Sharing Batteries For Grid Services Could Net US$2,500 Discounts For EDF’s UK Customers

on November 30, 2018

Energy-Storage-NewsEDF Energy, one of the UK’s ‘Big Six’ major energy suppliers, is seeking to build a portfolio of domestic batteries to take into energy services markets by offering discounted energy storage units to consumers via a new partnership with manufacturer Powervault.

The pair are offering existing solar PV owners as much as £2,000 (US$2,550) off the cost of a home battery system if they sign up to EDF Energy grid services. If taken up, this will allow the energy stored in a Powervault 3 battery to form part of an aggregated network that can be used to help balance the grid.

This pool of battery capacity will be used to support the grid at times of peak energy demand and to distribute excess energy to the batteries to store when there is more energy being generated than required.

Discounts of £1,560 and £2,060 will be available on Powervault’s 4.1kWh and 8.2kWh batteries respectively until 31 March 2019, although this date is subject to change in response to demand or changes in the market

Consumers will need to sign up to a 10-year contract with EDF Energy as part of this offer, however the supplier has stressed that the grid services contract is completely separate to an energy supply contract

“The customer does not have to buy their energy, or receive the feed in tariff payments from EDF Energy,” it told Current±.

On top of the savings available on these upfront costs, Powervault says customers who’ve installed a Powervault 3 to store solar energy can expect to save up to 50% on their energy bills.

Jean-Benoit Ritz, director of innovation and Blue Lab at EDF Energy, said: “As the UK transitions to a low carbon future, we are seeing fantastic opportunities for consumers to be involved in this journey.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsSharing Batteries For Grid Services Could Net US$2,500 Discounts For EDF’s UK Customers

Stakeholders Press MISO on Storage Role

on November 30, 2018

RTO-InsiderCARMEL, Ind. — Storage is glaringly absent from MISO’s potential plans to manage a possible 40% renewable penetration on the grid, stakeholders told the RTO this week.

During a Nov. 28 workshop to discuss its ongoing findings on the impact of increased renewable integration, MISO suggested using computer-optimized transmission buildout and more pronounced ramping from remaining conventional generation to respond to a 40% renewable resource mix.

MISO last month said it would need to take significant steps to reinforce its grid to handle a 40% penetration comprising 75% wind and 25% solar. The RTO said it found a possible “inflection point” at 40% and that it would be difficult to operate within system limits at that point. (See Study: MISO Grid Needs Work at 40% Renewables.) Its multiyear study seeks to determine what the grid needs to maintain the planning reserve margin, operate within the physical limits of the system and support voltage and frequency.

MISO’s renewable penetration currently stands at about 10%. Findings issued last month indicate the RTO could reliably absorb a 20% renewable penetration without damaging frequency response. (See MISO: 20% Renewable Limit for Adequate Frequency Response.)

But at 40% renewables, MISO has found that renewable curtailment becomes more pronounced during shoulder months, though wind curtailment would occur in every hour during an average day, except in summer. It would also confront significant stability issues.

During the Nov. 28 workshop, MISO policy studies engineer Maire Boese said the RTO will likely need to rely on transmission solutions to keep the majority of the renewable energy deliverable to load at the 40% level.

“We want to make sure energy reaches load instead of seeing it be curtailed or not dispatched,” Boese said.

Transmission planning can also become more influenced by computing power and mathematic modeling, MISO concluded.

Yifan Li, of MISO’s policy studies group, said that even with the modeling process, “engineering judgment and human experience” are still the driving factors behind selecting transmission project candidates, although that is changing.

“We’re getting to a point where we can seek some help from computers … to find transmission solutions,” Li said.

Such an automated process led MISO to identify about 80 potential new transmission candidates, down from a pool of about 11,300, he said. The additional transmission would cut down on curtailments and make renewables more deliverable to load, MISO said last month.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsStakeholders Press MISO on Storage Role

Report: Johnson Controls, Toshiba Team Up To Make Lithium Ion Batteries

on November 30, 2018

Seeking-AlphaJohnson Controls (NYSE:JCI) and Toshiba (OTCPK:TOSBF, OTCPK:TOSYY) are planning to work together in developing and manufacturing lithium ion batteries, Argus reports, amid a growing shift to electric vehicles from vehicles running on fossil fuels.

Toshiba and JCI’s power solutions unit will cooperate in building a lithium ion battery business, using existing lead-acid battery technology as part of dual-battery systems, at JCI’s plant in Michigan, according to the report.

The companies will aim to achieve higher efficiency, less complexity and lower costs in combining their developed technologies.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsReport: Johnson Controls, Toshiba Team Up To Make Lithium Ion Batteries

Look Out, Cleantech, There’s a New Billionaire in Town

on November 29, 2018

Greentech-MediaA handful of billionaires have shaped and guided the cleantech industry’s development: Elon Musk through his chaotic but visionary leadership; Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos with their moonshot investments.

Now there’s a new billionaire in town.

In just a few months, surgeon and medical entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong announced his acquisitions of two energy storage companies: Fluidic, the exotic zinc-air battery company with 3,000 systems deployed in remote areas, and Sharp’s commercial storage development unit, dubbed SmartStorage. They are now reconstituted as NantEnergy.

An investor with billions of dollars at hand could look elsewhere for surefire profits. The storage industry remains small, and the long-duration sector has been marked by many failures and few outright successes.

“What I saw, frankly, was the impact this would make,” Soon-Shiong told GTM earlier this month. “It wasn’t a true business analysis, [like] ‘What’s the return?’ If it was successful, the return organically would be fantastic. If it weren’t successful, it’s binary, as most of these companies have shown.”

Now he will set about making his mark on the cleantech industry, which has long grappled with the “valley of death” that cleaves promising hardware from fully capitalized commercial deployment. Great personal wealth may succeed where venture capital largely has not.

Science-based business

Soon-Shiong intends to participate in NantEnergy beyond mere financial backing.

“I don’t see myself as a financier; I see myself as a partner in the scientific challenge to make a difference,” he explained.

In particular, Soon-Shiong wants to contribute to Fluidic’s battery technology based on his long and fruitful relationship with zinc. That’s not something one typically hears from investors on Wall Street or Sand Hill Road.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsLook Out, Cleantech, There’s a New Billionaire in Town

Tesla Powerwall & Sono Motors Solar Car Pricing Up Due to Energy Storage Demand

on November 29, 2018

PV-MagazineThere is very strong demand for energy storage products. Homeowners  in Hawaii and California are buying heavily, while broadly, residential solar customers show a very high level of interestin the product.

There are also potential issues on the supply side. Tesla has stated explicitly that selling electric cars is more important to them than energy storage, and that it would shut down Powerwall battery cell lines to make then Model 3 battery cell lines.

With that, we now are seeing reports of Tesla and Sono Motors, a European company which hopes to launch an solar powered electric car soon, increasing the pricing on their products.

Per Electrek, the 13.5 kWh Powerwall II increased in price from $5,900, to $6,700, and supporting hardware increased from $700 to $1,100. The supporting hardware, in other sources, was noted as the Backup Gateway 2. This product was released in Australia first because market economics and policy there, much like Hawaii and California, mean energy storage is a financially sound investment.

Sono Motors has increased the price on their electric cars because they found that the projections of future battery prices falling that they’d made were turning out to be a bit optimistic. The company increased its battery price projections from $4,500, to $10,700.

This pv magazine author has, anecodtally, been given six to nine month delivery times frames for smaller energy storage products to customers.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsTesla Powerwall & Sono Motors Solar Car Pricing Up Due to Energy Storage Demand

South Australia is Fueling Energy Storage Investment

on November 29, 2018

Ars-TechnicaIn September, South Australia confirmed a plan to set up an AU$100 million (USD $72 million) fund to help households purchase home energy storage batteries. Households could receive subsidies of up to AU$6,000 (USD $4,300) on a purchase of a battery that would store electricity either from a solar-panel system or from the South Australian grid. The electricity could then be used during an emergency or a blackout.

After a year as the home of the world’s largest grid-tied battery (built by Tesla), South Australia is becoming a hub for battery investment.

Other, non-Tesla battery makers are taking note. This week, German battery maker Sonnen started producing batteries at an old GM Holden factory in Elizabeth, South Australia. Sonnen has long experience in the home energy storage market, deploying batteries for German households before Tesla announced its Powerwall. Now, it intends to use its Elizabeth factory to produce batteries not only for South Australians who hope to take advantage of the government’s new subsidies but also to ship home storage batteries to other places in the Asia market, according to PV Magazine.

On Twitter, South Australia Premier Steven Marshall wrote, “Today marks the start of an exciting new era for the former GM Holden factory at Elizabeth. Energy storage giant @sonnenAustralia will assemble and manufacture 50,000 home batteries at the site, creating more than 400 #SAjobs in this emerging sector.”

The premier has pushed for his AU$100 million battery subsidy since taking office in early 2018, seemingly to the exclusion of a “virtual power plant” idea that had been pitched by Tesla and accepted by the previous premier of the state. Marshall’s plan aims to help 40,000 South Australia homes purchase a battery, which need not be from any one battery maker.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsSouth Australia is Fueling Energy Storage Investment

How Battery Storage is Changing the Renewable Energy Game

on November 29, 2018

Creamer-MediaThe mass adoption and implementation of solar energy in South African homes and businesses has been rapidly increasing over the past few years. But, going completely “off grid” has so far been held back by the expense of storing power from renewable sources.

But this is changing, as the technology is available, and becoming more affordable, for dramatically reducing the reliance on state utility, Eskom, for electricity in South Africa.

While solar energy is an ample resource in this country, the real game-changer will be the ability to store the power generated by day, for consistent use around the clock, says Dominic Wills, CEO of SOLA Future Energy.

Wills says solar and storage are becoming more sought-after for businesses in South Africa, which are facing escalating cost pressures from ever-increasing Eskom tariffs.

He says recent advances in battery technology, and the rapid decrease in costs of such storage components, has meant that the time has come to leave the national grid entirely, particularly for businesses.

“In the past, when power was needed, it was provided by baseload power, created by non-renewable energy sources that were burnt to produce power in response to the demand. For generations, we didn’t focus on developing the technology necessary to store power because fossil fuels were seen as endless sources of power,” Wills explains.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsHow Battery Storage is Changing the Renewable Energy Game

Congress Urged To Give Energy Storage Same Tax Incentives As Wind And Solar

on November 29, 2018

A coalition of lobby groups from the breadth of the US clean energy industry is pressing Congress to make standalone energy storage project eligible for investment tax credits (ITC).

The credits, awarded at a rate of 30%, lit the fuse for US wind and solar power projects and could in theory grease the wheels of the nascent sector.

At the moment, there is ambiguity over the eligibility of storage equipment when paired with solar, wind or other compatible technologies. It does not qualify in its own right.

The letter gently reminds its targets that Energy Secretary Rick Perry described energy storage as “the holy grail”. Groups including the Energy Storage Association (ESA) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) signed the letter to the leaders of both Houses. It states:

Energy storage systems are critical to modernization of the electric grid. The National Governors Association has underscored the multiple benefits of energy storage to save utilities, businesses, and households money while enhancing grid reliability and resilience. Energy storage systems are also fuel-neutral and help any generation resource connected to the grid – coal, gas, nuclear, wind, solar, hydro – become more efficient, productive, and competitive. The energy storage industry supports over 90,000 jobs today and has significant room to grow.

The legislation, Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act (S. 1868 and H.R. 4649), has support across the aisle and covers energy storage technologies in all its current viable forms. That ever-growing list includes the familiar Lithium-ion batteries at the heart of Tesla’s Powerwall as well pumped hydro, flywheels, hydrogen and more.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsCongress Urged To Give Energy Storage Same Tax Incentives As Wind And Solar

Vattenfall Pilots High Temperature Steel With up to 48hrs Energy Storage Duration

on November 29, 2018 has heard from the founder and CEO of start-up Lumenion that the company’s technology, now being trialled in Germany by Vattenfall, can store energy in steel structures for up to 48 hours.

At the end of October, Lumenion announced that a 2.4MWh steel-based thermal energy storage system will go into operation in Berlin through Vattenfall Energy Solutions and Gewobag, a municipal housing company. The company claims it can provide low-cost energy storage on combined heat & power (CHP) principles, using steel as the medium. The steel modules store energy thermally at up to 650 degrees Celsius and the system is then capable on conversion of outputting around two parts heat to one part electricity.

The system will absorb power generated by local renewables plants, wind and solar, and store it at a claimed cost of less than €0.02 per kWh. While it could output all of the stored energy as heat, it can also be converted back into power and heat using steam engines.

CEO Alexander Voigt told that Lumenion is producing a ‘bulk storage’ technology, developed with a “view to economically shift large amounts of renewable energy – and to integrate it effectively into our energy system. Voigt said it is “much simpler – and thus also cheaper than batteries.”

“Which is why we see it as a compliment to – rather than a replacement of – batteries,” he said.

“Steel storage is well suited for providing the ‘heavy lifting’, i.e. to quickly absorb large amounts of renewable energy when the production peaks occur, to store those peaks for two cents per kWh or less, and then provide the energy continuously for many hours or even days. Batteries, on the other hand, provide the precision round the edges – frequency regulation, voltage control, black start capability and the rest.”

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsVattenfall Pilots High Temperature Steel With up to 48hrs Energy Storage Duration

US Congress Urged to Clarify Eligibility of Energy Storage for ITC

on November 28, 2018

Energy-Storage-NewsThe US government has been urged to recognise the “critical role” energy storage can play in making the grid cleaner and able to accept more renewable energy, by increasing the eligibility of batteries and other technologies to receive the Investment Tax Credit (ITC).

The ITC is applicable to purchases of solar energy equipment in the US and effectively represents a 30% rebate for investors if fully realised. In recent years the policy scheme has been adjusted to include energy storage but for a long time, storage systems could only receive the Federal subsidy if installed at the same time as solar equipment.

However, a bill proposed in 2016 by Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, S.1868, would amend revenue codes to apply either the ITC, similar tax relief measures or include energy stored in batteries, flywheels and pumped hydro in ‘Energy Credits’ policies. Heinrich’s “Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act of 2017″ would therefore see storage units rewarded for the energy they put into service on the grid and now has 11 co-sponsors from the Senate.

Yesterday, a joint letter was sent by the national Energy Storage Association (ESA), Solar Energy Industries’ Association (SEIA), American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), National Electrical Manufacturers’ Association (NEMA), National Hydropower Association, Clearpath Action and Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions urging Congress to support these actions.

Addressed to Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer, the groups urged Congress to include clarification of the ITC issue as pertains to energy storage as eligible under two tax codes, Sections 48 and 25. Referring to the bicameral and bipartisan support of the 11 co-sponsors, the authors described S.1686 as a “common-sense bill” which would “ensure a level playing field” for storage to compete with other ITC-eligible resources.

“Without clear statutory rules, energy storage industry members face continuing uncertainty from IRS guidance about the eligibility of energy storage equipment for Section 48 and 25 tax credits when paired with ITC-eligible resources,” the letter stated.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsUS Congress Urged to Clarify Eligibility of Energy Storage for ITC