KF HEader Logo
tyqaxwevay
Next Generation Batteries 2017
Next Generation Batteries 2017

Batteries for Utilities: Collaborating to Improve Stationary Energy Storage

Click Here to Return to Download Page  


Ann Nguyen:

Greetings. Welcome to this podcast for The Knowledge Foundation’s Fifth Annual Next Generation Batteries conference, running April 21-22, 2015 in San Diego, California. I'm Ann Nguyen, Associate Conference Producer.

Today, we’re chatting with two speakers from the Grid-Scale Energy Storage track, Michael Liu, North America Regional Manager and ESS Development at BYD America, and William Torre, Director of Energy Storage Research for the Center for Energy Research at the University of California, San Diego. They’ll be co-presenting during the Power Partnerships session that pairs battery suppliers with utility companies.

Michael and Bill, thank you for joining us for some Q&A.

How did BYD and UCSD end up working together on an energy storage microgrid project? What are your goals and respective contributions? Bill?

William Torre:

We originally put out a request for proposals for energy storage at UCSD. We had identified that we had a need for energy storage to complement the operation of our microgrid at UCSD, and so we put out a request for proposals, and the BYD was the winning company on the proposal for that project. We hope to be able to use the energy storage. One of our main goals is to help supplement our system generation, which consists of 30-megawatt combined cycle power plant and on-system renewables, about 5 megawatts of renewables. The energy storage will help us to better utilize on our on-system power generation and renewable generation.

Ann Nguyen:

Michael, anything you’d like to add?

Michael Liu:

Just an amendment to what Bill said. I actually myself joined the relationship when UC San Diego puts out this RFP. But I believe BYD and UC San Diego was in talking and was in communication before that. I was introduced to this RFP by our electric bus team. As you know, BYD also manufactures pure electric bus. My bus team and the logistics team or the renewable team on the UC San Diego was talking and communicating on pure electric bus for school shuttles or for school buses or university shuttles. I believe we, BYD and UC San Diego, are in relationship earlier than BYD response to the RFP on energy storage.

Ann Nguyen:

More broadly, how have battery-based energy storage applications evolved over the last decade? And what kind of progress do you expect to see in the near future? Michael?

Michael Liu:

I myself, I come from a manufacturer’s background, so I might see this a little bit differently than what Bill is seeing there. So…more often than not, when a new application occurs, there must be a readily available technology. If you look at the energy storage project, especially those early stage or earlier timed demo battery energy storage projects, the suppliers and developers are mostly from large and reputable battery manufacturers, and they are looking for a way to find new revenues for their products. When the utility companies and when the industry have a new thought on the application, for example, frequency regulations or renewable integration, then the technology and the needs come together and develop to this new application.

When the demo projects of certain co-application has a feasible commercial-wise income, then these types of applications become mature in the market. And then people start to realize, these can actually generate revenues or these can actually bring benefit to the grid or to some other segment of the industry. Then the markets start to develop, or the regulators start to develop, policies and strategies or even incentives or rewards for these new applications. This is how I see the energy storage applications has evolved in the past few years. It’s not a very long history with battery energy storage, but it has evolved a lot during the past few years.

Ann Nguyen:

And Bill, what do you think?

William Torre:

Well, I think energy storage has really evolved a lot over the last few years, over the last decade, particularly in the area of higher energy density and lower cost. Just like any new technology, the first few systems and that energy storage system and technologies that are developed are fairly high in cost and don’t have quite as much energy compacted into a smaller volume. What we’re starting to see now is higher and higher energy density and lower costs, and it’s driven by a number of things. The reason why cost is coming down, the higher energy density is due to demand.

Early on, we saw high demand in things like cell phones and laptop computers and things like that where people wanted more compact, smaller, longer battery life and higher energy density. Then what we see now is we’re seeing the advent of electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles driving the need for more batteries, and because they’re mobile applications, higher energy density. And that is having a benefit for the stationary storage area because all this technology and chemistry and things that have been developed for these mobile applications are being applied forward to the stationary storage applications, and that’s being driven by renewable generation predominantly.

As we shift our generation fleet in the power grid from conventional fossil fuel power plants to renewable generation, in order to accommodate higher levels of both solar and wind renewable generation, which is highly variable and uncontrollable, we're going to need more energy storage to do that, and that's going to create more demand and a lot of these big energy storage systems require high volume of batteries, so we’ve seen a combination of things driving a need for better, more efficient longer-life energy storage batteries. The stationary energy storage market’s going to continue to grow as we push towards higher renewable penetration in the near future.

Ann Nguyen:

Bill, Michael, thank you for tag-teaming this interview as well as your upcoming presentation this spring.

Michael Liu of BYD and William Torre of University of California, San Diego. They’ll be co-presenting in that city on the “Design and Integration of a Grid-Scale 2.5 MW / 5 Mwhr Energy Storage System on the University of California – San Diego Microgrid”. That's happening during the Grid-Scale Energy Storage track at Next Generation Batteries, which runs April 21-22.

To learn more from them in person, visit www.knowledgefoundation.com/next-generation-batteries for registration information, and enter the keycode “Podcast”.

This is Ann Nguyen. Thank you for listening.