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High Penetration of Renewables > Capacity Firming - Pg. 113

Chapter | 5 Prospects for Renewable Energy 113 would require modifications to the traditional PV inverter hardware design and current interconnection requirements need to evolve. 4 During a workshop held by the DOE on the "High Penetration of PV Systems into the Distribution Grid" in February 2009, energy storage was identified as a possible solution to solar variability and intermittency; development of small- to mid-scale energy storage solutions was identified as a top RD&D activity. As discussed in section "Energy Storage for Integration," energy storage can be used for power man- agement as an intermediary between variable resources and loads. Capacity Firming When PV and wind outputs are low, some type of back-up generation will be needed to ensure that customer demand is met. To address the issues of load profile following and power balancing, renewables capacity firming to decrease variable output needs to occur. Capacity firming offsets the need to purchase or build additional dispatchable capacity. Energy storage can be combined with renewable energy generation to produce constant power. Depending on the location, firmed renewable energy output may also offset the need for T&D investment. Renewables capacity firming is especially valuable when peak demand occurs, and energy storage can even be used for peak shaving.