Full Title: Storage as Transmission Asset Market Study
Author(s): Quanta Technology, William Brown, Henry Chao, Arnold Schuff, and Steven Wang
Publisher(s): New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology (NY-BEST) Consortium
Publication Date: January 9, 2023
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Energy storage projects are becoming competitive as an alternative to traditional transmission lines. Not only does an energy storage project typically have a smaller land disturbance and shorter development, permitting, and construction timelines—meaning additional savings—but energy storage can also be added incrementally to address any uncertainties in transmission needs. Beyond increasingly utilizing existing transmission networks, energy storage is suited for low or uncertain load growth scenarios and spiky peak-shaving applications to mitigate grid congestion, reduce renewable curtailment, and defer the uncertain need for new power lines.
In this study, we first discuss how grid planners and operators are currently proposing and implementing batteries as alternatives to traditional transmission. Second, we illustrate three use cases for potentially applying Storage as Transmission Asset (SATA) to the currently planned New York State transmission grid to increase grid operations and utilization efficiency. SATA has the potential to reduce the grid upgrade effort, completion time, and cost, estimated to be on the order of several billion dollars in the coming decades. Finally, in addition to renewable curtailment reduction and cost savings, using SATA will greatly reduce land disturbance and thus minimize impacts on land resources and the environment.
The use cases in this study show that SATA projects can provide significant cost savings compared to traditional transmission solutions. New York State is transforming its electric system into one that is cleaner and more resilient under the direction of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) with projected multi-billion dollar spending on transmission expansion; however, present transmission planning rules and tariffs do not allow the use of SATA to optimize these investments. Done properly and permissibly, SATA could greatly reduce the impact on New York ratepayers by avoiding overbuilding wire-only solutions.