A number of challenges now face the electric power industry: volatile wholesale market, increasing transmission constraints, and uncertainty on the part of customers as to what this has all meant. Today, these three issues play a role in the development of hydrogen energy storage demand :
Prior to deregulation in the electric power industry, utilities had no incentive to create storage facilities. Although hydrogen storage facilities replace the need for more expensive power plants, the later could be more easily rolled into the rate-base. Deregulation has changed that. In the competitive market, companies can make money based on their competitive position in the market instead of on a cost-of-service plus regime basis.
Large-scale storage facilities provide great improvement to the reliability of the grid, but one plant does not make an industry. To allow private sector participants to recoup their investments and make a return commensurate with their market risk, storage technologies must be given an equal footing.
By including hydrogen energy storage facilities in private company and government planning and policy alternatives, the government now provides additional choices for consumers. Lowering consumer prices through avoiding high-cost spot power prices is one of the main tenants of Federal and State Government’s focus. Hydrogen Energy storage facilities are the single most effective tool in addressing these issues and in providing the most benefit when prices are volatile and green energy is the focus.
- Hydrogen Energy storage technologies provide a wide spectrum of capabilities that promise a similarly wide range of beneficial applications. Since their purpose is to act as a ‘shock absorber’ to the system, their incremental and beneficial impacts will accumulate as they are incorporated into the system. These capabilities can be grouped into three market roles:
- Energy Management: Arbitraging the commodity value of energy between low-cost off-peak power and high-cost peaking power—making it much more valuable to the market. Applications include: load leveling, transmission asset deferral, and peak shaving.
- Bridging Power: Provides bridging power to assure a continuity of service for seconds to minutes when switching from one source of generation to another. Applications include contingency reserve and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS).
Power Quality & Reliability: Maintains the grid’s stability and protects sensitive manufacturing and computer equipment from unpredictable changes measured in milliseconds in the voltage and frequency of the power. Applications include systems stability, voltage regulation, and power quality and reliability.