A dynamic model-based estimate of the potential value of a vanadium redox flow battery for energy arbitrage and frequency regulation in Texas
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Large-scale electrochemical energy storage is a technology that is uniquely suited to integrate intermittent renewable energy sources with the electric grid on a large scale. Grid-based energy storage also has the potential to reduce costs associated with periods of peak electric demand. For these reasons, this work describes the potential applications for grid-based energy storage, and then reviews large-scale energy storage technology innovations since the development of the lead-acid battery. The potential value of grid-based battery energy storage is discussed in the context of restructured electricity markets; then, a dynamic model-based economic optimization routine is developed to gauge the potential value of a vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) operating for wholesale energy arbitrage and frequency regulation in Texas. Based on this analysis, the relative value of a VRFB in various regions of Texas for energy arbitrage and frequency regulation is examined. It is shown that frequency regulation is an appealing application for a grid-based VRFB, with a VRFB utilized for frequency regulation service in Texas potentially worth approximately $1500/kW. Finally, the effect of a VRFB’s characteristics on its value for frequency regulation and energy arbitrage are compared, and the operational insight developed in this work is used to glean how policies to integrate a large-scale energy storage with the electricity market might be crafted.