Battery Storage Potential

A photo of a series of energy storage systems

A presentation based on the research of Steven Winter Associates

Key Takeaways

  • The real value of a battery system is driven not by system operation, but rather by electric tariff changes and incentive payments, such as participation in demand response programs and tax benefits.
  • Buildings with a minimum monthly peak demand on a single meter of over 100 kW should be screened for more detailed investigation.
  • A rate structure that prices energy and power dynamically based on the hourly cost of generation and transmission and distribution encourages the adoption of energy storage systems.

Executive Summary

The purpose of this study was to develop a methodology to quickly assess — in the absence of interval data — the potential for a multifamily building to benefit from a behind the meter energy storage system (ESS). Additionally, we broadly assess the potential for customer value for energy storage in New York City (NYC) under current economics. A financial model for ESS was created based on easily obtainable building information such as monthly peak demand and square footage. A screening methodology was developed by installing interval meters in a sample of ten buildings to monitor demand and then comparing the measured data with the financial model. It was found that financial performance of ESS is based primarily on incentive availability, electric tariffs, and load profile. Of the investigated building characteristics and load profile descriptors, the lowest monthly peak load is most correlated with financial performance. This result suggests that a screening tool for potential energy storage candidates could only reliably produce viable candidates when screening based on monthly peak demand. This research was performed by Steven Winter Associates and made possible by funding from NYSERDA.

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