Electrical power infrastructures are changing dramatically around the globe due to smart grid initiatives, the establishment of renewables and the resulting distributed nature of creating electricity, the need for independent microgrids to ensure grid reliability, new demands from end users, the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the capability to accommodate mixed energy resources. As a result, the power network faces great challenges in generation, transmission and distribution to meet new and many times unpredictable demands of providing coherent electricity supply. Electrical Energy Storage (EES) has been considered a game-changer with a number of technologies that have great potential in meeting these challenges. According to the U.S. Department of Energy the suitability of a storage technology is determined primarily by its power and energy capacity and the rate at which these can be stored and delivered. Other characteristics to consider are round-trip efficiency, cycle life, calendar life, safety, reliability, effect on the environment and ramp rate (how fast the technology can respond to a command). There is a body of work being created by many organizations, especially within IEEE, but it is the intent of this white paper to complement those activities and provide solid insight into the role of energy storage, especially as it relates to the Smart Grid.
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