Energy storage is one of the fastest-growing asset classes in the energy sector. Annual deployments are set to rise from 4 GW in 2019 to more than 15 GW in 2024, according to the analyst firm Wood Mackenzie. The reason for this boom is not hard to fathom. As the world moves toward more hybrid, distributed and carbon-free energy models, batteries can provide a range of functions, from ancillary grid services to on-demand power provision, that were previously the domain of fossil-fuel-powered plants.
But energy storage is still a relatively expensive asset and maximising its value in a hybrid system is not easy. With storage not being directly supported in most markets, it is key for asset owners and investors to make sure the operation of battery systems is optimised through robust software tools. This is where Wärtsilä’s Storage+ solution can help.
GEMS dashboard displaying a site following a frequency response signal in the PJM market.
Built on Wärtsilä’s market-leading energy management system GEMS, the Storage+ GEMS solution empowers users to get the most out of their hybrid energy storage systems with a rich library of included operation logics, integration with connected hardware and advanced asset monitoring capabilities. Storage+ will help asset managers:
- Integrate renewables by allowing GEMS to orchestrate and optimise the relationship between energy storage and renewable generation assets. Asset hybridisation allows collocated assets to be bid as one, unlocking potential greater than the sum of its parts.
- Gain insights by smartly managing and optimising various assets under a single portfolio.
- Maximise revenue by using the GEMS platform to stack and combine operations.
- Predict energy generation using load and renewable output forecasting.
GEMS Storage+ uses machine learning and historic and real-time data analytics to calibrate what type of generation is needed at specific time, improving energy storage asset management and allowing asset managers to take advantage of:
- Renewable energy forecasting, using weather forecasts, physics-based models, non-parametric machine learning and advanced parametric regression techniques to compute the expected AC power generation from solar and wind assets.
- Intelligent automation, which allows the system to change operations based on market, environmental and other conditions.
- Auto-bidding, powered by machine learning algorithms, to optimise revenue in local energy and ancillary service markets.
At Duke Energy, one of the largest utilitiies in the United States, Wärtsilä’s GEMS Storage+ platform is being deployed at the utility’s existing and planned battery storage sites and solar assets across six energy distribution areas. The projects include Duke Energy’s 8.8 MW/8.8 MWh Asheville, 4.95 MW/5 MWh Crane and 4MW/4MWh Hot Springs project sites. The latter is a hybrid project with 3 MW dc of solar. Wärtsilä’s GEMS was selected for its real-time control and protection and fleet visibility capabilities.
GEMS enables North Carolina facilities to dispatch electricity, provide emergency backup power and balance the local grid, while also introducing more clean energy into Duke Energy’s service territory. As well as helping Duke Energy’s deployments to increase grid resilience at sites that require energy storage backup, the platform will ultimately facilitate the company’s first-ever entry into the PJM market. Other projects, such as Cremzow (see panel), are delivering similar benefits elsewhere.
CASE STUDY: THE CREMZOW PROJECT
In Cremzow, Northern Germany, Enel Green Power has led a partnership behind a 22 MW energy storage facility tasked with balancing the German grid in order to provide frequency regulation services to the country’s Primärregelleistung (PRL) market. The need for such grid services is particularly acute in this location. With wind assets concentrated in the north of the country, Northern Germany faces increasing power grid congestion. Hence it was important for Enel Green Power and its partners to find a state-of-the-art management system.
The project partners selected Wärtsilä’s GEMS Storage+ energy management system to meet the operational requirements of the power plant and to provide frequency regulation services to the German PRL market. GEMS efficiently manages the state of charge of the system by actively participating in the German wholesale electricity market.
Meeting Market Requirements
It also ensures optimisation of energy storage, renewable energy and power generation assets in response to changes in market conditions and structures, effectively future proofing battery investments for the power developers and utilities concerned. When the grid frequency decreases due to high power demand, the battery is able to begin delivering its stored energy within 300 milliseconds, while charging with surplus energy during periods of low demand.
As well as providing ancillary services such as frequency response, the Cremzow hybrid project enables the storage of wind power when available and injects stored renewable energy into the grid during peak demand hours, a function that adds further revenues.
Visit the Wärtsilä website for more information about this project.