The power grid is a pretty complex system. Electricity is generally produced on an as-needed basis. Generators ramp up and down based on demand. However, energy storage systems are beginning to change how demands are being met.
Energy storage isn’t a new concept. In fact, pumped-storage hydro systems have been around since the late 1800s. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), there was 23.6 GW of operational pumped-storage capacity in the U.S. in June 2018, which accounted for 94% of the country’s energy storage. Furthermore, some experts have argued that all hydropower is a form of energy storage.
“Our water reservoir[s] are our batteries,” Eric Martel, president and CEO of Hydro-Quebec, said in March during a panel session at the BloombergNEF (BNEF) Summit in New York. Hydro-Quebec is a Canadian public utility that operates some 60 hydroelectric generating stations. Martel said Hydro-Quebec’s reservoirs are so large that the utility “can store 175 TWh, which is more than enough to provide the whole electricity for the New York state for a year and a half almost.”
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