Hanwha Partners Local Developer for 200MW Ireland Battery Projects

on April 25, 2018


A signing ceremony was held on Monday in Tullamore, County Offaly, where Hanwha Energy Corporation and Lumcloon sealed an agreement, with local politician Marcella Corcoran Kennedy among those in attendance.

Lumcloon, a locally headquartered company fronted by Nigel Reams, a local entrepreneur with a background in engineering projects for the energy industry, said the partnership would develop two 100MW projects in Lumcloon – the ‘townland’ the company is named after – and Shannonbridge. The pair will work with LSIS, a South Korean supplier of smart power solutions in transmission, distribution and automation including switchgear and smart grids.

Yesterday, a Lumcloon representative confirmed to Energy-Storage.News that the 200MW of battery systems would be for “frequency response”, helping to balance the grid through matching supply with demand to maintain reliable operation of the network. Timelines were not given for development or commissioning of either project as yet. Ireland’s reliance on variable renewable energy is growing, while network operator EirGrid is planning a 300MW flexibility services tender process.

The projects would involve €150 million (US$182.64 million) combined investment, Lumcloon said, creating 240 jobs in total during construction and 10 subsequent to the systems going into operation. The company did not give details of the technology being proposed, besides that it would be “based on state-of-the-art battery storage technology”.

“Hanwha would expect to support the energy policy in Ireland by taking the opportunity to develop and install Battery Energy Storage Solutions (BESS), enhancing the stability and reliability of power system in Ireland,” Hanwha Energy Corporation executive director Ji Ho Shin said.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsHanwha Partners Local Developer for 200MW Ireland Battery Projects

Overheard at the Energy Storage Association Annual Conference

on April 24, 2018

BOSTON — Energy storage deployment will likely grow to 35 GW by 2025 as consumers, businesses and government agencies increasingly support the technology, industry experts said last week.

“Our industry created the momentum for the unanimous support to unleash the benefits of storage through FERC Order 841,” Energy Storage Association CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman said at her organization’s 28th annual conference. “This is a watershed moment, friends, this is our moment.” (See FERC Rules to Boost Storage Role in Markets.)

The industry’s growth will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, result in $4 billion in cumulative operational savings and avoid 3.6 million metric tons of CO2 emissions and 1,000 metric tons of CO2equivalents, including nitrogen and sulfur oxide, Speakes-Backman said.

“On a regular basis, our teams are in contact with ISOs and RTOs who are seeking guidance in how to create markets and support rules that enable more storage on the transmission level, distribution level, in businesses and in homes,” she said.

Clean Peak Shaving

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker opened the conference April 18 by saying that energy storage’s ability to shave peak demand “may be greater than anything else.”

Baker mentioned the “very unusual winter here in New England and in Massachusetts … where we had subzero temperatures for almost two weeks,” during which the region’s generators burned through nearly 2 million barrels of oil, more than twice the amount used during all of 2016. (See Van Welie: ISO-NE in ‘Race’ to Replace Retirements.)

“If you push storage all the way … you could be in a situation where you store during off-peak so that when you have a period like that, you’ve got enough capacity available to draw the storage and you don’t have to pay those huge prices during peak; you don’t have to use those far dirtier sources of energy,” Baker said.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsOverheard at the Energy Storage Association Annual Conference

Energy Storage and Smart Grid Firms Enjoy Surge in VC Interest

on April 24, 2018

Global investment in energy storage and smart grid firms soared during the first three months of the year, according to a new report from consultancy Mercom Capital Group that underlines the growing interest in smart technologies deemed critical to the deep decarbonisation of power grids.

The report on venture capital (VC) investment, corporate funding, and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity revealed a surge in investment across much of the sector.

Corporate funding in battery storage hit $299m across 12 deals during the first three months of the year, compared to $154m across six deals during the last quarter of 2017 and $80m of investment in the first quarter of 2017.

VC funding, including private equity and corporate venture capital, raised by battery storage companies jumped to $299m across 12 deals, a more than five-fold increase on the $58m raised in eight deals during the first three months of 2017.

Smart grid companies saw a similar surge in investment with corporate funding soaring from $164m in the first quarter of 2017 to $1.3bn across just nine deals this year.

VC funding for smart grid companies also increased 79 per cent quarter-on-quarter to $75m, although investment levels fell year-on-year.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsEnergy Storage and Smart Grid Firms Enjoy Surge in VC Interest

Boffins Weigh Up Storage Costs

on April 24, 2018

renewsA gravity-fed energy storage system under development by Gravitricity may be more cost effective in the long term than batteries, according to a report by Imperial College London (ICL).

The Gravitricity technology could be particularly well suited to provide grid balancing and rapid frequency response services to grid operators, the report said.

It added that the technology has a low specific power cost and high cyclability, with a predicted levelised cost of energy storage of $141 a kilowatt a year.

The technology has high operational expenditure, but this is offset by a long project lifespan of up to 50 years, high power availability and zero percent degradation, ICL said.

Gravitricity technology will use a weight of up to 2000 tonnes suspended in mine shafts by cables attached to winches.

The weight is winched to the top of the shaft to capture renewable power and then dropped to release it when needed, with the winches acting as generators.

Gravitricity managing director Charlie Blair (pictured) said: “This independent report clearly shows that Gravitricity can be a very strong competitor in the frequency response market, where its low specific power cost and high cyclability sets it apart from other technologies.”

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsBoffins Weigh Up Storage Costs

Lead Batteries: Still an Essential Energiser for a Greener World

on April 24, 2018

Energy-Storage-NewsOn a plain 4,700 metres above sea level in Tibet, a solar farm harvests the sun’s rays. It is absorbing this abundant source of power to help generate the clean energy required to satisfy China’s burgeoning demand for electricity. This sun-drenched farm is part of a growing phenomenon where a 150-year-old technology, the lead battery, is becoming one of the most reliable solutions to the problem of storing and supplying the energy of the future.

While lead batteries are more commonly associated with the technology under the bonnet of your car, starting the engine, powering the safety features and electronics, it is also one of the cleanest and most reliable options available in the green energy revolution.

In Tibet, with up to 14 hours of sunlight a day in the peak months between April and July, the plant run by China Shoto, part of the Shuandeng Group, uses lead batteries housed in containers on site producing 30MW of solar power supported by 20MWh of energy storage.

By choosing advanced lead battery technology, the company argues it is able to offer reliable, safe and long-lasting storage for up to 10 years, switching supply on or off according to the requirements of the grid.

The system is being replicated globally with projects in the United States, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and across southeast Asia, which are quietly changing the face of energy storage.

Lithium and lead – two leaders in rechargeable battery storage

Analysts predict the world-wide scale of the market in renewable energy storage will vastly outweigh the supply of current technologies, be it lithium or advanced lead battery technology.It is likely that the majority of future rechargeable battery energy storage needs will probably be met by these two leading technologies.

In reality our own analysis of the market anticipates both technologies will be required to grow together to meet the level of demand. While there are other potentially promising technologies, they are unlikely to achieve the market scale necessary to make substantial inroads. And it is the race to provide the latest technical solutions where the real competition around battery technology will take place as innovation, reliability, safety and hard economic facts are all assessed.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsLead Batteries: Still an Essential Energiser for a Greener World

New York Advances REV, Moves to Bring More Energy Storage Online

on April 23, 2018

Utility-DiveREV launched in 2014, and spans at least 16 major proceedings, along with the investor-owned utilities’ rate cases.

On energy storage, the PSC said it “opened the door to distributed generation suppliers seeking to connect energy storage technologies to the distribution system, allowing for projects up to 5 MW to come on-line.”

Regulators also said they “enhanced” the Standardized Interconnection Requirements application and contract process, in order to make the interconnection process more efficient. Those rules determine how distributed generation developers connect projects to the distribution system, to avoid delay.

In upstate New York, New York State Electric and Gas got approval for new rate structures in its Energy Smart Community project, and can now implement time-differentiated options. Regulators said the pilot rates aim to “convey strong price signals” that focus on the system peak. “For each service classification, the off-peak rates are at least 2.5 times less than the on-peak rates, which send a clear price signal to customers, and provides them with a greater financial incentive to manage their energy usage,” the PSC said.

Regulators also directed creation of the Utility Energy Registry, an online platform that will offer public access to customer-load data for the major utilities. With the registry, the PSC also adopted a privacy standard for the provision of whole building data for apartment buildings.

The registry aims to “help create a more information-centered power system,” the commission said, supporting the exchange of information among utilities, customers, service providers and other third parties. The project will begin in the middle of this year.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsNew York Advances REV, Moves to Bring More Energy Storage Online

Massachusetts Is Staring Down a Duck Curve of Its Own. Storage Could Help

on April 23, 2018

Greentech-MediaAfter a barrage of wicked nor’easters this winter, Massachusetts residents probably aren’t worried about having too much sun — but they should be.

Over in Hawaii, California and Arizona, middaysolargeneration has begun to cause major swings in the balance of supply and demand on the grid. The resulting “duck curve” has become emblematic of the logistical challenges involved in massive renewables adoption.

As it turns out, this duck infestation is migrating from the sunny, palm-lined enclaves of Venice Beach and Scottsdale to the Bay State.

“We are absolutely beginning to see a duck curve,” said Judith Judson, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, in an interview at the Energy Storage Association conference in Boston last week. “It shows that we’re being very successful in increasing renewable energy generation, but we need to start thinking about…how [we can] match up that generation with demand.”

The telltale shape of the duck is appearing in the daily energy charts from ISO New England, the grid operator for Massachusetts and five neighboring states. The ISO has about 2,400 megawatts of cumulative solar capacity, most of which is small-scale.

Massachusetts represents almost half of the load in the territory, and the bulk of the solar capacity too. The data covers more than just Massachusetts, but the state drives regional trends.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsMassachusetts Is Staring Down a Duck Curve of Its Own. Storage Could Help

9 Tesla, Enphase Lift Household Battery Storage Prices

on April 23, 2018

RenewEconomy-AUThe price of household battery storage is defying hopes and expectations of significant price falls, with two of the leading manufacturers – Tesla and Enphase  – quietly lifting their prices in recent months.

The household battery storage market in Australia has been poised for take-off for a couple of years, but most consumers have been keeping their powder dry on the expectation that prices would continue the dramatic falls of the last few years.

Tesla set the scene with the release of their Powerwall 2 product in late 2016 which effectively halved the cost of battery storage, at least compared to the Powerwall 1, and forced most competitors to match those prices.

But nothing much has happened since. In fact, prices have now started to edge up.

Tesla quietly lifted the price of its Powerwall 2  by $US400 to $US5,900 in February this year, and the Australia price followed suit – to $A8,600. These prices do not include installation and other costs.  Prices for Enphase batteries have also risen slightly.

The rises are being blamed variously on supply bottlenecks and the jump in price of certain commodities, particularly cobalt.

A Tesla spokesman in the US told Greentech Media said the company “evaluates its global pricing of energy products based on various factors and continues to make improvements that will simplify homeowner experience.”

Enphase told RenewEconomy it blamed supply “bottlenecks” for its minor price increases, but said it hopes to be able to reverse these price rises later this year.

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Fractal Energy Storage Consultants9 Tesla, Enphase Lift Household Battery Storage Prices

SQM: Global Lithium Industry Requires $10–12 Billion In Investments Over Next Decade

on April 22, 2018

CleantechnicaIn order to meet growing demand for lithium ore, the global lithium industry will require at least $10–12 billion in investments over the next decade — primarily due to rising demand for plug-in electric vehicles — the Chile-based lithium mining firm SQM has reported.

Relating to those figures, the senior commercial vice president at SQM, Daniel Jimenez, also noted that lithium demand was expected to grow by a further 600,000–800,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent over just the next 10 years or so.

Those comments were made at the recent Metal Bulletin Battery Materials Conference in Shanghai, and represent a substantial increase in (projected) demand.

Reuters provides some further information: “SQM’s projection is based on typical greenfield capital expenditure per tonne of lithium carbonate equivalent, he adds, noting that the industry has historically underestimated lithium demand and over-estimated supply.

“Company currently has annual lithium carbonate production capacity of 48,000 tonnes in Chile, which it will expand to 70,000 tonnes this year and to 100,000 tonnes next year, Jimenez says.”

This news follows on the recent announcement that authorities in Chile have approved $754 million in new lithium mining investments in the country.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsSQM: Global Lithium Industry Requires $10–12 Billion In Investments Over Next Decade

Lockheed Martin to Supply 17MWh Energy Storage Systems to Peak Power

on April 22, 2018

EBRLockheed Martin has received an order to supply about 17MWh of GridStar Lithium energy storage systems to Peak Power, an energy storage services provider.

The units will be installed in Ontario, Canada, and along the East Coast of the United States.

Lockheed Martin Energy vice president Frank Armijo said: “Peak Power Inc. is an innovative company that we are excited to collaborate with to deploy our robust, reliable GridStar Lithium systems.

“These projects are an example of solutions we’re providing to address complex global energy challenges.”

Peak Power Inc. will use its own intelligent Synergy software, combined with GridStar Lithium energy storage systems, to forecast the most expensive peak demand events and shift energy consumption for its customers during these peak moments.

This results in a reduced amount of peak demand on the grid and lower electricity costs for customers.

Peak Power CEO Derek Lim Soo said: “The Lockheed Martin name is a brand that is associated with a proven track record and high-quality design and engineering.

“Our software performance this past year in Ontario allowed us to hit all five coincident peak events that form the bulk of our customer’s bills within a one-hour window, with 100% accuracy.

“We’re looking forward to integrating our software with Lockheed Martin’s reliable and innovative solutions to support our customer’s needs and the future of our distributed grid.”

Lockheed Martin has delivered and has a pipeline of energy storage solutions to address a range of applications, including reducing peak loads on the electrical grid and integrating renewable energy sources with energy storage.

These projects have been installed in many locations, including Canada.

Lockheed Martin Canada CEO Charles Bouchard said: “Our mission is to deliver solutions to our customers’ most complex problems through applying innovative approaches, and through establishing strong, strategic partnerships.

“Lockheed Martin Energy has an excellent track record of providing comprehensive solutions across the energy industry, and our work with Peak Power Inc. is a great match to address complex energy needs across both Canada and the United States.”

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsLockheed Martin to Supply 17MWh Energy Storage Systems to Peak Power