Lead batteries are the perfect choice for backup systems due to their cost, safety, recyclability, low maintenance and excellent energy storage capabilities. UltraBattery® is a lead cell with a built-in ultracapacitor so it does everything a traditional lead does but has become a recognized world leader for performance in partial state of charge.

This is a game-changer for lead chemistry and the energy storage market has taken notice, particularly after Ecoult installed a MW scale frequency regulation plant on the PJM grid in Pennsylvania U.S.A.

This Pennsylvania-based UltraBattery® energy storage system has been quietly absorbing and releasing megawatt swings on the PJM grid – highly efficiently and at lightning speed. The installation has opened people’s eyes since a unique new hybrid lead battery has suddenly gone where no previous lead technology has been imagined.

Energy storage systems bring stability and efficiency to the grid but there is still some way to go in convincing the industry that for grid-scale electricity, storage can be a cost-effective solution. Some of the hurdles are regulatory in nature as the regulations governing grids generally pre-date modern storage systems and hence favor fossil fuels. However, in some U.S.A. grids there are regulations which demand that the frequency regulation market be offered first to the generator with the fastest speed of response. These markets are particularly attractive for battery-based systems, which can go from zero to full power output essentially instantaneously.

Electricity storage, or more correctly the storage of energy sourced from electricity, has just begun to make its presence felt on the grid, but the indications are that even in the short term, this is a market to watch.