The Top Utilities Of 2016 For Solar And Energy Storage

on April 29, 2017

Solar Industry energy storageEvery year, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) crowns the top U.S. utilities for solar, and with the release of its 10th annual utility market survey, the group has now launched additional rankings for the utilities leading on energy storage.

“One of the reasons we started the utility solar top 10 lists back in 2007 was to highlight the key, but often unrecognized, role utilities were taking in putting new solar on the grid,” explains SEPA President and CEO Julia Hamm. “With utility-scale solar now well established as a mainstream power source, we wanted to similarly recognize utilities’ leadership in realizing the full potential of storage to drive critical system changes that will benefit customers and the grid.”

SEPA explains the top 10 lists are based on data provided by 412 utilities, which together serve more than 90 million customers across the country, and the lists rank the leading U.S. utilities of 2016.

In terms of the most new megawatts of solar added in 2016, Southern California Edison (SCE) ranked No. 1 and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) ranked No. 2 – the same spots the two California utilities had on the first top 10 list in 2007, SEPA notes. However, the group points out that the number of megawatts each added has changed dramatically: SCE jumped from 409 MW in 2007 to 1,648 MW in 2016, while PG&E grew from 144.5 MW to 773 MW.

According to SEPA, the figures needed to make the top 10 list for new solar watts added per customer have also shot up. The City of Palo Alto Utilities ranked No. 5 in 2007 with 20.4 watts per customer; this year, it earned the No. 1 spot with 2,753 watts.

As for energy storage, Imperial Irrigation District (IID), a public power and water utility in Southern California, took the No. 1 spot on the top 10 list of new storage megawatts installed, adding 30 MW of storage in 2016. The Sterling Municipal Light Department, the municipal utility for the small town of Sterling, Mass., led the top 10 energy storage list for new watts per customer, with 533 watts added per customer.

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Solar IndustryThe Top Utilities Of 2016 For Solar And Energy Storage

California bill would force utilities to give rebates for energy-storage systems

on April 28, 2017

ComputerworldA bill that recently won state Senate committee approval would make California the first state to require utilities to dole out rebates to customers who install energy storage systems.

The Energy Storage Initiative (SB700) was approved last week by the state’s Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee and is awaiting a full senate vote.

The bill, authored by State Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat, would require the electric utilities to provide rebates to their customers by Dec. 1, 2018 for the installation of energy storage systems meeting certain requirements.

SB700 would require utilities to collect up to $166 milliion annually from ratepayers from 2018 through 2027 to fund the Energy Storage Initiative, which would then use the funds to provide rebates to customers who install energy storage systems.

The Energy Storage Initiative bill would also reserve up to 25% of the fees collected by utilities to pay for energy storage systems for low-income residential housing  and disadvantaged communities, and for recruiting and job training for workers in the energy storage systems marketplace.

California leads the country in the deployment of solar power systems. In recent months, utilities have also been rolling out lithium-ion and flow battery storage systems to store more renewable energy for use during peak hours of power consumption.

For example, in January, Southern California Edison (SCE) flipped the switch on the largest lithium-ion battery storage facility in the world — a substation with 80 megawatt hours (MWh) of capacity.

SCE’s power storage facility was followed by others installed by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E).

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) ordered SCE, PG&E and SDG&E to solicit more utility-scale energy storage systems. In all, the CPUC is requiring the utilities to meet a target of 1,325MW (1.3 gigawatts) of additional power storage by 2020.

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ComputerworldCalifornia bill would force utilities to give rebates for energy-storage systems

National Grid to connect 40MWh battery to wind farm in Long Island, New York

on April 28, 2017

Energy Storage NewsInvestor-owned energy company National Grid, responsible for electricity and gas delivery in New York, Massachusetts and Long Island, will build a 5MW / 40MWh energy storage facility in Long Island with NextEra Energy.

A 50/50 joint venture between National Grid subsidiary National Grid Generation Ventures and NextEra Energy subsidiary Long Island Energy Storage Holdings will own and operate the battery energy storage system (BESS), on vacant land leased from National Grid. The joint venture company is called East Hampton Energy Storage Center (EHESC).

Located near a high voltage substation operated by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) – the non-profit which owns the retail transmission and distribution electric grids on the island – the facility will deliver stored energy to the substation in East Hampton.

The project came about after LIPA offered a request for proposals (RfP) for “sufficient local resources to meet expected peak load requirements on the South Fork (of Long Island)”. According to documents submitted by National Grid to the State of New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC), the BESS will help meet peak load in what is a “highly constrained” area of Long Island.

LIPA selected the East Hampton battery project to provide local power production resources and transmission support to the substation. Under the RfP, the system, which will operate under a power purchase agreement (PPA) for 20 years, must be operational by 2018.

In January, state governor Andrew Cuomo approved the nearby 90MW offshore South Fork Windfarm. Once the wind farm is built, the battery facility will be used to absorb excess wind power generation, in addition to its role in supporting existing infrastructure, enabling constant energy output from the windfarm to the grid.

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Energy Storage NewsNational Grid to connect 40MWh battery to wind farm in Long Island, New York

Anesco retrofits 12MWh of energy storage to 10 UK solar farms

on April 28, 2017

Energy Storage NewsDeveloper Anesco has continued to rack up utility-scale storage work after agreeing to retrofit 10 of Ancala Partner’s PV arrays in the UK with battery units.

With a combined capacity of 12MWh, the batteries will be used to provide grid balancing and frequency response services to National Grid through upcoming tenders, although specific mechanisms – such as EFR or demand turn-up – were not disclosed.

Lee Mellor, director at Ancala Partners, said the addition of battery storage units was a “great example” of how the firm could add value for investors through “proactive management of assets”.

Mellor’s view defies other investors who have previously been pessimistic about the present investment opportunity for utility-scale battery storage retrofits, considering the technology to be too nascent and revenue streams too few to be currently bankable.

Nevertheless, Anesco executive chairman Steve Shine said it was an “exciting time” for the UK’s domestic battery storage sector.

Earlier this month Anesco announced a landmark deal with “technology-driven utility” LimeJump under which it will deploy 185MW of battery storage capability by the end of 2018.

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Energy Storage NewsAnesco retrofits 12MWh of energy storage to 10 UK solar farms

Axiom Exergy Energy Storage Assists Whole Foods Market Los Altos Store in Shifting up to 1040 kWh of Electricity to Lower Costs

on April 27, 2017

PR-NewswireRICHMOND, Calif., and LOS GATOS, Calif., April 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Axiom Exergy has completed the first installation of its thermal energy storage solution, the Refrigeration Battery at a Whole Foods Market store in Los Altos, California. The project successfully demonstrates the viability and potential of their energy storage solution by shifting up to 1040 kWh of electricity load at the facility for up to 10 hours a day over the course of several months. Without any changes to staff behavior or daily operations, the pilot demonstrated consistent, daily electricity load-shifting by offsetting electricity used by refrigeration compressors and condensers to off-peak times of day. Additionally, Whole Foods Market facility managers now receive real-time information about the system’s performance via Axiom’s integrated cloud monitoring platform including enterprise-level monitoring and analytics, historical data and real-time KPIs like kWh shifted, peak kW reduced, and battery charge level.

“We are proud to be leading our industry by being the first to use such an innovative technology to shift our large refrigeration-based energy loads to off-peak hours,” said Tristam Coffin, Director of Sustainability & Facilities at Whole Foods Market. “Whole Foods has a reputation for piloting and implementing sustainable solutions that also improve facility operations. This pilot is consistent with these efforts. We are excited to be part of Axiom’s groundbreaking solution.”

Refrigeration represents up to 55 percent of an average supermarket’s electricity consumption. Research shows that by shifting electricity demand to off-peak hours, supermarket owners can take advantage of lower night-time rates to reduce a store’s expensive on-peak electricity demand by up to 40 percent.

“The Refrigeration Battery is no longer a concept, it is a commercial reality,” said Amrit Robbins, President and co-founder of Axiom Exergy. “We are gratified that Whole Foods Market is serving as an example of how to implement scalable and low-risk energy storage options. By deploying the Refrigeration Battery, businesses can convert power-hungry refrigeration systems into intelligent assets that can respond dynamically to the needs of the facility and the grid operator, taking into account energy prices, weather patterns, and grid programs like demand response.”

The Refrigeration Battery was installed at the Los Altos Whole Foods Market as a passive retrofit without modification of the existing refrigeration system or reprogramming of controls. The Axiom System Integrator was sited in the facility’s mechanical room adjacent to the compressor racks and the Thermal Storage Tanks were placed in the loading dock area behind the store.

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PR NewswireAxiom Exergy Energy Storage Assists Whole Foods Market Los Altos Store in Shifting up to 1040 kWh of Electricity to Lower Costs

Government announces latest funding for energy storage ahead of election

on April 27, 2017

solar-power-portalAlmost £250 million is to be spent by the UK government on the development of batteries for electric vehicles over the next four years should the Conservatives be returned to Parliament in June.

Business secretary Greg Clark announced the funding before the beginning of purdah on Friday [21 April] as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), which will commit over £1 billion to research and innovation in specific areas identified in the government’s Industrial Strategy.

One such area is batteries for clean and flexible energy storage, which will receive £246 million to help UK businesses tap into the opportunities presented by the global transition to a low carbon economy.

According to a statement from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) released late last week, the funding will “ensure the UK leads the world in the design, development and manufacture of batteries for the electrification of vehicles”.

Clark said: “The UK is home to some of the world’s best innovators at the very forefront of global excellence. The funding I am announcing today, providing hundreds of millions of pounds of support to develop the next generation of technologies across a range of sectors, shows our determination and commitment to making sure the UK remains at the very forefront of research innovation for years to come.”

Innovate UK, which will be responsible for deploying the funds, has already identified a first wave of £10 million worth of projects across the entire ISCF starting in 2017 to 2018. Thirty-five projects have been selected for funding however the full list of companies and project allocations will not be released until after the June 8 general election.

Innovate UK also revealed that the first investments will be delivered across 73 different collaboration partners across the country which have already worked with the body previously.

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Solar Power PortalGovernment announces latest funding for energy storage ahead of election

New Breakthroughs in Solar’s Biggest Problem: Energy Storage

on April 27, 2017

The Energy CollectiveThe greatest challenge that solar power faces is energy storage. Solar arrays can only generate power while the sun is out, so they can only be used as a sole source of electricity if they can produce and store enough excess power to cover the times when the sun is hidden.

Traditional batteries have not been up to the task, but recent innovations in energy storage are rapidly resolving the issue. Research is still ongoing, but many of the newest developments have the potential to turn solar power into the dominant source of energy. You think it’s impossible? The IRENA already confirmed in their 2014 report that it is equally, or in many cases, more cost-effective to use alternative energy for power production rather than fossil fuels.

Fractal Circuitry

Nature itself has provided the inspiration for one of the most promising ways to store energy. A team at RMIT University has come up with a new storage method that manages to be about 3000 percent more efficient than traditional batteries. It also has the potential to help with energy capture and storage in a variety of smaller contexts, such as cell phones, watches, and even electric cars. That widespread potential will most likely be enough to ensure that this technology gets all of the support that it needs to mature into a powerful tool.

The new method relies on the combination of a supercapacitor and a powerful new electrode. The supercapacitor works as the gateway to the new system. It can absorb and discharge energy very quickly, but it can’t store very much energy at once. Previously, that meant that they were almost useless for storing solar power. The new electrode fixes that problem. It uses a large set of repeating circuits to hold energy and carry it through the system. The new electrode is a much more efficient form way to store energy than traditional batters, both in terms of cost and space. Combining the two systems creates a system that can hold a huge amount of energy and transmit that energy with high speed and efficiency.

New Batteries

While most research into storing solar power focuses on finding alternatives to batteries, there are some contexts where they remain useful. Most power plants are reluctant to use batteries because they are relatively expensive and take up a lot of space compared to the amount of energy that they store. That prevents them from being viable for large facilities in most cases. On the other hand, those problems aren’t important for private homes. They don’t need to store a huge amount of energy at once, and batteries that are big enough to meet their needs are reasonably affordable. In many cases, the simplicity of using an array of batteries is more valuable than the increased efficiency of other methods.

The new Tesla Powerwall 2 is proof that batteries are strong option for storing domestic solar power. It can store more energy in less space than previous models, so it’s fairly easy to fit it into an existing home. It also includes an inverter, which is necessary to run most appliances on solar power. It doesn’t have quite as much power as most of the alternatives, but it’s more convenient than they are, which encourages adoption on a small scale.

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The Energy CollectiveNew Breakthroughs in Solar’s Biggest Problem: Energy Storage

Mercedes-Benz has a Powerwall-style battery of its own

on April 26, 2017

road-show-cnetIt may not have a clever name, but Mercedes-Benz’s home energy storage solution looks primed to bring some competition to Tesla’s Powerwall in certain markets.

After being announced in 2015, the Mercedes-Benz energy storage unit is ready for deliveries in the UK, and it should be on sale in the US some time this year, as well. Like Tesla’s Powerwall, Mercedes-Benz’s batteries can be used to provide power to supplement traditional grid use.

The Mercedes-Benz battery features a capacity of 2.5 kWh, which may not seem like much, but up to eight can be combined for a total storage capacity of 20 kWh. And that’s just for personal use — businesses and larger outfits can opt for even more capacity if need be. To compare, a single Tesla Powerwall battery holds about 14 kWh of charge.

Like Powerwall, Mercedes-Benz says its battery is best used in conjunction with solar panels and an in-home energy management system. Of course, you’ll have to shell out even more money to build a full system, but no matter how you cut it, these batteries ain’t cheap.

Pricing for MB’s batteries is left to the distributor, but Business Insider estimates that purchasing and installing one Mercedes-Benz battery (along with its supporting hardware) will cost between $9,000 and $10,000. While a single Powerwall battery costs $5,500 for 14 kWh, an installed Powerwall setup should be about the same or a bit less compared to its Mercedes equivalent.

Both are relatively elegant solutions, though. The Powerwall is a flat-ish slab that looks best hung on a wall, whereas the Mercedes-Benz battery more closely resembles an air conditioning unit. Batteries aren’t always pretty, but it’s a Mercedes-Benz, after all.

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Road Show CNETMercedes-Benz has a Powerwall-style battery of its own

High-Power Energy Storage Market to garner $2 billion a year by 2026

on April 26, 2017

yahoo financeLONDON, April 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Supercapacitors are an emerging energy storage technology that will take a key role in the future of energy systems.. Batteries and supercapacitors combined offer the best solution for many energy systems from the automotive sector to grid energy storage, allowing batteries not only to perform better but also to extend their lifetime whilst reducing both CAPEX and OPEX.

With steady progress, supercapacitors are getting traction in these mainstream application markets such as the automotive and rail sectors and opening new possibilities in emerging sectors such as grid energy storage.

Consumers are begging for a fast charging solution for their electronic devices. As electricity grids integrate more intermittent renewable energy sources the need for high power energy storage becomes more evident.

The supercapacitor industry is carving its place in the future of energy systems. Manufacturers based in the USA, Asia and recently Europe are set to address market needs in the automotive sector, aerospace, public transport and rail and the future smart grids and many more.

Important recent market trends included in this report are:

· The role of supercapacitor technologies in the future of sustainable energy systems from electric vehicles to renewable energy and electricity grids.

· The current state of the industry in terms of market growth and recent commercial developments.

· The state of the supercapacitor market in China and how the current policy changes are affecting the industry.

· The potential role of Chinese supercapacitor manufacturers in the future competitive landscape of the sector.

· The emerging new players in Europe.

· The new opportunities for growth inside and outside China.

Important recent technology trends included in this report:

· The role of aqueous electrolyte based supercapacitor technology and the implications for the sector.

· How supercapacitor products are improving performance reaching in order to comply with end user requirements.

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Yahoo FinanceHigh-Power Energy Storage Market to garner $2 billion a year by 2026

NorthStar and City Utilities of Springfield Enter Joint Energy Storage System Project

on April 26, 2017

Market Watch energy storageSTOCKHOLM, Apr 25, 2017 (PR Newswire Europe via COMTEX) — STOCKHOLM, April 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

NorthStar, the Swedish-American energy storage provider, today presents its partnership with City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri, within the area of Energy Storage Systems (ESS). The initial demonstration deployment in the Springfield electricity grid is aimed to evaluate how Springfield’s energy supply can be made more efficient and sustainable, and will be using NorthStar BLUE+ batteries monitored by the remote management solution NorthStar ACE(TM).

ESS represents an emerging industry with a potential worldwide capacity of multiple gigawatt hours. There has been a tremendous growth in the ESS market globally aligned with the increased deployment of renewable energy and tighter emission restrictions of coal-fired power plants.

The need for utilities to reduce peak power demand on generation, transmission and distribution systems has created a need for battery storage to fill reliability gaps and cut peak costs. Utilities strive to optimize transmission and distribution of the electric grid, among other objectives.

“The ESS market is expected to grow to USD 200-400 billion by 2040 and represents a significant growth opportunity for NorthStar. In light of this global development, and given this partnership’s importance specifically for Springfield, our joint project with City Utilities is very important,” says NorthStar’s CEO Hans Liden.

The energy storage solution in Springfield will be deployed next to an electrical substation located in southwest of Springfield. The project will support a growing region and new business developments are currently under construction.

The project enables City Utilities to investigate the possibility of a utility scale battery storage system. It will be carefully evaluated to determine the benefits of battery storage with respect to managing future system peak loads for City Utilities.

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Market WatchNorthStar and City Utilities of Springfield Enter Joint Energy Storage System Project