NREL publishes financial analysis tool for energy storage technologies – pv magazine USA

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The model allows users to specify up to 15 parallel technology assessments that can cover completely different types of storage or focus on a single technology.

Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed what they call the Storage Financial Analysis Scenario Tool (StoreFAST). The tool is used to assess the discounted cost of energy (LCOE), also known as the discounted cost of storage (LCOS).

The model makes it possible to identify potential long-term storage opportunities within the framework of a future electricity network with an 85% penetration of renewable energies.

NREL researchers designed StoreFAST based on the Hydrogen Financial Analysis Scenario Tool (H2FAST), created by NREL in 2015 to help analyze the financial aspects of installing hydrogen refueling stations. .

The StoreFAST model comes pre-populated with a sample of energy storage and flexible energy generators to illustrate how it generates benchmarks. The model allows users to specify up to 15 parallel technology assessments that can cover completely different types of storage or focus on a single technology variant. A user can perform a parallel assessment of current and future technology performance outlook by specifying different cost and performance outlook in each technology niche.

StoreFAST analyzes both energy storage systems and flexible power generation systems.

StoreFAST uses generally accepted accounting principles and provides financial valuations as well as graphical and digital outputs. The template allows you to customize the details of the financing, such as taxation and capital structure. It also allows you to specify the resale value of any non-depreciable asset such as real estate associated with certain energy storage technologies.

Side by side comparison

StoreFAST analyzes both energy storage systems and flexible power generation systems. The model generates visuals for three metrics: LCOE, financial performance metrics, and time series charts for all financial line items. The main inputs of the model include the power generation capacity of the system, capital costs, operation and maintenance costs, electricity or fuel charging costs, storage time and factors. capacity.

StoreFAST offers what NREL said is a consistent comparison between all technologies. It does this by analyzing the parameters that describe the cost, performance, and capacity factor of the system to calculate the net present value of all capital, operating, tax, and financial expenses divided by electricity sales on the lifetime of the system. This definition of LCOE offers a consistent comparison of storage technologies, NREL said.

The researchers used the StoreFAST model to analyze a system with 12 hours to 7 days of shelf life. The NREL study found that for long durations of energy storage (i.e. more than 60 hours), clean hydrogen systems with geological storage and natural gas with carbon capture and sequestration are the cheapest options. This was true whether the costs of the system were based on current or future technology.

The researchers also modeled the cost of an energy storage system using fuel cells designed for heavy vehicles rather than conventional stationary fuel cells, and found that this system achieved a 13-20% lower LCOE. .

Funding for this work was provided by the Strategic Analysis Team of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the United States Department of Energy, Office of Hydrogen and Battery Technologies. fuel, the Office of Solar Energy Technologies and the Office of Wind Energy Technologies.

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