Opportunities for Energy Storage in Systems with High Integration of Renewable Energy such as Chile

Session: Rapid-Fire Introductions by Poster PresentersDate: Tuesday, October 15, 2019 / 4:05PM - 4:35PM PDTTags: Poster / Modeling and Analysis

The integration of wind and solar photovoltaic generation capacity in Chile is increasing rapidly. During some days of the month of July 2019, generation from these Variable Renewable Energy (VRE) sources exceeded 20% of the daily system-wide generation. The rapid integration of VRE in Chile is giving rise to a “middle market”, which presents an increased need for intermediate generation that can adapt its output to variations in electricity demand and VRE production. The regional needs for intermediate generation will depend on the location of new VRE projects, the location of existing assets that provide flexibility, the evolution of the transmission system, and regulatory definitions.

Over the years, Chile has acquired experience using energy storage systems (ESS) to operate and balance the power system. Almost 5 GW of hydroelectric capacity with stored water in reservoirs exists and, on a smaller scale, lithium-ion batteries have been operating for almost a decade. In 2009, the largest Battery ESS (BESS) in the world at that time was installed in the North of Chile to provide 12 MW of contingency reserves, and since then another 40 MW have been added. Other types of projects with storage capacity are currently under development. The first Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) facility in Latin America was developed without subsidies and is expected to begin operations in 2019. Additionally, new pumped storage projects which use ocean water are currently under development.

In the medium- to long-term, ESS are expected to play a more comprehensive role in the power sector. The integration of VRE coupled with emerging system constraints are creating new opportunities for the development of new storage projects. These projects can help the power system cope with increased variability and uncertainty in the operation of the power system and satisfy future needs to reduce the sector’s carbon emissions. ESS projects will have to compete with other alternatives and have the capability to reduce the operational costs of the power system in order to be utilized by the ISO. Additionally, ESS can provide multiple services which include, but are not limited to, resource adequacy (capacity), energy arbitrage, different ancillary services, transmission upgrade deferrals, demand charge reductions, and others.

The following analysis will be developed as part of this poster:

  1. A synthesis of the drivers creating opportunities for energy storage in Chile
  2. A review of the operation of grid-scale ESS projects in Chile, with a focus on BESS.
  3. Regulation and policy relevant to ESS in Chile
  4. Evaluation of opportunities for ESS and flexible capacity in the Chilean power system using:
    1. Historical operational data, and
    2. Results of market simulations of different scenarios which consider ESS using PLEXOS® software.