Use energy storage technologies to create a continuous, reliable supply of energy for your business
How It Works
Energy storage systems allow businesses to save energy from the grid or on-site renewables and then use it as needed. This enables customers to have more control over their energy use during outages and periods of high demand. There are many different forms of energy storage, with the most common for commercial purposes being battery and thermal. Storage systems can be installed on their own to store energy from the grid and release it during peak load times, lowering your energy bills. They can also integrate with renewable energy technologies (e.g., solar) to provide consistent power during peak load times or when energy may not be available (e.g., when the sun is not shining).
Storage can also be combined with other energy efficiency and demand-response measures within a building to increase energy savings without sacrificing occupant comfort, and it often provides reliable backup power. Advancements in these technologies have led to decreases in costs, making storage a smart investment for businesses of all types and sizes.
Types of Energy Storage
Storage options include batteries, thermal, or mechanical systems. All these technologies can be paired with software that controls the charge and discharge of energy.
- Batteries: Lithium-ion, lead acid, and other battery technologies can store electricity for long durations. Battery systems have a small footprint relative to their storage capacity.
- Thermal: Thermal systems use heating and cooling methods to store and release energy. For example, excess electricity generated by a solar array can be stored as heat in molten salt. When electricity is needed during peak consumption, the thermal energy in the salt can be used to make steam to power a turbine.
- Pumped Hydro Power: During off-peak hours, excess electricity powers turbines to pump water to an elevated reservoir. When electricity demand is high, the reservoir releases the retained water to flow through the turbines and produce electricity. Siting these systems can be difficult because of the terrain needed and large footprint.
- Flywheels: This mechanical system stores kinetic energy in a rapidly spinning mechanical rotor capable of absorbing and releasing high power for short duration of 15 minutes or less. These systems are effective at balancing fluctuations in electricity supply and demand and providing short-term power until backup generation comes online.
- Emerging Technologies: Compressed air, superconducting magnets, underground pumped storage, and hydrogen storage are all forms of emerging energy storage that are in different stages of development.
You can learn more about these and other energy storage technologies in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Storage Handbook .
How You Benefit
- Control the cost and reliability of electricity for your business
- Reduce monthly energy costs by avoiding peak load electricity rates
- Generate revenue by participating in demand response programs
- Increase your resiliency by reducing the impact of outages
- Maximize the value and benefits of a renewable energy system (if you have one)
- Reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner and healthier community
- Access federal tax credits for eligible battery storage projects
When You Should Consider It
Energy storage may be good for your business if you are:
- Looking to create a stable supply of electricity during peak electricity usage and outages
- Looking to establish more predictable electricity costs and reduce demand charges
- Considering or already using renewable energy sources, such as solar power
- Managing equipment or systems that are mission-critical to operate at all times
- Trying to obtain or improve a green building certification for your building
You Might Also Be Interested In
Businesses can capitalize on energy storage to lower their energy bills, improve resilience to outages, and potentially generate revenue through demand response programs. Consider maximizing the benefits of an energy storage system with other complementary, cost-effective energy investments, including:
- Clean Heating and Cooling: Learn how technologies like cold-climate heat pumps can deliver year-round comfort, save energy, and reduce your carbon footprint.
- Demand Response Programs: Receive financial incentives for reducing electricity use during times of peak demand.
- Real Time Energy Management: Optimize your energy use with smart building technologies that work in real time to monitor performance and detect inefficiencies.
- Solar Energy: Compare options for powering your business with a clean, cost-saving energy source.
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