Solar plus storage: ‘greater than the sum of its parts’

Solar plus storage: ‘greater than the sum of its parts’

Solar plus storage: ‘greater than the sum of its parts’ 150 150 Energy Storage Journal

June 24, 2021: A report from researchers at North Carolina State University and North Carolina Central University published on June 2 says that when a power system combines energy storage and solar power generation, the end result is greater than the sum of its parts in terms of the system’s ability to handle peak energy demand.

The report, The Symbiotic Relationship of Solar Power and Energy Storage in Providing Capacity Value, appears in the journal ‘Renewable Energy’.

The researchers looked at the power system in North and South Carolina to assess issues related to renewable energy and reliability. With data on power demand and the mix of power generation sources, the researchers built computational models to assess how much power a system could expect from different sources during periods of peak energy demand.

The models allowed researchers to vary the size of solar farms in the system and the amount of energy storage in the system to determine how those changes might affect the overall reliability benefits during periods of peak demand.

“When a system combines solar and energy storage, that combination can be relied upon to provide up to 40% more power during peak demand than if you just added the output from each source,” says the research.

First author of the paper is Daniel Sodano, a former graduate student at NC State.

The paper was co-authored by Joseph DeCarolis and Jeremiah Johnson, North Carolina State University; Anderson Rodrigo de Queiroz, North Carolina State University and North Carolina Central University.