What’s Possible For Used EV Batteries? Daimler Energy Storage Units Provide Second Life Power

on June 29, 2018

CleantechnicaLike most consumables in today’s world, batteries from electric and hybrid vehicles have a tipping point beyond which they are no longer viable for use. Instead of stacking these used batteries in some fenced landfill for our grandchildren to deal with, Daimler AG is adapting electric car batteries into energy storage units. The most recent installation is an Elverlingsen, South Westphalia, “live replacement parts store” for the fleet of third generation Mercedes electric smarts.

A joint venture between partners Daimler AG, its subsidiary Mercedes-Benz EnergyGETEC ENERGIE, and technology company The Mobility House has bundled a total of 1920 battery modules in a plant in Elverlingsen in South Westphalia to create an energy storage facility. The stored battery modules are sufficient for at least 600 vehicles. With installed power output of 8.96MW and energy capacity of 9.8MWh, the battery storage plant is available to the energy market, for example, for supplying primary balancing power. Its modular design enables the system to continuously and fully automatically stabilize the power grid.

What To Do With All The Used EV Batteries?

Finding ways to reuse the technology is becoming more urgent as the global stockpile of EV batteries is forecast to exceed the equivalent of about 3.4 million packs by 2025, compared with about 55,000 this year, according to calculations based on Bloomberg NEF data. “The car manufacturers have an upcoming problem, and one that we are already starting to see: this massive volume of batteries,” said Johan Stjernberg, chief executive officer of Box of Energy AB. “The market will be enormous for second-life applications with storage.”

Property owners, developers, and utilities are looking for ways to harness energy storage from these inexpensive used batteries in a “second life” to help integrate variable renewables and save electricity costs. A report from Berkeley Law Center — part of a series on how climate change will create opportunities for specific sectors of the business community and how policy-makers can facilitate those opportunities — says vehicle battery storage programs can aggregate multiple used batteries to develop a bulk, commercial-scale energy storage system and microgrid backup system, among other demonstrations. Lithium-ion car and bus batteries, according to the report, “can collect and discharge electricity for a further 7 to 10 years after being taken off the roads and stripped from chassis.” This extended life has significant consequences for global automakers, electricity providers, and raw-materials suppliers.

Second-life batteries can provide backup power for homes and businesses, and utilities can dispatch peak power from these distributed batteries to relieve expensive fossil fuel-burning power plants, which can compensate for any decreases in renewable energy supply. To be usable as a replacement, a battery needs regular cycling during the storage period –- deliberate, battery-conserving charging and discharging. This prevents exhaustive discharge, which can lead to battery problems.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsWhat’s Possible For Used EV Batteries? Daimler Energy Storage Units Provide Second Life Power

Japanese Solar PV Players Join Telecoms and Utilities in Creating Virtual Power Plants

on June 29, 2018

Energy-Storage-NewsSoftbank Energy and Kyocera, two major names in Japan’s solar energy industry, are partnering with utilities, grid operators and other stakeholders to execute virtual power plant (VPP) projects backed by the government.

Kyocera, historically a maker of ceramics headquartered in Japan’s historic old capital city Kyoto and now known for electronics products including printers and solar PV equipment, is also a vertically integrated solar energy solution provider. As well as supplying components and developing PV power plants, the company also sells its own branded home solar kits and battery energy storage.

The company confirmed last week that it is continuing to participate in trials and development activities for virtual power plant (VPP) projects under the government’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s (METI) SII (Sustainable open Innovation Initiative), which is just opening up this summer to sign up public customers.

The overall VPP SII project looks at areas of VPP promotion including business models, technical demonstrations and public engagement. It encompasses distributed energy resources including vehicle-to-grid (V2G), air-conditioning units and EV chargers as well as solar PV and batteries in customers’ houses. While still somewhat loosely defined, virtual power plants (VPPs) essentially aggregate together the energy and power capabilities of large numbers of connected distributed resources, mainly solar-plus-storage in residential or business premises and deliver dispatchable power and grid services with the energy stored, generated, monitored and controlled by those devices.

The current phase of the SII, following on from initial activity in 2014, looks at three prefectures of Japan and will run until February next year. Two of Japan’s main utilities, which are also operators of the national grid network, Kansai Electric Power and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), are involved as well as energy management company ENERES and national telecoms provider KDDI.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsJapanese Solar PV Players Join Telecoms and Utilities in Creating Virtual Power Plants

Leclanché, Ice Energy and VRB Energy in Fresh Partnerships and Funding Deals

on June 29, 2018

Energy-Storage-NewsLeclanché and VRB Energy, two providers in very different areas of energy storage, have struck up joint ventures (JVs) intended to assist them in scaling up and hitting new markets, while Ice Energy has netted fresh funding.

Flow battery maker VRB Energy has struck a supply deal with the ‘world’s largest producer of vanadium oxide’. Covered in the most recent edition of PV Tech Power as one of four flow battery providers at different stages of commercialisation and known in China as Pu Neng, VRB this week announced a “strategic cooperation framework agreement” with Pangang Group Vanadium and Titanium Resources Co. Ltd.

The deal was announced by Sparton Resources, which through a subsidiary owns about 18% of VRB. The remaining 82% is in the control of the I-Pulse group of companies, headed by mining industry veteran Robert Friedland. In the PV Tech Power article, VRB representative Jim Stover said the vertical integration of materials into the company’s supply chain would be vital to ongoing cost reduction efforts and scaling up.

Battery and energy storage system maker Leclanché, was announced to be working with Enel on its first storage project in Germany in February and earlier this month netted CHF75 million (US$76 million) from its main existing investor, FEFAM.

The company has now begun a joint venture (JV) with lead acid battery maker Exide Technologies, to target the Indian market for EVs and stationary energy storage by building lithium-ion batteries and complete systems for both applications. At a basic level, Leclanché will share knowledge and intellectual property on lithium batteries with Exide, while the latter offers access to an “extensive sales network and brand”, Leclanché said.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsLeclanché, Ice Energy and VRB Energy in Fresh Partnerships and Funding Deals

Nippon Koei and Yuso Join Forces on Battery Energy Storage in Europe ENERGY STORAGE IN EUROPE

on June 28, 2018
PV-MagazineNippon Koei and Yuso recently set-up a joint venture company “Ruien Energy Storage NV” (RES NV) to develop and operate a utility scale Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) on the site of a now decommissioned 800MW coal fired power plant in Ruien (East-Flanders, Belgium).
The BESS commissioning is expected for early 2020. The capacity of the energy storage installation will be 25 MW with the option to enlarge its size later. The project leverages on the grid connection infrastructure available at this location, adjacent the HV substation operated by the Belgian TSO Elia.
The BESS targets deliveries of ancillary services (Frequency Control Regulation, FCR) to Elia and other ENTSO-E member TSO’s as well as more localized energy service offerings at the site, currently under post-decommissioning redevelopment. Bart Tommelein, vice minister-president in the Flemish government and minister of Budget, Finance and Energy commented; “Investments in storage and flexibility are necessary to store renewable energy, for the sun does not always shine, nor is there wind at any given time.
Storage of energy is therefore of foremost importance for the energy transition to succeed in Flanders. For this reason, the Flemish government intends to introduce a support scheme for storage soon. We are very pleased that Ruien will now see the development of a large energy storage project at the very location where a large thermal power plant once stood! It proves that the energy transition is in full swing!”
Mr. Hiroyuki Akiyoshi, Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer at Nippon Koei motivates the JV as follows: “[…] As renewable energy sources are intermittent and increase the difficulties in balancing demand/supply of electricity, battery energy storage systems help to maintain the stability of the grid. It is at this point that Nippon Koei can leverage on its proven experience in the field of battery-based energy storage systems and high voltage engineering”.
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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsNippon Koei and Yuso Join Forces on Battery Energy Storage in Europe ENERGY STORAGE IN EUROPE

Grid Reliability and Resilience Pricing: FERC’s Rulemaking and How Our Energy Markets Are Responding

on June 28, 2018

Power-MagazineWhat is “resilience,” and do we need it?

As anyone who has not been on Mars knows, last year, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to craft policies to provide for “resilience” in our generation resource mix.  Putting it in critical, national security terms, Secretary Perry wrote:

America’s greatness depends on a reliable, resilient electric grid powered by an “all of the above” mix of generation resources [that] must include traditional baseload generation with on-site fuel storage that can withstand major fuel supply disruptions caused by natural and man-made disasters. … Our economy, government and national defense all depend on electricity. Therefore, ensuring a reliable and resilient electric supply and corresponding supply chain are vital to national security.2

Framing the issue as “national security” is exactly what’s happening now, with a “leaked” memo from the White House National Security Council arguing for the administration to use the Defense Production Act and authority under Federal Power Act section 202(c) to “temporarily delay retirements of fuel-secure electric generation resources.”3

A few months before Secretary Perry’s letter to FERC, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt and President Trump appeared on national television to warn that if coal power continues to decline, the lights could go out.4 Administrator Pruitt went so far as to say that if the share of coal use falls below 30 percent nationally, it could expose the United States to terrorist attacks.  “When we’re at less than 30 percent or right at 30 percent today, that creates vulnerabilities to attacks on infrastructure,” Pruitt said.5

Pretty potent rhetoric. Nevertheless, as one of his first acts as FERC Chairman, Kevin McIntyre led the Commission in a 5-0 decision rejecting the Department of Energy’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (DOE NOPR).6 In so doing, FERC reiterated its faith in the organized wholesale markets.7

FERC did, however, simultaneously commence a proceeding to examine the overarching question: What exactly is “resilience,” and do we need it?8 That proceeding is now underway before the Commission in docket AD18-7-000.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsGrid Reliability and Resilience Pricing: FERC’s Rulemaking and How Our Energy Markets Are Responding

World’s First Offshore Wind Farm + Battery Switched On In Scotland

on June 28, 2018

RenewEconomy-AUThe world’s first floating offshore wind farm, the 30MW Hywind project in Scotland, has this week chalked up another first, with the addition of a 1MW onshore battery system, to store excess power from the wind turbines.

Project owners Equinor and Masdar, in partnership with battery storage provider Younicos, this week completed the 1MW Batwind energy storage project, making it the first time a battery storage project has been connected with an offshore wind energy project.

Located at an onshore substation in Peterhead, the two Younicos Y Cubes (its 10-foot modular battery containers) are now able to provide dynamic balancing for the wind project, the companies said.

Hywind Scotland was announced all the way back in November of 2015 when the Scottish Government approved construction of the 30MW project by oil and gas giant Statoil, now known as Equinor.

In January of 2017, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar acquired a 25 per cent stake in the project, further solidifying its value and future prospects.

year earlier, however, Statoil had already floated plans of combining the project with a battery storage solution, serving as a pilot demonstration and test-bed for the combined technologies.

The project began generating electricity in October of 2017, and a few months later Equinor announced that it was outperforming all expectations and generating at a level consistently above that of traditional offshore wind turbines (i.e., those built into the seafloor).

Traditional seafloor mounted wind turbines generate at around 45-60 per cent of capacity – which is to say, they generate 100 per cent of their potential capacity between 45-60 per cent of the time.

Hywind Scotland, however, was generating at an average of 65 per cent over its first three months, partly because it is a floating wind farm, and able to work farther out to sea, giving it access to stronger and more consistent winds.

The project even survived the extremely hectic weather that battered the region towards the end of 2017, weathering hurricane Ophelia in October and Storm Caroline in early December and encountering waves in excess of 8.2 metres.

Younicos was awarded the battery supply contract back in November by Equinor, and combined it with Y.Q. software.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsWorld’s First Offshore Wind Farm + Battery Switched On In Scotland

Three Ways Energy Storage Can Generate Revenue In America’s Organized Power Markets

on June 27, 2018

Energy storage is surging across America.  Total installed capacity passed 1,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) during a record-setting 2017, and the U.S. market is forecast to nearly double by adding more than 1,000 MWh new capacity in 2018 – adding as much capacity in one year as it did in the previous four.

However, this exponential growth has mainly been limited to vertically integrated utilities operating outside of the country’s organized power markets, which serve two-thirdsof all U.S. electricity consumers. So how can energy storage plug into these markets?

In a word, revenue.

Energy storage can collect revenue in America’s organized power markets three ways: platforms, products, and pay-days.  However, different projects will tap these potential revenue streams in different ways, and investors should seek nimble developers who can navigate a complex and evolving regulatory and market landscape.

In part two of this series, we’ll explore how storage will disrupt power markets as more and more capacity comes online, but first let’s cover the three ways it can tap the U.S. organized market opportunity.

Platforms: The Best Laid Plans…

Independent system operators (ISOs) go through a planning process where they identify opportunities for new transmission to improve reliability or market efficiency. Similarly, it’s normal to think about energy storage as a reliability asset, and it can become integrated as a lower-cost, non-transmission alternative to boost reliability.

Here’s an example: A relatively isolated area on the grid must plan for losing a transmission line or local generator during peak demand.  Rather than adding new transmission or local generation, building a storage project can carry a local grid through an emergency.  If the economics add up, the project will then be built, and paid on a cost-of-service basis financed through transmissions charges.

If storage in this example plays the same role as transmission for so-called “reliability transmission expansion”, it should also enjoy an analog to “economic transmission” – transmission built to move surplus energy to constrained areas to create benefits for market buyers and sellers.  But to date, only one such project exists within the U.S. independent system operators (ISOs), located near Baltimore on the PJM grid.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsThree Ways Energy Storage Can Generate Revenue In America’s Organized Power Markets

Siemens Tests Ammonia as a Form of Energy Storage for Renewables

on June 27, 2018

Greentech-MediaThe German industrial giant Siemens is investigating the use of ammonia as a way to store and transport hydrogen in energy systems with high penetration of renewables.

The company this month opened a £1.5 million ($2 million) proof-of-concept plant in Harwell, Oxfordshire, U.K. to test the efficiency of converting electricity to hydrogen, and then to ammonia, and then back.

The plant, funded one-third by Siemens and two-thirds by government agency Innovate U.K., is thought to be the first of its kind in the world.

The U.K. Science and Technology Facilities Council, University of Oxford and Cardiff University are also attached to the project, which includes a wind turbine, a nitrogen generator, a water electrolysis system, a Haber-Bosch reactor and a 30-kilowatt electric genset.

Ian Wilkinson, program manager for the project within Siemens, told GTM that the research into ammonia was complementary to Siemens’ work on other energy storage technologies, such as batteries.

But batteries are primarily useful for electricity, which in the U.K. only accounts for around a quarter of all energy use, he said. “Chemical fuels have a [use case], including energy storage of electricity but also beyond it,” he said.

“It’s pretty apparent that we will need a range of energy storage solutions to decarbonize our electricity generation,” Wilkinson added. “I think a lot of different storage technologies will be required.”

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsSiemens Tests Ammonia as a Form of Energy Storage for Renewables

Hyundai Will Use ‘Second-Life’ Electric Car Batteries for Energy Storage

on June 27, 2018

The-DriveHyundai is the latest automaker to explore uses for so-called “second-life” electric-car batteries. It’s teaming up with Finnish energy-technology company Wärtsilä to use these batteries for stationary energy storage.

Even after they have degraded too much for continued automotive use, electric-car batteries still have plenty of usable storage capacity. Energy storage is an attractive second use for these batteries because it can boost the adoption of renewable energy. The more renewable-energy sources used to generate electricity, the greener electric cars become. It’s all connected.

While renewable-energy sources like wind and solar help reduce carbon emissions, the wind isn’t always blowing and the sun isn’t always shining. Energy storage helps adjust for the intermittent nature of these power sources by charging up with energy when it’s available, and discharging at a later time. Much of that energy would go to waste without storage batteries, since wind turbines and solar panels often harvest more than is needed at any given time.

Hyundai has already constructed a one-megawatt-hour test array using Ioniq Electric and Kia Soul EV batteries. Going forward, it plans to provide batteries to Wärtsilä, which will then market them to electric utilities and other companies as part of complete energy-storage systems.

Hyundai expects 29 gigawatt-hours of used electric-car batteries to be available by 2025, compared to the 10 GWh of batteries currently available for the energy-storage market. The prediction is based on an assumption of vastly expanded electric-car sales. Tesla has already pioneered the model of selling both electric cars and batteries for energy storage. BMW, Daimler, and Nissan have also discussed selling energy-storage battery packs, but not on the same scale as Tesla.

Other automakers have also experimented with alternative uses for electric-car batteries. Nissan plans to use Leaf batteries to power streetlights in a Japanese town devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that struck the country in 2011. Nissan partner Renault is using second-life batteries as part of its “Smart Island” project off the coast of Portugal. General Motors and Toyota have used batteries from the Chevrolet Volt and Camry Hybrid, respectively, in small-scale projects.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsHyundai Will Use ‘Second-Life’ Electric Car Batteries for Energy Storage

50MWh Battery Completed in Germany, Claims ‘Europe’s Largest’ Crown

on June 26, 2018

Energy-Storage-NewsJardelund, Germany, is now host to what is currently Europe’s largest battery energy storage system, a 50MWh project completed and announced just a few days ago by NEC Energy Solutions.

The customer, EnspireME, is a joint venture (JV) involving Dutch renewables company Eneco and Japan’s industrial conglomerate Mitsubishi Corporation. Power stored in the batteries can either be sold in Germany’s weekly primary reserve control markets to grid operators who would then use it to provide the balancing power, or the system’s operators and owners could directly use it to provide primary control reserve, where it can be used in direct competition with coal and gas.

While original plans for the installation involved surplus wind energy being stored in the batteries, the latest update from NEC ES said only that Eneco and Mitsubishi are set to investigate connecting the Jardelund battery system to the output of local windfarms. Electricity would be stored in periods of curtailment, where wind energy is ‘throttled down’ from entering the grid due to temporary oversupply.

The whole 48MW / 50MWh project apparently took NEC ES around eight months to complete, according to Eneco director for Generation and Storage, Hugo Buis, who said he was “very impressed” with the integrator’s efforts. Energy-Storage.news first reported on the project in April last year.

“This investment in energy storage will generate revenue for Eneco and Mitsubishi Corporation in the primary reserve market and also demonstrate the economic benefits of pairing energy storage with renewables, first proven with solar and now with the abundant wind generators in the Jardelund region,” NEC ES CEO Steve Fludder said.

NEC ES provided full EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) services including delivery of its adaptable Grid Storage Solution (GSS) and energy storage system controls software, AEROS. The installation uses around 10,000 lithium-ion battery modules.

The news comes shortly after NEC ES was announced as supplier to a 20MW battery storage project in the UK for Danish company Ørsted.

Earlier this year, in an interview with NEC ES’ Steve Fludder, the CEO said that in his estimation, a successful future for the energy industry would be centred around the creation of ‘enterprise platforms’ enabling asset owners and system owners to capture value across the whole marketplace.

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Fractal Energy Storage Consultants50MWh Battery Completed in Germany, Claims ‘Europe’s Largest’ Crown