Micro Grid Energy Storage

The increase in power outages have exposed the strain on our nation’s large-scale grid power system. One solution is creating more localized micro grids. They improve grid stability and advance net-zero carbon emissions by using renewable energy optimized by modern batteries.

The Problem: Outdated Power Generation & Distribution

Historically, a relatively small number of large, centralized power plants generate baseload electricity and use high-voltage transmission lines for distribution. Power substations then convert that electricity to lower voltage suitable for communities.

Though the centralized power model has stood for over a century, it faces significant challenges:

  • Risk: A down plant or line can affect a huge territory and its lifesaving services
  • Delays: Some plants require 12 hours to fully ramp power up and down
  • Inconsistent: Intermittent renewable energy sources create more load fluctuations
  • Cost: Vast transmission line networks are expensive (and a liability) to maintain
centralized power plant diagram

The Solution: Micro Grids Supported by Battery Storage

In contrast, micro grids decentralize electric power. A small user network connected to a local supply source – often renewable energy, such as wind or solar – can remain attached to a “big grid” or disconnect from that grid to function independently.

Efficient battery energy storage systems (BESS) are integral to store and distribute the renewable energy, and regulate its variable.

A BESS-supported micro grid offers many benefits:

  • Stability: Ensures critical backup power if/when the larger grid goes down
  • Reliable: Smooths out power variability during low-use and peak-load times
  • Bridge Transition: Supports a mix of conventional and renewable energy
  • Cost Efficient: Minimizes peak-demand charges by utility companies
  • Less Maintenance: Reduces expensive upgrades to transmission lines
  • Consistent: Reduces peak-demand strain on large grids
  • Access: Delivers power to remote and rural areas with no electricity
Micro grid info brief thumbnail
The U.S. battery energy storage market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 30.5% from 2024 to 2030.

Multiple Storage Technologies Needed

As we transition to sustainable, carbon-neutral electricity, no one battery type will meet the demand. Ultimately, many available sources of energy and BESS will form the active network of power distribution for residential, commercial and heavy industry.

Renewable Energy Storage Information Brief
John Howes

The Energy Storage Grand Challenge report….reflects growing recognition from DOE and others that lead batteries are among important energy storage technologies that require investment to secure America’s global leadership on technological innovation and a green economy infrastructure.

John Howes, Principal, Redland Energy Group