2014-12-21. Energy-Storage Plans Gain Ground in California.

posted Dec 23, 2014, 9:30 AM by Alan Gould
By Matthew L. Wald, The New York Times. For GSS Energy Use chapter 10. Excerpt: In an unusual competition in California, proposals for energy storage systems beat out hundreds of bids to construct new power plants as a way to meet peak power needs. Southern California Edison has retired its San Onofre nuclear reactors and is planning to retire natural gas units with environmentally troublesome cooling systems. So it invited proposals for storage — including conventional batteries and giant ice packs — and new gas-fired power plants. To the surprise of the utility and even the storage companies, in many cases storage won.  ...One crucial attraction of storage is that it could break the mold of utility system design, which is now geared around the few hours a year with the highest demand. Some plants are needed only a few hundred hours a year. Storage could also sharply increase the amount of energy that a reliable system can absorb from intermittent sources like wind and sun. ...RES Americas announced recently that it would build two 19.8-megawatt systems in Illinois. It said those would be the largest installations in North America. In that state, late-night surplus wind energy sometimes forces prices on the grid to below zero.....  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/22/business/energy-environment/california-picks-energy-storage-over-some-new-power-plant-bids.html.