The Energy Storage program will develop a comprehensive strategy to expand FE’s current portfolio of technologies and programs to include an FE Energy Storage Technology Research Program in order to continue to extract maximum economic value from the Nation’s fossil-fueled energy system assets.
High-Level Program Goals Include:
DOE Energy Storage Grand Challenge:
Learn more about the new grand challenge organized by the DOE here. Check back for updates on events, webinars, and news series!
Over the next several decades fossil-fuel plants will continue to satisfy much of our Nation’s electricity demand. As variable renewable energy penetration increases, energy storage at the generation site will be essential to a resilient and flexible electricity network. NETL’s Energy Storage program as a part of the Crosscutting portfolio aims to address these needs and challenges.
Looking forward to additions and retirements on the grid, fossil-fueled plants will continue to be added through 2050 and play a major role in generation. Due to the inherent challenges between intermittent and baseload power systems, energy storage is integral to guaranteeing a seamless transition between systems. Energy Storage will enable fossil-based systems to be more flexible and retain longer lifetimes of components, making the system more efficient and environmentally friendly.
Energy Storage in Fossil Applications Offer:
Today’s fleet of existing coal plants is operating at ~50% capacity. Energy storage provides the opportunity to take advantage of this underutilized capacity. Other projects, such as Coal FIRST, are also working to make the underutilized capacity available for flexible and resilient power.
Current Projects at NETL:
More Reliable and Affordable Energy Supply:
Reliability in a changing grid − energy storage technology enables greater grid stability and fossil power plant flexibility to accommodate growth of variable renewable energy and expansion of electrified transportation systems
Resiliency in unplanned events − fossil power plants can continue to operate during grid outages and provide robust supply during storms and other natural disasters, aiding response and recovery efforts
More secure supply − energy storage keeps power plants and the grid functioning in times of physical and cyber-security threats
Reduced customer cost − energy storage leverages otherwise wasted plant heat energy and underutilized supply system investments
Cleaner electricity − energy storage enables the greatest amount of renewable energy integration into the electricity supply while keeping the grid resilient
Smaller real-world footprint − energy storage realizes the benefit of optimal environment footprint of base-load power plants with fewer new site development demands and lower carbon emissions
Reduction in idling – energy storage provides opportunity to recover heat wasted during turndown operations, improving efficiencies and economics
Stronger Energy Infrastructure:
More flexible power grid − energy storage quickly accommodates unexpected changes in generation and load, maintaining balance among variable renewable energy availability and baseload generator operating conditions
Improved asset management − energy storage optimizes power plant operation, transmission, sub-transmission, and electricity distribution infrastructure reduces local and regional socio-economic disruptions
Efficiently serve new markets − stored energy can be made available to affordably satisfy energy demands for new ancillary services
NETL’s Crosscutting program solicited input from entities in the energy storage field through the request for information (RFI). A total of 23 individual responses were received from 21 different entities in December 2019. Responses included academia, new entrants into power, suppliers, and more. The RFI aimed to identify and assess technology and knowledge gaps in energy storage. It also sought to identify advances in energy storage technology options to enable economic plant operation when responding to reduced cold/warm start time, increased ramp rate, reduced minimum plant load, and increased plant thermal efficiency.