FuelCell Energy Awarded Innovative Energy Storage Solution Contract

on May 31, 2017

nasdaqDANBURY, Conn., May 30, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —  FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq:FCEL), a global leader in delivering clean, innovative and affordable fuel cell solutions for the supply, recovery and storage of energy, today announced that it was awarded  a $3.0 million contract from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) division of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to advance the commercialization of cost-effective and clean long-duration energy storage. The project will further develop FuelCell Energy’s advanced solid oxide cell technology capable of alternating between electrolysis and fuel cell power generation mode (reversible SOFC, or RSOFC) in an energy storage application.  RSOFC systems can produce hydrogen or other carbon-neutral fuels in electrolysis mode and later convert the stored fuel to power in electrolysis mode.  This project was awarded under ARPA-E’s Renewable Energy to Fuels through Utilization of Energy-Dense Liquids (REFUEL) program.  

“FuelCell Energy is commercializing reversible solid oxide systems for energy storage, and this project will further advance the initiative including the evaluation of our reversible fuel cell’s ability to produce and use hydrogen and other fuels,” said Tony Leo, Vice President of Advanced Applications & Technology Development for FuelCell Energy. “The capability of this fuel cell configuration to produce and consume hydrogen or other carbon-neutral fuels for energy storage, and to cleanly and efficiently generate electricity when needed by the electric grid offers exciting possibilities for integration of intermittent renewable power.”

The use of reversible fuel cells to efficiently produce hydrogen or other carbon-neutral fuels offers unique opportunities for efficient energy storage, particularly for the long-duration storage applications that will become important as penetration of intermittent renewable power increases.  Discharge duration can be increased by adding more fuel storage, without the need to increase the number of fuel cells, enhancing the affordability of extended duration energy storage.

“Critical to any storage solution is affordability, which is why the high round trip efficiency of this reversible fuel cell and the utilization of a cost-effective energy storage medium for long durations is so compelling,” continued Mr. Leo

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NasdaqFuelCell Energy Awarded Innovative Energy Storage Solution Contract

Why Solar Developer 8minutenergy Is So Excited About the Energy Storage Market

on May 31, 2017

energy storage greentech mediaWith duck curves on the prowl and curtailment on the rise, there are dangers stalking utility-scale solar’s natural habitat.

Solar developer 8minutenergy wants to ward off these threats with large-scale energy storage. The company spent the past year quietly picking up staff with years of experience developing storage at California utilities, and recently revealed the new practice, with a pipeline of 1 gigawatt already in place. That quantity, though not yet finalized, dwarfs the 221 megawatts deployed across the U.S. last year.

8minutenergy worked its way up to 10th place on GTM Research’s list of U.S. utility-scale solar developers. Now the team wants to incorporate storage into its expertise with wrangling land rights, interconnection and utility offtakers. Initial geographical targets include California, the Southwest, ERCOT and the Southeast.

“It’s really kind of an ideal storm with much lower prices, so these systems are much more cost-effective,” said Steve McKenery, vice president of storage solutions. “We can do a solar-plus-storage project now at less than the cost of a new combustion gas turbine. That was not the case a few years ago.”

The company likes to focus on solar projects with 100 megawatts or more, to capture economies of scale. Going forward, a typical 100-megawatt PV project might come with 100 megawatts/400 megawatt-hours of storage.

In fact, for the last year or so, all 8minutenergy developments have been designed to incorporate storage if desired; having land rights and interconnection already taken care of can speed up the storage deployment process.

The primary market will be pairing storage alongside new solar projects. This captures the ITC for the storage, and makes the solar generation dispatchable. That serves the offtaker by guaranteeing clean power for several hours of peak demand, but it also serves to future-proof 8minutenergy’s core product against increasing curtailment rates in California.

If the company can deliver on that gas turbine-beating promise, it could open up lucrative capacity market revenue. There’s also value to offer utilities in offsetting gas consumption for spinning reserves, said Carl Stills, vice president for storage integration.

In a previous job working on storage at the Imperial Irrigation District, he saw how utilities spend thousands of dollars a day on gas to maintain spinning reserves. Storage can remain ready for instantaneous response without burning fuel.

Storage on a major solar farm also serves a utility by increasing utilization of transmission infrastructure.

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GreenTech MediaWhy Solar Developer 8minutenergy Is So Excited About the Energy Storage Market

LG CNS secures contract to deliver energy storage systems to Guam Power Authority

on May 31, 2017

penn-energyLG CNS, a leading energy solutions and services provider across energy storage, microgrids, renewable energy and smart cities sectors, was awarded a $43 million contract by the Guam Power Authority (GPA) to deliver, operate and maintain two Energy Storage Systems (ESS) that combined can deliver 40 megawatts (MW) of power output. The contract, celebrated at a ceremony on May 15, 2017, marks LG CNS’ largest ESS project to date.

The project will reduce the intermittent power outages Guam is experiencing due to increasing net metering penetration and utility scale renewable projects. Further, the project will help GPA prepare the grid as it works toward reaching a renewable goal of 25 percent by 2035. Plans call for a 24 MW ESS for frequency regulation to be located at a substation in the village of Agana, and a 16 MW ESS for renewable integration to be installed at a substation in the village of Talofofo, which is connected to an existing solar farm.

Under terms of the agreement, LG CNS is responsible for delivering the ESS systems on a “turnkey” basis within 12 months. The systems will utilize LG Chem lithium-ion batteries and LG CNS’ own Energy Management System (EMS) to provide frequency regulation and solar photovoltaic (PV) ramp rate control. The project includes a 25-year operations and maintenance agreement.

The Guam ESS project is of strategic importance for LG CNS on a number of fronts. As an island 3,000 miles away from the nearest main landmass, Guam is positioned to become a prime example of the growing global microgrid market for isolated electric utilities. The Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has triggered interest in renewable energy-based, self-sustainable microgrids, in which ESS plays a critical role.  

Guam also serves as a strategic base for expansion into various markets, including Hawaii and the U.S. mainland to the east, Australia to the south and Southeast Asian countries to the west.

Upon completion, LG CNS will have deployed over 125 MW of energy storage projects, further enhancing its position as one of the global market and technology leaders for ESS. LG CNS was ranked as No. 1 in Asia and No. 7 globally in the latest Utility-Scale ESS Integrators Leaderboard by Navigant Research.

GTM Research expects annual U.S. ESS deployments to reach 2.6 GW and become a $3.3 billion market by 2022. Outside the U.S., a 2017 World Bank Report projected the ESS market to grow to $24 billion by 2025, mainly through growth in East Asia and Pacific regions.

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Penn EnergyLG CNS secures contract to deliver energy storage systems to Guam Power Authority

Powin Energy to Install 6.5-MW Energy Storage in California

on May 30, 2017

power engineeringPowin Energy has entered into a contract with San Diego Gas & Electric to deliver a 6.5 MW/26 MW/h battery energy storage system in Escondido, California.

The project is subject to approval by the California Public Utilities Commission.

The proposed system will improve reliability on the existing electrical grid by optimizing the intermittent output of renewable energy sources, and allow SDG&E additional flexibility for its energy sources.

“I appreciate the confidence SDG&E has shown in Powin Energy by selecting us for this important project. We continue to find that utilities and IPPs see tremendous value in the fact we do our own engineering, software development, and manufacturing. It makes it easy for us to be adaptable to a given project’s unique requirements rather than offering one-size-fits-all solutions,” said Geoffrey Brown, president of Powin Energy.

CPUC has mandated SDG&E procure at least 165 MW of energy storage by 2020 and have all projects operational by 2024. To date, the utility has over 94 MW of deployed or contracted energy storage over 20 projects.

Powin Energy’s Stack140 is a modular, purpose-built 140 kWh battery array that scales from 125 kW to multiple megawatt applications. It is available in both indoor and NEMA 3R outdoor models, each of which is engineered to maximize energy density and minimize system footprint. 

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PowerEngineeringPowin Energy to Install 6.5-MW Energy Storage in California

Younicos, Austin Energy, Doosan Team up on solar energy storage project

on May 30, 2017

Younicos announced Monday it will deliver a megawatt-scale battery storagesystem to Austin Energy in Texas.

The project is part of a U.S. Department of Energy-funded initiative known as the Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar Photovoltaic (SHINES) project. Younicos will collaborate with the project’s prime contractor, Doosan GridTech, to install the 1.75 MW / 3.2 MWh system using the company’s Y.Cube systems.

“We’re keeping Austin weird – and energized,” said Stephen L. Prince, CEO of Younicos. “The SHINES project is the perfect showcase for an alternative, distributed energy system with resources like energy storage providing resiliency and security. Our Y.Cube is ideal for this application – offering the best in battery storage, intelligent control, system performance and safety in a compact form factor. We’re very pleased to partner with Austin Energy and Doosan GridTech on this innovative project.”

Younicos’s Y.Q software platform will manage the system, communicating with the Doosan GridTech Intelligent Controller using the Modular Energy Storage Architecture (MESA) open standard. The seven Y.Cubes and Y.Converters represent the company’s largest Y.Cube deployment in the U.S. to date.

Daejin Choi, CEO of Doosan GridTech commented, “We are pleased to be working with Younicos on this breakthrough project. The MESA open standard provides the software architecture that allows us each to bring our innovation to Austin Energy without a lot of custom engineering to fit the pieces together. Austin preserves choice in their system moving forward and we each get to focus on our core competencies.”

The Y.Cube systems will provide storage capabilities as part of a Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) that will maintain grid reliability while also enabling energy loads to be delivered at the lowest possible cost with high penetration levels of distributed PV generation. The platform, called DG-DERO, also provided by Doosan GridTech, will use multiple advanced control methodologies that will be demonstrated and evaluated using a fleet of diverse DER assets deployed at various locations among Austin Energy’s customers.

The battery system will be located in a neighborhood in East Austin, coexisting near both residential and commercial buildings. The Y.Cube, which has been optimized for use in commercial and industrial battery storage applications, is a plug-and-play system that also contains multiple thermal management subsystems for maximum safety.

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Electric Light and PowerYounicos, Austin Energy, Doosan Team up on solar energy storage project

Energy storage standard is essential for the cost-effective generation of alternative power

on May 30, 2017

WindpowerDeveloping international standards is vitally important to the growth of grid-scale energy storage systems. These systems can make it possible to feed power to the grid so that production need not be scaled up and down repeatedly to adjust to changing demand levels. They also absorb the over-generation from wind and solar-power facilities and release that power when needed. The MESA (Modular Energy Storage Architecture) Standards Alliance is an industry group of dozens of equipment vendors and utilities working together to grow the energy storage industry by developing an open, non-proprietary set of specifications and standards. Our goal is to accelerate interoperability, scalability, safety, quality, availability, and affordability in energy storage components and systems.

This standardization effort has two main aspects. The first is a software control platform that allows all equipment from different vendors to talk the same “language,” so that when one piece of equipment sends a command or transmits data, it is received and interpreted correctly by the intended recipient.

The second aspect is ensuring that the hardware that makes up an energy storage system (ESS)—the batteries, power converters, metering system, and the energy management system (EMS) − can be intelligently “plugged into” each other and the electrical system.

In turn, the ESS must be intelligently plugged into the utility’s existing information and operations technology. Without established standards, components and systems will come with proprietary connectors, and the process of plugging them together becomes a laborious task repeated for each new project, which will add to project cost and lead time.

The MESA Standards Alliance is currently providing two specifications:

  • MESA-ESS is designed to let electric utilities or grid operators scale deployment of energy storage and manage energy storage assets and fleets of multi-vendor assets to meet specific needs and use cases with minimal custom engineering
  • MESA-Device Specifications and SunSpec Energy Storage Model address how energy storage components within an energy-storage system communicate with each other and its operational components.

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Windpower EngineeringEnergy storage standard is essential for the cost-effective generation of alternative power

Battery storage paired with wind farm in ground-breaking Spanish trial

on May 29, 2017

Renew Econonmy AUA world first hybrid renewables trial, pairing a grid-connected wind farm with lithium-ion battery storage and energy management software, has been switched on in Spain, in a bid to boost the integration of variable-generation renewables into electricity networks around the world.

The project, led by Spanish wind energy giant Acciona, will use in-house developed “simulation” software to control the battery storage systems at a specially developed hybrid power plant, which is located next to Acciona’s experimental wind farm at Barasoain (Navarra).

The storage system has two batteries in separate containers: one a fast-response 1MW/0.39MWh battery that can maintain 1MW of power for 20 minutes; the other a slower-response battery with greater autonomy that can maintain 0.7 MW for 1 hour.

Both of the Samsung SDI-supplied batteries will be connected to a 3MW Acciona wind turbine – one of five that make up the Barasoain Experimental Wind Farm – and will store energy produced by the turbine when required.

The installation also has three other units: one for medium voltage cells and analyzers, another for inverters/chargers and a transformer (installed by Ingeteam, a company participating in the project), and a third for the control and monitoring equipment.

Acciona says that he main aim of the trial is to use the software and grid-connected storage solutions to optimise the quality of the wind energy that is sent to the grid.

It will also test the plants ability to provide ancillary services to the electric power system – necessary to maintain a continuous balance between supply and demand – and to shift supply to match periods of higher demand, thus improving the economic performance of the wind farm.

The project has received funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which manages the Spanish Centre for Industrial Development (CDTI).

And the Acciona-developed software – or ‘ADOSA’ (Analysis, Dimensioning and Optimisation of Storage Systems) – recently won the top prize from the Spanish Wind Energy Association, in the field of R&D.

“The application of electric power storage systems using batteries connected to wind farms and solar plants is a field with great growth potential due to the major development of renewable energies worldwide, lower battery technology prices and improved efficiency,” Acciona said in a media statement on Tuesday.

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Renew Economy AUBattery storage paired with wind farm in ground-breaking Spanish trial

Nevada advances bills for energy storage incentives

on May 29, 2017

Energy Storage NewsNevada lawmakers recently passed a number of energy bills, with two of them focusing on energy storage incentives for residential and grid-scale segments. Source: Flickr/steakpinball

Nevadan legislators have passed a number of bills to incentivise energy storage in the state for approval from governor Brian Sandoval.

Earlier this week, the Assembly passed AB 145 in a 36-5 vote to embed incentives for residential energy storage in the state’s solar programme.  In addition, SB 204 was also passed, which requires the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to investigate a path to establish energy storage procurement targets for certain electric utilities as part of grid modernisation plans. This was also passed in a majority vote of 39-2.

“The Commission shall require the utility to include in its plan a plan for modernisation of the grid. The plan for modernisation of the grid may evaluate, without limitation, the benefits and costs of new technologies, contracts, sources of energy, distributed resources, energy storage, means for reducing emissions and any other means for enhancing the reliability and 32 security of the grid,” SB 204 reads.

The bills signal the Silver State making a concerted effort to maintain its position as a leading clean energy state. Recently lawmakers passed bills to increase the state’s RPS to 80% by 2040 and revive its beleaguered rooftop solar industry.

Sponsor of SB 2014 Kevin Atkinson said the bills will go some way towards positive job creation and supporting local consumers.

“These are things we have to continue to work on and to be open about to make progress,” Atkinson said. “There is no doubt that these types of bills bring jobs. I think everyone on this committee will agree that creating jobs for our citizens is one of Nevada’s goals. But empowering our consumers is also essential. I hope we are able to work on this to give the (PUC) clear direction.”

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Energy Storage NewsNevada advances bills for energy storage incentives

Ecotricity readies large scale storage pilot to manage customer supply

on May 27, 2017

solar-power-portalEcotricity has announced plans for a pilot storage project near its head office in Stroud in the company’s first move into utility scale storage.

The green utility has not yet specified the services its 2.5MW system will provide but has said it will begin by charging the battery with renewable power to be delivered to the grid during periods of high demand.

Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, said: “We’ve been looking at energy storage for some time now – waiting for the technology to make it possible. And we’re excited that we’re now at that point.

“Not many people know that, as an energy company, we have to manage the energy our customers use every half an hour – energy storage will better allow us to do that, meaning we can more efficiently supply energy and better manage the green energy we generate.

“This is a trial project for us – and we’re going to learn a lot about energy storage and how it can help us. And we’re hoping it will be the first of many more energy storage projects to come.”

The project will be located at Ecotricity’s Wallbridge building in Stroud, after Stroud District Council recently approved the site for change of use. A supplier and technology provider has not yet been selected and it remains unclear how the solution will be branded or when the install will be completed.

The announcement of a grid scale storage facility comes after Ecotricity was expected to carry out trials of its own domestic storage offering, the ‘Black Box’, which the utility has spent five years developing.

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Solar Power PortalEcotricity readies large scale storage pilot to manage customer supply

Will This Miracle Material End All Energy Storage Problems?

on May 26, 2017

yahoo financeIt’s the thinnest material known to man—1 million times thinner than a human hair. It’s the world’s first 2D material, and it’s ultra light and transparent. It’s 200 times stronger than steel, but unlike steel, it’s flexible and superconductive—and it could be a game-changer for energy storage.

This material is called graphene—a nanomaterial hailed as a miracle material since it was isolated in 2004 by researchers at The University of Manchester, Professor Andre Geim and Professor Konstantin Novoselov, who won The Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 for their experiments with graphene.

Graphene is made up of a single layer of carbon atoms in a honeycomb-like structure. Many layers of graphene make up graphite, so chances are that if you’ve drawn with a pencil, you’ve probably made graphene.

Graphene is an excellent conductor of electricity, and one of its potential industrial applications is in energy and energy storage. The material is believed to be able to dramatically increase the lifespan of lithium-ion batteries. Graphene capacitators could also provide power while using much less energy than traditional technology, and it could be potentially used in grid applications by storing solar and wind power, according to The University of Manchester.

What’s tricky about graphene, however, is that scientists, researchers, and industries are struggling to find a cost-effective way to make large commercially viable quantities of the material.

Related: Plasma Jet Engines: Is Flying At 20Km Per Second Possible?

In recent years, billions of dollars have been poured into research in the hope that this wonder graphene could be taken out of the laboratory and used in factories for large-scale production at efficient costs.

The latest graphene research breakthrough comes from Sweden, where researchers at the Linköping University have increased the capacity of the material to store an electrical charge by introducing defects into graphene’s perfect surface on silicon carbide.

Researchers studied what happens when defects in the surface of graphene are introduced in a controlled manner.

“An electrochemical process known as ‘anodising’ breaks down the graphene layer such that more edges are created. We measured the properties of anodised graphene and discovered that the capacity of the material to store electricity was quite high,” Linköping University researcher Mikhail Vagin said.

Still, the researchers admit that although their study offers more insights into how graphene could be used, much work is needed to replicate the results on a larger scale.

Research into the properties of graphene is further complicated by the fact that graphene can be produced in several, very different ways, the scientists noted.

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Yahoo FinanceWill This Miracle Material End All Energy Storage Problems?