Development of Smart Cities
The term Smart Cities refer to cities which use information and communication technologies to increase operational efficiency, share information, and improve the quality of public services.
Powerstar VIRTUE allows businesses to seamlessly integrate into smart grid infrastructures and is forming an integral part in the development of smart cities through its intelligent approach to remotely monitoring and managing energy use. VIRTUE energy storage solutions are assisting to drive the evolution from the traditional provision of electricity to an integrated, smart grid supply; resulting in lower energy costs, greater security, and aiding the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Energy Storage; Integration into Smart Grid
The future electricity grid outlook will see the traditional, centralised energy network model replaced with a smart grid energy system; a highly connected system of responsive power generation from both suppliers and consumers, which results in a clean, secure, and reliable supply of electricity for homes, businesses, and vehicles.
The incorporation of a smart grid electricity network, driven by energy storage, Demand Side Response (DSR), smart networks, and interconnection will shape the future outlook of the grid, creating an ‘Internet of Energy’:
- Industrial: Business users will be able to make cost savings by utilising energy storage to power industrial sites during peak DUoS periods, without having to alter production patterns. Sufficient energy storage will also negate the need for additional backup generation as systems with integrated Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) will deliver responsive backup in the case of a supply issue, providing enhanced energy resilience to an organisation.
- Cities: Smart Cities of the future will encourage the smarter, more efficient use of energy through greater connectivity and by forming local microgrids supported by a network of energy storage systems to create environmentally sustainable urban developments. Microgrids will allow cities to partake in the decentralisation of the energy network which will help smooth out the intermittency of renewables and balance demand, therefore aiding decarbonisation.
- Vehicle Charging: Electric Vehicles (EV) will undoubtedly provide the transport of the future. Underpinned by energy storage systems to support the unavoidable increase in demand of energy on the grid, smart EV charging is a definite requirement of the future Smart City landscape. In December 2016, Powerstar launched an integrated energy storage and electric vehicle charging solution called VIRTUE EV, which is capable of delivering the convenience and energy network support required for widespread EV adoption.
- Renewable Generation: Allied with an effective battery energy storage solution, energy generated through renewable sources (i.e. wind & solar) can be stored for discharge during peak demand times. This allows for renewable firming and will lead to renewables becoming a greater part of the energy mix in the future energy and Smart City landscape.
- Utility Grid: Energy storage will increasingly provide balancing services to local and national electricity networks, alleviating imbalances in supply and demand and providing a faster response to the grid when needed. The use of battery energy storage within this setting is very effective due to its ability to respond so rapidly to grid events when required. This allows for an intelligent, responsive approach to balancing demand as well as the ability to partake in grid contracts to generate additional revenue for the business implementing the energy asset.
Benefits of a Smart Grid Energy System
Integration into a smart grid energy system, based on the adoption of leading-edge solutions, will empower the flexible use of energy and help to ensure businesses’ electricity bills are reduced and offer security to the supply.
It will also avoid costly investments into the energy network infrastructure and will reduce the need for the otherwise unavoidable significant increase in reserve generation capacity along with lessening the requirement for back up thermal generation.
The integration of a smart grid energy system could:
- Reduce stress on network infrastructure by smoothing demand and making renewable generation more reliable
- Reduce the need for backup gas plants by shifting demand away from the peak tariffs and storing energy when demand is low and low carbon electricity is available
- Reduce the need for fossil fuels to be utilised to generate energy
- Increase the proportion of green electricity supplied by renewables without increasing total renewable capacity
- Enable the storing of renewable energy when it is not needed and shift demand to periods of renewable energy generation
- Provide a diversity of more efficient balancing options to the National Grid