Chicago, IL, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- September 10, 2013 - A distributed energy storage (DES) demonstration is set to get under way in the U.S. focused on storage systems in the 1-4 MW range located at substation facilities.

The project, an initiative of the National Alliance for Advanced Technology Batteries (NAATBatt) is aimed at identifying the applications of distributed energy storage that are most likely to be deployed soonest by electric utilities and the mechanical, engineering and ICT challenges preventing that deployment today.

The project would then endeavor to design a series of related DES demonstration projects focused on the identified applications and challenges, which would serve as a deployment roadmap for DES technology. The roadmap would also serve, as an industry consensus view on what the federal government needs to do to move DES technology from being a promising but theoretical resource to a practical, cost effective tool for utilities on the grid, as a coherent funding request by the storage industry to Congress and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The demonstration projects that the initiative designs will focus in large part on demonstrating the ability of a substation-based unit to manage, coordinate and perform multiple functions and to produce multiple value streams for the owner/operator of the unit.

As a first step, a survey will be conducted with participating electric utilities in order better to understand which of the multiple value streams that a DES system can theoretically generate will be of greatest interest and value. The survey will also ascertain utilities’ perceptions as to the principal mechanical, engineering and ICT challenges in substation-based DES systems. This “customer survey” will help the initiative’s advisory committee to design DES demonstration projects that correspond most precisely to specific utility needs, perceived values and challenges.

KEMA, with input from EPRI, has produced a preliminary survey, which NAATBatt hopes to circulate to participating utilities during September.

NAATBatt believes that if DES technology is to be widely adopted by utilities, it will be because the technology meets very specific needs and solves very specific problems. Hence as the first step, that attempt to identify what those needs and problems are.