- The Energy Mix - https://www.theenergymix.com -

Batteries Will Soon Beat Emissions-Heavy Gas Plants for Affordable Peak Power

Affordable battery storage may be only three or four years away from replacing emissions-heavy, simple-cycle gas turbines to supply the peak power utilities need during the 200 to 250 hours each year when electricity demand is highest.

“About 20% of New York State’s generation fleet runs less than 250 hours a year,” Lyons notes, so gas-fired peaker plants “are by design the cheapest and least efficient fossil generators. When they do run, they cost a lot to operate, and produce more air pollution than other types of fossil generation.”

  • The climate news you need. Subscribe now to our engaging new weekly digest.
  • You’ll receive exclusive, never-before-seen-content, distilled and delivered to your inbox every weekend.
  • The Weekender: Succinct, solutions-focused, and designed with the discerning reader in mind.

But according to a white paper by Lyons’ firm, Energy Strategies Group, that’s all about to change: While peak-load turbines cost at least $670 per installed kilowatt, or sometimes more than twice as much, a four-hour storage battery could come in as low as $348 by 2017 and $248 by 2018.

“Factoring in the added value of locating storage on the distribution grid and ownership and operation by a vertical utility, four-hour energy storage will win over CTs [combustion turbines] at the high end of the CT cost range by 2017,” Lyons writes.