Full Title: Economic Analysis Case Studies of Battery Energy Storage with SAM
Author(s): Nicholas DiOrio, Aron Dobos, and Steven Janzou
Publisher(s): U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Publication Date: 11/2015
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Behind-the-meter electric-energy storage has been considered recently as a possible means of enabling higher amounts of renewable energy on the grid. States such as California have introduced mandates and subsidies to spur adoption. This work considers customer sited behind the-meter storage coupled with photovoltaics (PV) and presents case studies of the financial benefit of customer-installed systems in California and Tennessee. Different dispatch strategies, including manual scheduling and automated peak-shaving were explored to determine ideal ways to use the storage system to increase the system value and mitigate demand charges. Incentives, complex electric tariffs, and site-specific load and PV data were used to perform detailed analysis using the free, publicly available System Advisor Model (SAM) tool. We find that installation of photovoltaics with a lithium-ion battery system in Los Angeles and installation of lithium-ion batteries without photovoltaics in Knoxville yields positive net-present values considering high demand charge utility rate structures, battery costs of $300/kWh, and dispatching the batteries using perfect day-ahead forecasting. All other scenarios considered cost the customer more than the savings accrued. General conclusions about influential factors in determining net present value remain elusive because our analysis shows high sensitivity of battery economics to the complex interplay among scenario parameters and location-specific information.