Modelling the economics of long-duration energy storage

Our energy modelling team recently worked with a South African energy company to support the analysis for their novel gravity storage system.

The proposed solution uses power from renewable sources to raise and lower weights, in the process storing and releasing energy over longer cycles than can be achieved with chemical battery technologies. Not only does the ‘gravity battery’ offer the potential to store energy over longer time periods, but to do so far more cost efficiently than would be possible with alternatives.

The technology is being trialled in the South African market in collaboration with the mining industry, where high energy consumption and ready access to mine shafts provide an ideal opportunity to test the potential savings.

Our analysis involved us modelling the production profiles and variability from both the solar and wind facilities, the demand profile for the off-taker and the optimal economic charging and discharging strategy when taking account of the other commercial factors such as:

- PPA pricing for the solar and wind procurement

- variable tariffs for any remaining grid inputs and

- all other charges associated with utilisation of the grid infrastructure.

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