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Report: BESS in Texas Saved the Grid $750M 

Battery energy storage systems (BESS) in Texas have helped reduce the impact and cost of extreme weather events, according to a report from Aurora Energy Research.  

In just the past three years, BESS have proven critical to the state’s energy mix as a reliable, cost-effective, and dispatchable source of power during times of high demand. They have also helped address system dynamics created by intermittent renewable energy.

According to Emerging Technology News, the report found that in both regular and extreme weather conditions, batteries helped lower system costs while enabling increased natural gas generation. 

During the January 2024 winter freeze, BESS units saved the state an estimated $750 million in day-ahead market costs by fulfilling essential ancillary services and freeing up to 3 GW of gas generation to meet energy needs and reduce prices. 

Additionally, batteries kept the lights on throughout the summer and averted an emergency load-shedding event, most notably on Sept. 6, 2023, amid extreme summer heat and surging power demand. BESS were able to dispatch a peak of 2 GW of power when ERCOT reserves were at their lowest. 

“Battery energy storage systems in Texas have come under increasing scrutiny, but our analysis shows batteries have increased reliability and reduced costs for Texans during critical days, such as last January’s Winter Storm,” said Olivier Beaufils, ERCOT Market Lead at Aurora Energy Research.

He continued, stating, “Interestingly, this has not come at the expense of gas-fired generation. In fact, as battery storage systems have been increasingly providing ancillary services in Texas, they have enabled an equivalent amount of natural gas generation to participate in the system, meaning that one GW of newly constructed batteries participating in the ancillary services markets have resulted in about a GW of gas-fired generation coming out of back-up services and moving into the energy markets during periods of system stress.” 

Read more here.

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