and more renewables are added to the existing power grid, it is critical that sufficient storage is built to ensure that power demand can always be met by supply. To this end, BESS plays a critical role.

  • Balance supply and demand – storing energy for when required.
  • Integrating renewable energy – mitigate intermittency.
  • Improving power grid stability – multiple grid functions serviced.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions  help integrate renewables.
  • Improving energy security – reduced use of fossil fuels.

Growth of Renewables

Solar, wind and other renewable technologies are going to play a much larger role in our electricity generation as governments throughout the world look to meet their “Net Zero” commitments. 

However, there is not much point in delivering a lot of energy from renewable sources if demand isn’t there. We know the challenges presented by the intermittency of some renewables but these are largely overcome by adding BESS and other storage formats onto the grid.  Excess energy produced during windy and sunny times can be stored and then released during periods of high demand.  

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