In response to my last post, about the challenges of wind integration, a reader asked: “Is building storage of this scale even feasible?”
If you had asked me in 2000, “Could wind get to 18GW wind in ERCOT by 2016?” I would have answered no!
I would have been concerned about technical feasibility as well as cost. Technical feasibility has not turned out to be a problem at that level of penetration, so I would now shy away from claiming technical non-feasibility for storage.
Indeed, I think one can contemplate large-scale dispatched storage (end even some way to dispatch small scale distributed storage) that would make it compatible with existing grid control paradigms at even very high penetrations of storage. Certainly, the battery regulation AS providers are taking ISO signals that look like standard dispatch signals.
The big stopping point continues to be cost. If Elon Musk can make it cheap, and can add some dispatchability, there could be a lot of storage. However, I’d prefer to first wring out from the thermal generators as much controlability as we can get before we blow a lot of money on storage.