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News Link • Energy

Let Gravity Store the Energy

• http://www.powermag.com, Dr. Robert Peltier, PE
 The system is simple, yet its potential is profound.

Much of the power generation equipment now being installed is either for renewable energy (predominately wind and solar) or gas-fired combined cycles that leverage the historic low prices of natural gas. However, many of those gas-fired plants were built with an additional purpose: to serve as a fast-reacting source of electricity that can replace renewable generation when the wind stops blowing or the sun doesn’t shine. A better technology choice for “chasing” wind and solar is bulk electricity storage.

The system planning and grid operation complications posed by renewables were thoroughly discussed in an earlier article (“Energy Storage Enables Just-in-Time Generation,” April 2011, available at powermag.com). The key theme of that article was that utility-scale energy storage must be commercialized before renewable electricity can reach its full potential.

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