Optimizing Natural Gas Generation with Energy Storage

The 21st-century grid is transforming faster than anyone imagined 10 years ago, when natural gas seemed to be our power source of the future. Today, with ever-dropping prices in renewables and storage, the future is being redefined. A decade ago, the advent of horizontal drilling made natural gas the darling of the U.S. power sector, and for many good reasons. Natural gas lends itself to providing both steady baseload and easily dispatchable peak load power. Inexpensive, domestically produced and significantly lower in emissions than coal, natural gas was lauded as an abundant, cost-effective vehicle for enabling the lengthy transition to a renewables future that the domestic power sector faced. However, it now appears that the transition is happening much sooner than anticipated. As the deployment of renewables plus energy storage accelerates exponentially across the country, utilities are recognizing the proven ability of storage resources to supplement and, in some cases, completely replace gas-fired generation.

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