As summer temperatures continue to increase, many Texans are relying on their air conditioners to keep cool, driving up statewide energy consumption. This increase in energy usage has historically led to a sharp spike in electricity rates and even energy shortages on the electric grid.
This is why energy storage has become an increasingly popular concept. Energy storage allows energy generated at one point to be saved and used later. And the most popular form of this is battery storage. As an example, electricity generated from wind turbines could be saved in a battery storage system and used later when the wind is no longer blowing.
Historically, ERCOT has limited the amount and operations of energy storage systems, despite Texas playing a leading role in the country’s renewable energy industry.
However, Vavrik believes investing in battery storage will benefit everyone in the energy industry, including ERCOT. Already, ERCOT “acts as the central system operator, dispatching generators and other power grid equipment to instantaneously supply the load,” according to Vavrik.
“Most of our services will be sold to ERCOT, and then the load – utilities or retail electric providers – purchases their requirements from ERCOT at variable pricing,” Vavrik explained. “Sometimes, we then enter into bilateral financial swap contracts with the load to add certainty to the variable pricing. Wind and solar generators are also exposed to price risk due to their intermittent generation, and we can enter into swap agreements with them, also.”
As research into battery storage continues, the sheer size of Broad Reach Power’s plans in Texas could have a lasting impact on the state’s energy industry. Whether the power producer will be able to maintain its original plans in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic is yet to be determined.
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