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Shaping the Energy Landscape: Storage & Distribution

April 3, 2023

Man looking at electrical grid

The energy sector has seen significant changes over the last several decades, particularly in the energy storage and distribution space. Driven by a growing need to transition from traditional energy sources and fossil fuels, advancements are being made to shift infrastructure to more sustainable and environmentally conscious alternatives. 

Here’s what you need to know about the changing energy landscape, and how Stanley Consultants’ unique expertise puts us on the cutting edge of the energy storage and energy distribution fields.

What Are Energy Storage Systems?

Energy storage systems allow energy created at one time to be stored and used later. As the energy infrastructure begins to rely more heavily on renewables and other alternative energy sources, the need for robust energy storage infrastructure is becoming even more essential.

The Future of Energy Storage

The energy storage market will see significant innovations over the next decade. Batteries are increasing in capacity and lasting longer. They are also becoming more efficient, making previously intermittent energy resources much more competitive with traditional power sources.

When combined with better energy storage options, the renewable energy infrastructure will begin to include exciting new technologies like green hydrogen – a form of hydrogen generated from renewable power. Additional fuel sources likely to be in greater demand include biomass, synthetic natural gas and even geothermal energy. While these fuel sources may not be competitive now, we are committed to exploring new opportunities aligned with our mission of creating a more resilient and sustainable energy future.

More Than Just Batteries

Though energy storage often means batteries and related elements, storage and distribution is much more complex. Micro-gridding and islanding of certain facilities allows for more reliable energy transmission.

In some scenarios, power can be switched from a main grid to a micro-grid and back as needed. This allows for prioritization of renewable or decarbonized sources of energy, creating more environmentally friendly and sustainable operations while meeting growing energy demands. As an increasing number of businesses, governments and markets we serve are held accountable for more rigorous environmental, social and governance goals, these innovative distribution methods can help meet these needs.

Case Study: Austin SHINES

Regulations and energy needs are always changing, but our talented team of engineers and scientists can help clients adapt. The Austin Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar Photovoltaics (SHINES) project showcases this proficiency.

This project uses advanced grid controls to tie together four megawatts of solar energy, four megawatts of utility storage and multiple storage systems across commercial and residential properties to create a highly optimized microgrid. This project supports the City of Austin’s goal of 100% carbon-free energy generation by 2035 and not only serves as a model of what is possible, but highlights Stanley Consultants’ expertise in engineering, coordination and design work.

Energy Distribution and Energy Infrastructure

One of the biggest challenges in the energy sector is trying to predict future load and where those needs will be. Clients are constantly working with their customer base to meet demand, and the experts at Stanley Consultants keep clients up to speed. Here’s a look at some of the ways we are helping clients address these challenges head on.

Looking Ahead: Energy Distribution in the Future

It used to be that large, centralized utilities in power plants were the norm. However, recent trends in energy distribution have shifted toward smaller, distributed energy resources. While these innovations can better serve customers, many legacy providers are struggling to change with the times.

At Stanley Consultants, we work with clients to adapt to the new energy sector. With quick and efficient economic studies, we help clients chart a path for success by answering questions on grid interconnection locations, ideal project size and what are the long-term financial implications of each new design. We work up front with clients as partners so these metrics are established early in the planning process.

We also have the expertise to establish full interconnectivity of the grid within a given region. This can help with bottlenecks and load management issues. Proper planning means that client investments on the grid are integrated quickly.

Case Study: CORE Electric Cooperative Transmission Line

Energy distribution challenges come in many different forms. For Colorado’s CORE Electric Cooperative, the challenge was a 55-mile transmission line across 10,000-foot-high terrain.

This connection serves as a lifeline to parts of Jefferson and Park Counties, but the area’s harsh terrain and unpredictable weather leaves the area vulnerable to power outages. To address this potential point of failure, the Cooperative made a $120 million investment in an additional line to create a looped system, and they trusted Stanley Consultants to lead the project.

We have been involved in the seven-phase project from the start and used our multidisciplinary talents for more efficient project management. This includes service areas such as right-of-way management in addition to our transmission and distribution experience.

Stanley Consultants: Your Energy Infrastructure Partners

Stanley Consultants can assist you with all of your energy storage and distribution projects. We invite you to review our work on energy storage, energy infrastructure and energy alternatives. You can find more information about our related service offerings here:

As a full-service engineering and consulting firm, we have expert team members across a diverse range of fields. Our ability to bring multiple disciplines together allows us to deliver unmatched efficiency with holistic solutions across the full life cycle of your project.

To learn more about the engineering and design solutions we offer and the experience we bring, contact us today. Members of our worldwide team of experts will work with you to determine the best approach for your project.

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