Techno-Economic Assessment of Grid-Level Battery Energy Storage Supporting Distributed Photovoltaic Power

Javier Lopez-Lorente, Xueqin Amy Liu, Robert J. Best, George Makrides, D John Morrow

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Centralised, front-of-the-meter battery energy storage systems are an option to support and add flexibility to distribution networks with increasing distributed photovoltaic systems, which generate renewable energy locally and help decarbonise the power sector. However, the provision of specific services at distribution level remains under development for real applications in industry. To this end, this paper presents an exhaustive techno-economic analysis of the role of front-of-the-meter battery energy storage systems in primary distribution networks with presence of distributed PV covering: (i) the siting decision for storage systems using multi-objective genetic algorithm optimisation; (ii) the response when smart capabilities for PV inverters (e.g., volt-var control) are present; and (iii) the quantification of revenue streams and compensation schemes that would bring positive profitability when providing distribution-specific services based on the supply of real and reactive power. The performance of grid-level battery energy storage technology is evaluated in the IEEE 34-bus system particularised to the distribution code of Northern Ireland, UK. The techno-economic assessment covers one year of simulations at 1-minute resolution performed with the simulation tool EPRI OpenDSS and its Python communication interface. The results show that, besides the technical benefits of centralised battery storage systems, the economic compensation based on traditional transmission-level services is not sufficient for the profitability of these projects. Several ideas are explored to improve the profitability of these systems considering the local value and decarbonisation they add. The findings presented can direct system operators and regulators towards developing schemes to incentivise centralised battery energy storage projects in distribution networks in the context of distribution-level services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146256 - 146280
JournalIEEE Access
Early online date11 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 03 Nov 2021


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