Snapback relief provides additional BTM BESS benefits on the grid
When a sudden load burden on the grid occurs after a DR event, utilities often face a snapback effect when customers return to normal usage after having curtailed access. The impact of snapback on the utility grid can be minimized using BTM storage. For customers, the BTM storage may not be fully utilized during the DR event, which can help in normalizing spike in load during snapback period. This snapback reduction after a DR event by utilizing spare battery capacity can prove beneficial in reduction of sudden load demand on the grid. Scaling BTM BESS can collaboratively reduce the impact of snapback in the utility territory and at the same time prevent unnecessary transmission and distribution upgrades.
A pathway for improving grid resiliency, BTM BESS still requires consumer education
As exemplified by snapback situations, BTM BESS have the potential to provide a path for improving the overall grid resiliency. As electrification increases, combined with continued natural disasters and power outages, battery system assets at scale can provide an extended layer of support for the grid. Batteries participating in DR programs can enhance the possibility of virtual power plants, providing more backup power for customers while simultaneously providing load relief during peak times. This also helps ancillary services such as frequency and voltage control on the grid.
Though the monetary benefits for both customers and utilities are clear, BTM BESS adoption still requires considerable customer education to deliver on the promise of its large-scale impact. Customers are the vital interface through which such assets must be distributed. Without their adoption, large-scale BTM BESS will lag. By first educating customers on the individual benefits of battery storage—including monetary savings and switchback resiliency—utilities can encourage buy-in and adoption. As some customers may be hesitant about the initial costs of batteries, utilities have the opportunity to work with customers to participate in extensive savings programs. As customers gain more and clearer insight into how battery system assets can save them money over time while also participating in overall load relief, their curiosity has the potential to transform into enthusiastic participation.
Finding the right partner in the face of increasing demand
Increasing electrification is a top concern among utilities. For residents and utilities in California, wildfires and natural disasters increase the number of emergency response events, putting pressure on the public to reduce electricity use to prevent power outages. The urgency for increasing power and reducing load during peak times requires immediate solutions, one of which can be found in BTM BESS. For the MISO service territory in the Midwest, summer capacity shortages are projected starting in 2023 and 2024 without more generation, creating a similar need for balance of increased generation or consumer load reduction in the short-term future. And on the east coast, increasing electrification may bring similar challenges for the colder winter months in the medium future.
With these trends, the need to create future-proof solutions continues to increase in urgency. Creating a plan for implementing BTM BESS now can help prepare utilities of all sizes for addressing and improving grid reliability—while saving money—in the coming years. Working with the right partner ensures that utilities stay ahead of the curve and are ready for new challenges. Our team of experts can help utilities of any size understand the economic feasibility of battery implementation and benefits for energy savings and targeting economic analysis.