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Texas grid saved $750 million with battery storage facilities during winter peak demand in 2024

A recent study conducted by Aurora Energy Research reveals that battery storage facilities contributed to saving the Texas grid more than $750 million during peak demand days in winter 2024. Battery storage systems within ERCOT played a vital role in ensuring continuous power supply during the extreme heat of the summer of 2023. They also released over 3GW of capacity from natural gas power plants during critical hours.

BESS mitigate the impact and cost of extreme weather events

Texas has faced numerous challenges since 2020, including severe winter storms, scorching summers, and escalating power demand, testing the resilience of its power grid. The current conditions suggest another challenging summer ahead. The report highlights how battery energy storage systems (BESS) in Texas are mitigating the impact and cost of extreme weather events.

Over the past three years, companies in Texas have swiftly constructed BESS facilities. These systems have proven to be indispensable in maintaining reliable, cost-effective, and dispatchable power during periods of high demand. They have addressed the complexities of the grid caused by intermittent renewable energy sources and challenging weather conditions. The report demonstrates that batteries have not only reduced system costs but have also enabled increased natural gas generation, supporting grid stability.

Enhanced reliability in critical days

Olivier Beaufils, ERCOT Market Lead at Aurora Energy Research, stated, “Battery energy storage systems in Texas have enhanced reliability and reduced costs during critical days, such as last January’s Winter Storm.” He noted that batteries have facilitated additional natural gas generation without compromising its availability for backup services.

During extreme conditions, BESS have been instrumental in cost reduction while ensuring uninterrupted power supply. For instance, during the winter freeze of January 2024, BESS units saved an estimated $750 million in day-ahead market costs and freed up to 3GW of gas generation. Similarly, on September 6th, 2023, amid soaring temperatures and high power demand, batteries prevented emergency load-shedding events by dispatching 2GW of power when ERCOT reserves were at their lowest.

Crucial capacity resources available when needed most

Beaufils highlighted the role of batteries in storing and shifting energy, converting it into crucial capacity resources available when needed most. He emphasized their contribution to maintaining grid stability during extreme weather events or unexpected generator failures, historically tasks handled by natural gas generators.

The report offers an evidence-based analysis to stakeholders and policymakers involved in enhancing grid reliability and market design within ERCOT. It relies on historical data provided by ERCOT and Aurora's own modeling to provide insights into the future role of BESS and natural gas in ensuring grid reliability as power demand grows.


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