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Solar + Storage

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Consultant energy affairs Self employed

Rafael Herzberg- is an independent energy consultant, self-employed (since 2018) based in São Paulo, Brazil* Focus on C level, VPs and upper managers associated to energy related info, analysis...

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  • Apr 29, 2021
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Solar + Storage

News published on international energy portals show the Chinese regulatory requirement to include storage systems on solar farms.

The reason is simple and well known. The intermittency of the sun requires the instantaneous action of the public grid ("backup"), which is an additional demand, imposing conditions not foreseen in the original projects of the existing generation, transmission and distribution system.

Storage came to mitigate this new requirement. And, concomitantly, it will require an extra cost of around 20% on the project.

It will also allow solar projects to be able to arbitrate costs and thus obtain additional revenues, storing when energy from the public grid is "cheap" and exporting when it is expensive.

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Apr 29, 2021

Storage came to mitigate this new requirement. And, concomitantly, it will require an extra cost of around 20% on the project.

But presumably that 20% will be more than made up from the economic benefits, right? What does the impact on the payback period of these projects look like? 

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Rafael Herzberg on Apr 29, 2021

Hi Matt,

Your question is an excellent one. It depends basically on:

1. The current rate structure and the associated contracted rates. Or if it is a deregulated, the negotiated power price. 

2. The on-peak and off-peak hours. On-peak may be just a few hours per day or many hours, depending on each utility company.

3. The size of the battery to cope with the required customer demands (cost arbitrage on-peak/off-peak, unplanned power interruptions, etc.)

4. The regulatory storage specs for that specific utility 

5. If the storage system will also be used by the customer to control kW demand from the utility.

Storage does have potential to be a very interesting investment because with a marginal CAPEX it might bring a hefty return. But it will have to be very carefully designed, after knowing very well the "boundary conditions".

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Apr 29, 2021

Really early days on solar/storage... but here is a sample of the future from California yesterday.

Over 2,500 MWh of solar being stored during prime solar hours on CAISO grid and then discharged later in evening... lowering the amount of NG needed in that time period.

Rafael Herzberg's picture
Rafael Herzberg on Apr 30, 2021

Joe, very interesting comment! Tks!

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