• Advanced Batteries
  • Battery Storage
  • Battery Energy Storage Systems
  • Microgrid

New Energy Storage Markets Are Shaped by Hybrid Advanced Batteries

Nov 19, 2018

Lithium Batteries

All energy storage technologies are not created equal. Navigant Research believes that as energy storage market rules evolve over the next several years, there will be an increasing need for technologies that can truly address multiple power-intensive applications for complex systems. In practice, though many advanced battery integrators and developers state that lithium ion batteries allow for flexible operations, the majority of energy storage projects date have not shown the need to perform both.

In the 2017 Hybrid Advanced Battery Markets report, Navigant Research discusses how there are several advantages to combining energy storage technologies with supplementary operating parameters:

  • The ability to operate under dynamic conditions and multiple use cases without compromising system health
  • The reduction of total investment costs over the lifespan of the ESS relative to a single pure-play technology due to the decoupling of energy and power
  • An increase in total system efficiency by operating at algorithmically optimized points, resulting in less thermodynamic losses
  • Increase of storage system lifetime due to reduction of dynamic stress the system endures per cycle
Minimal Deployment so Far


To date, hybrid batteries have not been widely deployed. This is due to relatively simple market structures that only call for an ESS to perform one to three tasks with similar duty cycles. CAPEX and integration considerations also historically have caused developers to look for simpler technologies when pursuing new projects.

Improvements in pure-play energy storage technologies, developing regional regulatory and market drivers, and emerging new business models are poised to make hybrid ESSs a growing and viable part of the electricity grid. There have been several projects that highlight how hybrid advanced batteries can provide improved grid services over pure-play battery technologies.

Hybrid Advanced Battery Use in Belgian Microgrid


In late October 2018, Belgium-based CMI Group announced it will be providing the EPC work for a microgrid dubbed MiRIS. It will combine 6,500 industrial solar panels with several ESS technologies from prominent vendors:

  • 500 kW/1.7 MWh vanadium redox flow battery from Sumitomo
  • 1.2 MW/1.3 MWh zinc/iron redox flow battery from Vizn
  • 1.2 MW/1.3 MWh lithium iron phosphate battery from BYD
  • 200 kW/ 1.1 MWh sodium sulfur battery from NGK Insulators

These systems will be combined and operated through an energy management system developed in part by the University of Liege in collaboration with CMI. The hybrid installation will combine the optimal performance parameters of each technology for applications like renewables ramping and smoothing, power conditioning, and bulk storage.

Innovative Uses of Batteries for Storage


Hybrid batteries could also help introduce niche technologies to its greater market potential. In Scotland, cleantech startup Nova Innovation announced that it will be adding a 500 kW Tesla battery to its tidal energy storage system in the company’s Shetland Tidal Array. As the company claims that this system is the world’s first baseload tidal power station, the project will use both technologies to overcome grid constraints and enable the improved, uninterrupted power needs in small island nations like Shetland.

The future of the hybrid advanced batteries industry in any given market will be largely decided by customer and grid operator needs, evolving market structures to value flexible resources favorably, and local utilities’ views on modern technology. Several systems are currently deployed in the market. Navigant Research anticipates that these types of batteries will gain more attention from energy storage stakeholders in the coming years as pure-play technologies improve and clearer roles are defined for ESSs in specific locations.