The Evidence:
The Silver Lining

The Cost & Risk of managing intermittency is EXPONENTIALLY amplified on small & in-flexible grids (typical of islanded utilities and remote industrial loads).

 

  • Primary Technical Challenge: Extreme ramp events caused by intermittent generation overwhelm the load balancing capabilities of the grid (specifically at the short durations).

  • Primary Economic Challenge: Dispatch of additional oil-fired back-up (spin-reserve) to match renewable generation capacity erodes the cost savings proposition of renewable energy.

 

IMPACT: Large portions of the world remain captive to high cost oil-fired generation due to these fundamental challenges of integrating even low penetrations of renewable energy.

SHORT DURATION IS A COMMON CHARACTERISTIC AMONGST THE CHALLENGES: 

The challenges currently limiting adoption of renewable energy amongst in-flexible and islanded grids of the world share a common characteristic of being derived from the 'short duration' system impacts of intermittency. (sub-hourly). 

 

SUBSTANTIAL COST BENEFIT TO FIRMING & SHAPING AT THE SUB-HOURLY DURATION:

In other words, a means to manage intermittency on a sub-hourly basis carries has the potential to unlock the real cost-benefit value proposition of displacing oil-fired generation with lower cost renewable energy. 

A renewable energy generation source with the marginal ability to 'firm & shape' output at short durations will EXPONENTIALLY increase the value of a marginal MWhr of renewable generation. 

 

A renewable energy generator capable of forecasting and reliably delivering blocks of “shaped” renewable energy at short (sub-hourly) intervals can effectively:

  1. Guarantee the avoidance of extreme ramp events from the new renewable capacity.

  2. Eliminate the need to dispatch additional spin-reserve capacity on one-for-one basis

 

Why isnt this done already? - Storage is Expensive:

The marginal cost increase of matching storage capacity to every MW of renewable capacity remains a difficult economic proposition that typically drowns out the cost-savings of cheaper renewable energy.

 

What has changed?  - Storage capacity can be optimized:

Optimizing to minimize the capacity of storage capacity around the renewable resource (wind & solar) can simultaneoulsy decrease the probability and magnitude of extreme events while minimizing the size of ESS required to maintain system reliability. 

 

CONCLUSION: $150 MWhr FIRM renewable energy is a game-changer!

Large scale renewable generation can be delivered as a guranteed "firm" block of energy at 15 minute intervals for less than $150MWhr - today! 

The Solution
The Challenge
Harvesting Value on the Grid of the Future:
Optimizing Projects for High Renewable Penetrations.
De-Coupling of Energy & Capacity Values on the CAISO Grid
See Our Case Study:
Deploying Cost-Effective Dispatchable Renewable Energy
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