Glasgow (Kentucky) is using decentralised home energy storage to cut pollution & provide utility scale energy management.

In further evidence that energy storage is evolving rapidly from concept to practice, Glasgow (Kentucky) is installing smart electrical energy storage to cut pollution from conventional fossil fuel generation plant at times of peak demand.

Glasgow Electric Plant Board (Glasgow Electric Plant Board), a utility owned by the municipality, serves a community of 14,000 households and has set a goal of reducing carbon pollution by 25%. It plans to install electrical energy storage systems in 165 homes to provide utility grade storage. Cloud software will be used to manage the individual storage units creating a single system from the decentralised storage units.

The concept is that the individual storage units will capture electrical energy at night when demand and costs are lower. The utility will use this energy to offset daytime demand when it is high reducing the energy take from traditional generating plant.

The system is being supplied by Sunverge Energy, and was originally developed to be used in conjunction with solar PV systems. This is the first time it has been used to provide distributed energy storage without solar. Glasgow is a rural district which experiences frequent weather related power disruptions which the new system will help to alleviate by providing back-up electrical power.

The idea of storing electrical energy to offset peak demand is hardly new, but what’s interesting about this example is that rather than centralising the storage capacity it is being distributed across 165 households. Sunverge suggest that distributed storage is more efficient (which they might given that they provide distributed storage), but it also opens up the potential to split the benefits of the storage between householders and the utility.

Commuters riding bicycles

Let’s hope that GEPB and Sunverge publish performance data once the system is up and running; it will be interesting to see the carbon and cost savings which can be achieved in a real world installation.

Sources and further information

Powerwall to the people – Tesla’s home energy storage solution. Click here.
Photos – downtown Glasgow Kentucky, J. Kyle Keener and Sunverge.