Flywheels Shifts Utility Load in Cost Effective Manner
An independent study released this week by California's Emerging Technologies Coordinating Council (ETCC) concludes that Amber Kinetics' four-hour discharge duration flywheel storage technology (FES) effectively shifts load in a cost effective manner, and recommends it for adoption into the state's Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP).
Based on test data from an Amber Kinetics M25 flywheel (6.25kW/25kWh), independent engineering firm ASWB conducted a financial payback analysis with three scenarios (no incentives, hypothetical permanent load shifting, and hypothetical SGIP) using a San Diego Gas & Electric Time of Use rate. In the SGIP scenario, the Amber Kinetics flywheel produced a simple payback of between 2.09 and 3.17 years, and an internal rate of return of between 33 and 49%.
The demonstration project evaluated the round trip efficiency of Amber Kineticsâ€™ flywheels and investigated the systemâ€™s capabilities to provide services including load shifting and ancillary services needed for grid stabilization.
The authors concluded that Amber Kinetics flywheels performance â€œâ€¦speaks to the consistency, reliability and simplicity of the technology.â€ While they noted that their research focused on behind the meter applications, they also stated, â€œUtilizing this emerging technology on the supply side would provide the grid with more flexibility and load regulation opportunities.â€
â€œIâ€™m delighted with the results, especially since they were produced by an early production model which has since been replaced with a newer, more powerful flywheel,â€ said Amber Kinetics Chief Executive Officer Ed Chiao.
To help achieve the stateâ€™s ambitious energy savings goals, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company, San Diego Gas & Electric, and the California Energy Commission created the Emerging Technologies Coordinating Council with oversight from the California Public Utilities Commission. The ETCC Leadership Team has grown to include Californiaâ€™s largest municipal utilities, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.