What is “Flatten the Duck”?

As the number of solar energy installations continue to increase, there is a growing concern of its potentially negative effects on grid reliability. During a typical spring day solar generation is high and demand is low, creating a sharp decline in the net load on the grid. In the afternoon and evening hours when solar resource winds down and is accompanied by an increase in demand, it causes a steep ramp-up in net load. The overall shape of the resulting graph, dubbed the “Duck Curve”, represents a challenge for grid operators as well as various stakeholders in the renewable energy industry who look toward a future in which the grid will be powered by over 30% renewables.

chart-cal-isoSource – California ISO website:

Energy Storage has emerged as a leading solution for smoothing out the duck curve. By absorbing some of the excess energy generated by solar during the daytime and supplying it to building loads or feeding back into the grid in the afternoon and evening, it creates a flatter demand curve that will make it possible to accelerate the acceptance of renewable energy resources.

Smart System Design, Monitoring & Controls. Energy storage adds another level of complexity into the design and operation of distributed renewable energy systems. Energy Storage Systems come in many flavors and configurations, whether it’s an off-grid system providing 100% of a residence’s energy needs, or a grid-connected system configured for peak-shaving. This creates a challenge in sizing the right system for a particular need and ensuring that it serves its intended purpose once installed. Laplace Systems has a strong background in developing comprehensive energy performance simulation software and are leveraging that experience to develop solutions to optimize the design and configuration of solar systems coupled with energy storage.

We have also taken the lead in incorporating energy storage systems monitoring into our Solar Link remote monitoring platform. In addition to providing battery system health and performance data, Solar Link is also capable of controlling battery system settings and functions remotely. We intend on using gathered performance metrics from our fleet of over 13,000 monitored sites to create a platform for smart energy storage system design & operations.