Energy demands continue to change as technology advances and Western New York continues to see more extreme weather. This could mean higher electric bills as the grid gets pushed to its limits. RG & E is working to prevent stress on the electric grid using batteries.
Aaron Nutt is a manager for energy storage at Mesa Technical Associates and works with RG & E to design a 150-kWh battery that takes energy from the grid and puts it in storage. “We want to purchase and store energy when it’s cheapest at night,” said Nutt, “And we want to dispatch it during the day.”
The battery takes energy from the grid overnight and during off times when less energy is needed. It can then be used during the day when there is peak energy. “To support the building load during the day, and the additional load from the electric vehicles.” This is commonly known as energy arbitrage.
RG&E in Scottsville has several charging stations for its electric vehicles and that is an added power drainage, according to James Mader, RG&E manager of smart grids innovation. Electric vehicles have no carbon emissions when driving, but they still need electricity which often comes from fossil fuels. Using batteries to back up the extra demand – means less means less pollution and less pressure on the grid to work harder and burn more fuel during peak consumption.
“The batteries themselves will help reduce carbon emissions because you’ll have less generation required during peak times,” said Mader.
RG&E plans on testing this battery storage through the summer and potentially install new battery units across the region to help control energy distribution and ultimately lower the consumer’s energy bill.