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Electricity Storage

By Phill Feltham

Can this up-and coming technology really replace transmission?


Electricity storage holds the promise of tremendous potential, but sometimes this potential can put expectations on the applications that may be difficult to attain. Such is the case with the question this article poses—which is “Can storage be a replacement to transmission?” Such questions are often asked of emerging technologies as the underlying premise is typically that the technology is better than the alternatives or will serve as an adequate replacement to the incumbent devices. But as with many topics around advanced storage technologies, the answer is a little more nuanced. In reality, energy storage won’t replace transmission, but it will certainly be a key asset that will be utilized to enhance transmission.

With all the potential that is offered by grid-scale storage, the reality is that storage still has a finite discharge duration at which point the device will need to be re-charged in order to perform the proposed applications. This doesn’t exclude the device from supporting transmission, but it does help define how the asset could be used to support transmission systems and be utilized to fill gaps where “expansion”, often costly, was once considered to be the only alternative. How can storage perform this critical role?

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