New England Talks Solar, Storage and Public Policy

on December 18, 2018

RTO-InsiderBOSTON — Growing solar generation will be able to meet a third of peak load in Massachusetts in a few years, but as the grid is reaching the saturation point in certain areas, policymakers are looking to energy storage to help address some of the challenges.

“The grid was not initially designed for this much distributed energy … and we never envisioned 90,000 power plants out there,” Commissioner Judith Judson of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources said Friday at the 160th New England Electricity Restructuring Roundtable run by Raab Associates.

Judson said the state now has more than 89,000 installed solar projects totaling more than 2,300 MW in each of its 351 cities and towns.

On Nov. 26, it launched the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program, which provides incentives for projects on brownfields, landfills, parking lots and rooftops. “SMART provides a fixed revenue stream to reduce the cost of the program, and we are the first state in the nation to have a solar-plus-storage incentive,” Judson said.

It took the state a long time to launch the program because “we have a regulatory process in DOER and in the Department of Public Utilities, plus heavy stakeholder engagement,” Judson said. “But we’ve had over 2,850 applications for 650 MW in capacity submitted so far and $4.7 billion in cost savings to ratepayers compared to earlier solar programs, so I think it’s made for a better program.”

On Dec. 12, the state issued its Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP), including a provision for the state’s utilities to procure a combined 200 MWh of energy storage by 2020. (See Massachusetts Deploys Utility-Scale Energy Storage.)

Transition in Connecticut
“The grid modernization proceeding [Case 17-2-03] in Connecticut is a really promising opportunity,” said Mary Sotos, deputy commissioner of the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsNew England Talks Solar, Storage and Public Policy

New York Announces Increased Energy Efficiency & Energy Storage Targets

on December 18, 2018

WindpowerNew York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the New York State Public Service Commission approved two initiatives to dramatically increase New York’s energy efficiency and energy storage targets to combat climate change. The new energy efficiency target for investor-owned utilities will more than double utility energy efficiency progress by 2025, reducing the state’s energy consumption by the equivalent of fueling and powering 1.8 million homes.

The energy storage initiative sets New York on a trajectory to achieve 1,500 MW of storage by 2025, which is enough electricity to power 1.2 million homes, and up to 3,000 MW by 2030. First announced as part of the Governor’s 2018 State of the State clean energy agenda, these energy efficiency and energy storage targets are vital to meeting New York’s clean energy goals.

“As the federal government continues to ignore the real and imminent dangers of climate change, New York is aggressively pursuing clean energy alternatives to protect our environment and conserve resources,” Governor Cuomo said. “These unprecedented energy efficiency and energy storage targets will set a standard for the rest of the nation to follow, while supporting and creating jobs in these cutting-edge renewable industries.”

“We’re investing in projects and programs to advance our aggressive energy goals across the state,” added Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “While the federal government has turned its back on energy initiatives to reduce consumption and greenhouse gases, New York is leading the nation to ensure a cleaner and greener environment for future generations and combat climate change.”

Energy storage
In June, Governor Cuomo announced the State’s plan to jumpstart the development of energy storage in New York, calling for the deployment of 1,500 MW of energy storage by 2025, or enough electricity for 1.2 million average sized homes, while avoiding more than one million tons of carbon pollution.

To achieve the Governor’s goal, the Commission today adopted a comprehensive strategy to address barriers that have been impeding energy storage technologies from competing in the energy marketplace. These actions are intended to accelerate the market learning curve, drive down costs, and speed the deployment of the highest-value energy storage projects for maximum benefit to New Yorkers and the electric grid.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsNew York Announces Increased Energy Efficiency & Energy Storage Targets

New South Wales Approves 492MW of Solar and 100MWh of Battery Storage

on December 14, 2018

PV-TechThe New South Wales Department of Planning & Environment has approved three separate solar projects amounting to 492MW capacity, including one project with 100MWh of battery storage.

Wagga Wagga

It has approved the construction of a new 47MW solar farm in Gregadoo, Wagga Wagga, providing more than 150 construction jobs over the coming year.

Director of Resource Assessments, Clay Preshaw, said the AU$61 million facility will be able to power more than 17,500 homes each year and provide a significant economic boost to Wagga Wagga’s local economy.

The project is being managed by Green Switch  Australia  (GSA).


The Department has also approved the AU$262 million, 170MW Suntop Solar Farm project in the state’s Central West, 10 kilometres west of Wellington, which will power up to 70,000 homes and provide up to 250 jobs during construction.

The project will be developed by Photon Energy Australia.


The Department has also approved the AU$407 million, 275MW solar farm at Darlington Point near Griffith, including a 100MWh battery energy storage system, which will power over 130,000 homes each year and provide up to 300 jobs during and after construction.

The project is being developed by Edify Energy.

To date, the NSW Government and independent regional planning panels have approved a total of 50 large-scale solar projects across the state

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsNew South Wales Approves 492MW of Solar and 100MWh of Battery Storage

UK Water Utility Pilots Revenue-Sharing Battery Storage Projects

on December 14, 2018

Energy-Storage-NewsUK water utility Northumbrian Water is to pilot the use of battery storage units at a number of its sites under a new revenue-sharing partnership with developer Argonaut Power.

The terms of the agreement will see Argonaut oversee the installation of second-life Renault EV batteries, with all engineering work conducted by Connected Energy. Argonaut and Connected Energy announced their ongoing partnership in September, with Connected’s specialties including the production of E-STOR, storage system architecture based on the repurposed Renault batteries.

Argonaut Power is to act as the operator and manager of the completed projects, and will fully fund the installations under an installation and revenue sharing contract that is expected to be signed in the next fortnight.

The utility serves around 4.4 million people in the UK with water and wastewater treatment, supplying just over 1 billion litres of water each day.

Meanwhile, Ikigai Capital, a strategic advisor for the project, has been responsible for creating the pilot scheme’s financial structure.

While no specific details around the size, scale or number of installs has been released, a spokesperson for Argonaut parent Ingenious confirmed to our sister site Solar Power Portal that the parties are investigating the potential for storage at nine particular sites and the batteries are expected to be in the megawatt scale. All installs are expected to complete by autumn 2019.

Roberto Castiglioni, managing director at Argonaut, said: “We believe we have created something unique and innovative through a combination of technical and financial engineering. As far as we know, we’re the only fully-funded solution offering 30-year storage installations to C&I customers under a revenue sharing agreement, boosting site profitability.”

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsUK Water Utility Pilots Revenue-Sharing Battery Storage Projects

New York PSC Sets State’s Energy Storage Target at 3 GW by 2030

on December 14, 2018

Utility-DiveThere was a great deal of debate running up to the release of New York’s energy storage target on the PSC decision. When New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced New York’s energy storage Roadmap this summer he called for a 1,500 MW by 2025 target, but several analysts said the target could be twice as high.

The PSC ended up going with the higher number.

By comparison, California has a 1,300 MW by 2020 target. Massachusetts regulators are considering a policy that would raise the state’s existing 200 MWh storage target to 2,000 MW by 2025. And New Jersey recently adopted a 2,000 MW by 2030 energy storage target.

The PSC’s decision was based on analysis done by Acelerex. When the consulting firm modeled an aggressive timeline for retiring all pre-1990 combustion turbine peaking units in New York City and Long Island by 2025, resulting in 3,600 MW of energy storage being deployed in the state by 2030.

But in its decision, the PSC said while energy storage can play a “critical role” in providing peaking services, “it is not practical to suggest that storage may be the only solution in reducing the need for peaking generating units.” Consequently, the PSC set its target below the 3,600 MW mark.

The commission said it is “timely and necessary” to adopt an energy storage goal of 1,500 MW by 2025 and an “aspirational deployment goal” of 3,000 MW by 2030.

And, to speed deployment, the commission ordered the state’s six investor owned utilities (IOUs) to directly procure energy storage resources on the state’s bulk power system via competitive solicitation and have the facilities in service by Dec. 31, 2022.

The order calls for Consolidated Edison to procure 300 MW of energy storage and the other IOUs to procure at least 10 MW each.

Con Ed was singled out to carry the biggest portion of the procurements because analysis showed that the biggest opportunities were in the utility’s territory, according to an energy storage expert who is not authorized to make public statements.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsNew York PSC Sets State’s Energy Storage Target at 3 GW by 2030

US: Top Senate Democrat Calls For Permanent Renewable Energy, Storage, EV Tax Credits

on December 12, 2018

PV-MagazineThe 115th U.S. Congress has not even adjourned for the winter, and already a newly resurgent Democratic Party is making demands that reflect its majority status in the U.S. House come January.

Climate appears to be near the top of the list. Last Thursday, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the Democratic Leader in the Senate, sent a letter to President Trump demanding that any infrastructure package taken up in 2019 include “policies and funding to transition to a clean energy economy and mitigate the risks that the United States is already facing due to climate change.”

And in a list of policies that Schumer says should be included, the top item is “permanent tax incentives for domestic production of clean electricity and storage, energy efficient homes and commercial buildings, electric vehicles, and modernizing the electric grid.”

In concrete terms, this could mean an extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar and energy storage, the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind and the federal electric vehicle (EV) tax credit.

Pressure from the Left

This strong statement on climate change, clean energy and infrastructure investment comes as at least 30 incoming members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed onto a call for the creation of a committee to explore a “Green New Deal” and to move the nation to 100% renewable energy by 2030.*

It also comes as Schumer has come under fire by activists for rumors that he plans to replace Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) with coal state Democrat Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) as the top Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

As such, one possible way to read these moves is that centrist leaders like Schumer are responding to pressure from an energized and newly elected Left wing of the Democratic Party. It is notable that Schumer’s program includes many of the aims of the Green New Deal, while avoiding any explicit use of that phrase.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsUS: Top Senate Democrat Calls For Permanent Renewable Energy, Storage, EV Tax Credits

5 Predictions For The Global Energy Storage Market in 2019

on December 12, 2018

Greentech-Media2018 has been a big, yet bumpy, year for the U.S. energy storage market. We’ve seen huge increases in behind-the-meter installations in homes and businesses, but also supply bottlenecks and policy uncertainties that restrained larger-scale battery installations.

How are these trends likely to play out next year?

That’s the topic that Ravi Manghani, energy storage research director at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, took up in Tuesday’s opening presentation at Greentech Media’s annual Energy Storage Summit in San Francisco. Manghani sketched out the key developments of 2018, and made five “bold, and not so bold,” predictions for what will be different in 2019.

The first is that utility-scale energy storage installations, after seeing a drop in the first three quarters of 2018 compared to last year, will pick up again next year. As Manghani noted, the front-of-meter battery market is inherently a lumpy one, with one or two massive projects dominating annual figures.

But there’s also been a policy issue holding up utility-scale storage this year, Manghani said. The uncertainty over how the nation’s grid operators are going to implement Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order 841, approved in February has stalled projects. Order 841 broadly directs grid operators to create market mechanisms that accommodate batteries’ unique abilities to both charge and discharge from the grid, and ramp up and down at speeds that traditional generators can’t match. But the details of how each ISO and RTO plans to implement FERC’s requirements has been the subject of much debate in the energy industry, as we’ve noted in ongoing coverage of the various straw proposals coming out over the past few months.

With grid operators finally filing their official Order 841 compliance plans with FERC this month, the energy storage industry now has a much more complete picture of how each grid operator is planning to move forward. While the Energy Storage Alliance (ESA) does have complaints about these final plans, indicating there’s more debate ahead, opening up Order 841-mandated market changes this year is still expected to open a massive new set of opportunities to serve in wholesale energy and ancillary services markets.

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Fractal Energy Storage Consultants5 Predictions For The Global Energy Storage Market in 2019

JP Morgan Buys Into 10.7GW Solar-Plus-Storage Pipeline

on December 12, 2018

Energy-Storage-News8minutenergy Renewables, J.P. Morgan Asset Management and an affiliate of Upper Bay Infrastructure Partners have entered into a joint venture that will provide equity capital for 8minutenergy’s 10.7GW portfolio of utility PV and storage projects.

This joint venture, along with investment from 8minutenergy CEO, Tom Buttgenbach, provides over US$200 million in capital commitments.

8minutenergy is wholly owned by Buttgenbach and his management team as of 6 December 2018. Buttgenbach, who co-founded 8minutenergy in 2009, led a management buyout of the shares of fellow co-founder Martin Hermann last week.

Buttgenbach noted: “We thank J.P. Morgan and Upper Bay for bringing the long-term focus and financial resources to enable us to unleash the full potential of our pipeline and incredibly talented team.

“We have been the largest and most successful solar developer in California, and have expanded our cost leadership across the US, developing a solar and storage project pipeline of 10.7GW. A testament to our low-cost leadership is the 420MW Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar plant in Nevada, which at 2.3 cents/kWh fixed for 25 years, holds the record for lowest-price solar PPA in the nation. In Texas, which is a purely price-driven competitive market, we will start construction of our 280MW Holstein 1 power plant in the second quarter of 2019.”

Michael Lehman, managing director and portfolio manager of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, said: “We’ve been very impressed with the 8minutenergy team and their ability to deliver sustainable returns through their utility-scale solar projects. 8minutenergy has a premier development process that consistently delivers attractive solar projects with long-term, contracted cash flows.”

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsJP Morgan Buys Into 10.7GW Solar-Plus-Storage Pipeline

LONGi President Speaks on the Combination of PV and Energy Storage as Ultimate Energy Solution at 24th Conference of the Parties to UNFCCC

on December 11, 2018

KATOWICE, Poland, Dec. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The combination of photovoltaics (PV) and energy storage will become the ultimate energy solution for mankind, said Li Zhenguo, president of LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd, a world-leading manufacturer of monocrystalline silicon PV products. Li made the remarks on Tuesday at a sideline event during the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Katowice, Poland.

“The most effective way to get global warming under control is to install a power system entirely based on renewable energy,” said Li, predicting that PV will be the cheapest power source in most parts of the world in the next two or three years, due to the rapid development of PV technologies and the continuous fall in production costs.

He added that electricity storage can help offset solar fluctuations, making the combination of PV and energy storage the major energy solution within ten years. “Energy storage technologies such as pumped hydroelectric storage (PHS), chemical energy storage, and electric vehicle-to-grid energy storage have been advancing rapidly. In addition, power will be better shared as a result of the global energy internet,” Li added.

In an effort to create the least carbon footprint, LONGi is using hydropower to produce monocrystalline silicon ingots and wafers in its bases in Yunnan Province of China and Kuching of Malaysia, where this type of clean energy is abundant.

Speaking of future plans, Li said LONGi will implement the “solar for solar” strategy, a business mode to power PV production entirely by solar energy. The company plans to build PV and PHS power plants in coastal areas with abundant sunlight and topographic drop to supply electricity for its solar product plants.

The sideline event was held to call for international cooperation in promoting the use of clean energy to tackle climate change.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsLONGi President Speaks on the Combination of PV and Energy Storage as Ultimate Energy Solution at 24th Conference of the Parties to UNFCCC

AWEA Supports Stand-Alone Energy Storage Tax Credit

on December 11, 2018

WindpowerMaking stand-alone energy storage systems eligible for a federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) would create jobs and help modernize the U.S. electricity grid, according to over 150 companies and industry groups representing storage, wind, solar, hydro, manufacturing and other sectors.

Today, these businesses issued a letter to Congressional leadership in support of The Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act (S. 1868 & H.R. 4649), which would ensure a level playing field for energy storage to compete with all other energy resources currently eligible for the ITC.

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) signed onto the letter and issued the following statement in support:

“Energy storage technology will play an important role as we build an even more affordable and reliable electricity grid for the 21st Century,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “We’re asking Congress to reduce uncertainty for investors by creating a stand-alone energy storage ITC for which all storage technologies can qualify. A level playing field for the full range of storage technologies will ensure consumers benefit from competition and will boost job-creating investment in infrastructure projects, including new opportunities for wind farm development.”

Energy storage technologies — including batteries, flywheels, pumped hydro, thermal storage, compressed air, and others — are a source of reliability services and flexibility when connected to the grid as an independent resource or when paired with any energy source. Current law only allows energy storage to qualify for an ITC when paired with a solar project under certain circumstances.

Storage is a foundational component of a more robust electric grid, helping to balance power supply and demand instantaneously by storing electricity from low-cost energy sources and releasing that power during periods of high demand. When emergencies strike, energy storage can provide invaluable storm resiliency and backup power.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsAWEA Supports Stand-Alone Energy Storage Tax Credit