Energy storage technologies represent a potential solution for several grid applications such as integration of renewables and deferring investments in transmission and distribution infrastructure. The integration of energy storage systems into the electrical grid can lead to different environmental outcomes based on the grid application, the existing generation mix, and the demand. Given this complexity, a framework is needed to systematically inform design and technology selection about the environmental impacts that emerge when considering energy storage options to improve sustainability performance of the grid. To achieve this, 12 fundamental principles specific to the design and grid application of green energy storage systems are developed to inform policy makers, designers, and operators. The principles are grouped into three categories: (1) system integration for grid applications, (2) the maintenance and operation of energy storage, and (3) the design of energy storage systems. We illustrate the application of each principle through examples published in academic literature, illustrative calculations, and a case study with an off-grid application of vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs). In addition, trade-offs that can emerge between principles are highlighted.
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