John Jung is CEO of Greensmith, having led the company since joining in 2009 in its aim to provide customers with a platform of choice in energy storage technology – one that employs a battery-agnostic, software-optimized, and distributed network approach.
A California utility was recently faced with what initially looked like a difficult and very expensive problem.
A medical conglomerate needed to ensure power quality at one of its testing facilities. The facility, unfortunately, sat at the end of one of the utility's older feeder distribution lines. Bringing the line up to the required performance levels would have meant millions of dollars in distribution upgrades, along with months of hearings and meetings.
The utility, however, found a better solution. It installed a lithium-ion energy storage system, with 1.5 megawatts (MW) of capacity, and 3 megawatt-hours (MWHs) of output potential. Besides avoiding a more costly capital upgrade, the utility was able to provide an additional customer benefit by allowing the testing facility to use the battery storage to curb peak power consumption.
Scenarios like this are becoming increasingly commonplace. Until recently, most energy storage has been achieved by pumped hydro facilities and has required significant engineering efforts on reservoirs as well as pumping, and turbine equipment. Energy storage revolved around big projects and was circumscribed by the luck of geography.