Con Edison Pilots New Approach To Increasing Battery Storage On Its Grid

on March 27, 2019

A new 1 MW / 1 MWh battery is expected to come online in Consolidated Edison’s territory next month, the first of several the New York City utility will roll out as part of a demonstration project that challenges the definition of energy innovation: sometimes it’s a new technology, other times it’s a real estate deal.

The project takes a new approach to developing energy storage for peak shaving and other grid benefits: rather than search for customers with the perfect load to also benefit and co-own the asset, ConEd tasked distributed generation developer GI Energy with finding under-utilized real estate to lease.

The utility gave GI a list of locations on its grid where batteries could provide a benefit, and the company took care of project development and customer acquisition.

“The conventional behind-the-meter (BTM) model is basically arbitraging utility tariffs,” GI Energy Director of Analytics James Robinson told Utility Dive. “It works but it has some limitations.”

The arrangement with GI utilizes a new type of dispatch and ownership arrangement the company says can help knock down barriers to locating batteries in some areas, particularly where real estate is expensive.

A more traditional battery solution might leverage customer-owned BTM storage assets, but that can be limiting — the utility must find the right customer in the right location with the right peak demand, in order for project economics to work out. And even then, the BTM storage assets tend to be smaller.

A new approach
ConEd’s Commercial Battery Storage (CBS) project takes a new approach, utilizing a third-party to locate and lease appropriate real estate for batteries — with the utility holding primary dispatch rights.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsCon Edison Pilots New Approach To Increasing Battery Storage On Its Grid

After Lithium… More Lithium? Inside 24M’s Semi-Solid Battery Play

on March 26, 2019

24M, a US company developing novel lithium battery technology based on semi-solid materials, argues that the remaining runway for lithium batteries – the time during which the technology will continue its rollout as the mainstream choice for both EVs and stationary storage – is plentiful. In other words, the dominant technology of today will likely still be the dominant technology of tomorrow – only better.

Last week reported that by separating the compositional materials used for the catholytes and anolytes of a lithium cell, the team at 24M had achieved an energy density exceeding 350Wh per kg, with a view to establishing a 100MW production line for pilot projects “by the end of this year”.

While admitting that commercialisation remains an estimated two to three years away, 24M, spun out of an MIT laboratory by founder Yet Ming Chiang to investigate solid state and now semi-solid lithium battery materials, claims its latest ‘breakthrough’, Dual Electrolyte Technology, heralds a new era to come for advanced lithium batteries. Andy Colthorpe spoke to some of the company’s leadership team to find out more.

According to Rick Feldt, 24M president and CEO, Rich Chelbowski, CFO, and to senior director of products Joe Adiletta, the Dual Electrolyte tech is one of the “layers of improvements” that the company’s battery manufacturing platforms could add to both LFP (lithium iron phosphate) batteries for stationary storage applications and NMC (nickel manganese cobalt) for mobility applications.

Advanced energy storage projects, mainly using lithium batteries, began to take off after a fairly extended period of demonstrations and pilot projects. Will it be a similar run-in towards commercialisation for semi-solid batteries?

Rich Chlebowski, CFO: For the grid storage space, we’re working on this through one of our partners… they have been in discussion with a number of customers to leverage this output [from our forthcoming 100MW production line]. We have a number of customers that have expressed a lot of interest because of the approach and the potential for very low-cost, high-performance lithium batteries with the semi-solid approach. They have a strong interest in procuring and buying, but more on the demonstration level.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsAfter Lithium… More Lithium? Inside 24M’s Semi-Solid Battery Play

UK Businesses Offered Fully Funded Solar Energy And Storage Solution

on March 26, 2019

Statkraft has announced a new partnership with redT to provide a fully financed solar and storage solution with 100% renewable energy for businesses in the UK.

Claimed to be the first offering of its kind in the country, the solution is expected to enable businesses to save up to 20% on their bills over the next 25 years.

Statkraft will provide a long term corporate power purchase agreement (PPA) for the solar and battery storage technology, alongside a 100% renewable supply deal from its subsidiary, Bryt Energy, for the remaining power required from the grid.

Solar panels will be combined with redT flow machines without the need for any upfront costs, while Statkraft will also seek to incorporate them into its virtual power plant (VPP) and offer flexibility optimisation services.

The initial phase of the partnership is targeting up to 10MW of solar and 6MWh of energy storage, scaling over three years to 100MW of solar and 60MWh of storage.

Andy Cooper, Head of UK Downstream for Statkraft said: “We are excited to be working with redT energy to provide an attractive combination of renewable energy and long duration energy storage for our customers – we believe our funded solution really enables customers to take advantage of more zero carbon renewable energy, matching it to when it is needed most.

“The partnership with redT enables Statkraft and Bryt Energy to offer additional options that will benefit customers, incorporating storage, renewable energy solutions, advanced asset optimisation and trading within a VPP.”

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsUK Businesses Offered Fully Funded Solar Energy And Storage Solution

Switzerland Installs Its Largest Energy Storage System

on March 26, 2019

The largest power distribution company in Switzerland has installed the country’s largest energy storage system.

Elektrizitätswerke des Kantons Zürich (EKZ) now owns and operates 18MW/7.5MWh grid storage solution system installed by NEC Energy Solutions.

The energy storage system is located at an existing substation in Volketswil, near Zurich and will be used for primary frequency reserve and ancillary services.

The energy storage system will ensure the reliability of the grid during times when energy demand is high through the storage of electricity when the grid is stable and supply during peak periods.

The system will provide energy equivalent of the daily electricity consumption of 600 average four-person households and is expected to have a payback of 5-7 years.

Marina González Vayá, energy storage specialist at EKZ, said: “Battery storage is a vital part of future energy supply.

“The now-completed storage system contributes to the stability of continental Europe’s power grid.”

The project is part of efforts by EKZ to modernise its grid network and enable the integration of more renewable energy resources.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsSwitzerland Installs Its Largest Energy Storage System

Tesla Rivals Close To Commercializing New Lithium-Ion Battery Technology

on March 25, 2019

The lithium-ion battery technology, introduced in 1991, has since become the only choice and a standard to power electric cars and smartphones. Many industries are joining the trend to utilize rechargeable battery technology for the purpose of building self-sufficient devices. Over 3 million electric cars around the world are powered by lithium-ion batteries. And more than 36 percent of the world’s population (about 2.1 billion people) depends on lithium-ion batteries to enjoy digital lives.

However, lithium-ion battery technology development has maintained a very slow pace since introduced; many promises of a big leap are either smokescreens or taking too long to happen. This has grossly slowed down the world’s race to an electric future.

Considering the challenges in the use of rechargeable batteries; weight, size and charging, many battery startups are focused on improving the energy density while still making lithium-ion batteries affordable. This quest has led to a completely different paradigm; efficient lithium battery must be lighter, last longer on a single charge and be cheaper.

Fortunately, many startups are coming up with supercharging technology for better performance aside from investing more into building better batteries with improved energy densities and lower costs. Most recent electric cars can travel longer distances and also charge more quickly at supercharger stations. Tesla’s new supercharger stations can add up to 75 miles of range in 5 minutes. That’s not enough, though.

The concept of lithium-ion battery technology
Existing lithium-ion batteries are limited in their physical energy density and material parts, which the new technology seeks to improve. The new lithium-ion batteries are to be more efficient and safer by having no risk of fire if the batteries damage or overheats.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsTesla Rivals Close To Commercializing New Lithium-Ion Battery Technology

24M Claims Energy Density Breakthrough With Semi-Solid Lithium Batteries

on March 25, 2019

24M, a startup battery company founded as a spin-off from MIT, claims it has made a breakthrough in creating semi-solid lithium-ion battery cells with an energy density exceeding 350Wh per kg.

MIT professor yet Ming Chiang hit upon the idea of mixing active materials in electrolytes together before forming the cell, rather than ‘injecting’ the electrolyte into a slurry, thought to be a much more efficient process for creating cells.

In other words, compositionally distinct catholytes and anolytes are created, kept apart by an ionically conductive, non-permeable separator.

“Unlike a conventional technology where they use a solvent and sort of deposit the material and then throw it all up and then inject the electrolyte at the end, we mix the electrolyte at the beginning,” Joe Adiletta, senior director of products for 24M, said.

“Of course we mix the anode and the cathode separately so we can put a different electrolyte in the anode, called the anolyte or the cathode – catholyte. Typically the separator not only allows the ions to pass but allows the electrolyte to pass. So if you use a traditional separator, eventually the materials will diffuse and you get a homogenous mixture, which is exactly what you don’t want in this design.”

Keeping the anolyte and catholytes separated, Adiletta said, can open up “huge options” on which electrolytes to choose, meaning individual batteries or systems can be tailored to “specific approaches in the battery”. This means the ‘dual electrolyte’ technology can be applied to LFP cells, more commonly used in stationary storage, or NMC cells, higher energy density and typically used for electric cars, to give two prominent examples.

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Fractal Energy Storage Consultants24M Claims Energy Density Breakthrough With Semi-Solid Lithium Batteries

As 100% Renewables Mandate Nears, Puerto Rico Sees New Microgrid Initiative, Resilience Focus

on March 25, 2019

When considering the future energy mix of Puerto Rico, worsening hurricane seasons and high levels of poverty in the territory are top of mind for energy experts.

Distributed generation is critical to boosting energy resilience on the island, participants noted yesterday at the Black Start 2019 conference in Puerto Rico, reflecting on lessons learned from Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Energy, policy and regulatory experts discussed a transition to cleaner, distributed generation as a cost-effective solution to harden the U.S. territory’s grid. Besides the high price tag of shipping fossil fuels to generate electricity, the island’s centralized system remains vulnerable to extreme weather events.

The San Juan-based conference came amid anticipation of a bipartisan bill that would mandate 100% renewable energy in Puerto Rico by 2050. The bill, PS 1121, has already passed the Puerto Rico House and Senate and a final version needs to be approved by the House in conference committee before being sent to the governor’s desk.

Legislative expectations
Puerto Rico Sens. Larry Seilhamer and Eduardo Bhatia, who both spoke at Black Start, introduced the bill in response to decisions to privatize the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA).

“I firmly believe it’s going to pass,” Seilhamer told Black Start attendees.

The president of the Puerto Rico House, Carlos Johnny Méndez, told Seilhamer “he expects the bill to be approved by the House next Monday,” according to Seilhamer. The House left session March 18 without approving the unified version of the bipartisan bill.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsAs 100% Renewables Mandate Nears, Puerto Rico Sees New Microgrid Initiative, Resilience Focus

Microgrid 2019 Update: Applications Now Being Accepted for the Microgrid Financing Connection

on March 22, 2019

Project developers are in search of microgrid financing; financiers are in search of investment-grade projects. Microgrid 2019 offers a platform to bring the two together in year two of the Microgrid Financing Connection.

Launched last year at Microgrid 2018 in Chicago, the popular match-making program is being continued for Microgrid 2019, which will be held in San Diego May 14-16.

If you’re a project developer, you can participate by completing the pre-screening application form. Your project will be reviewed by a committee of microgrid technology companies and project financiers. Applicants selected by the committee will be invited to meet privately with investors at Microgrid 2019.

“If you think you have a dynamite project, this is the forum for you. You’ll be paired up with experts from the financing industry who want to listen to you pitch your project. These are real people with real money. Experienced financiers who are specifically looking for projects worthy of investing their funds,” said David Chiesa, S&C Electric‘s senior director for global business development on the Microgrid Financing Connection. “If you’re struggling with financing, do not miss this opportunity. I don’t know when you’ll ever have a better chance to move your project forward.”

Pitch sessions with financiers
During a 30-minute pitch session, project developers will have an opportunity to describe their plans to the financiers and learn more about their investment requirements.

Microgrid Knowledge welcomes applications from institutions, commercial and industrial businesses, utilities, communities, real estate developers, government entities and others that are developing microgrids.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsMicrogrid 2019 Update: Applications Now Being Accepted for the Microgrid Financing Connection

NEC Installs Switzerland’s Largest Battery

on March 22, 2019

NEC Energy Solutions has installed the largest battery system in Switzerland.

The 18MW/7.5MWh installation is owned and operated by the country’s largest power distribution firm Elektrizitätswerke des Kantons Zürich (EKZ) and being used for primary frequency reserve.

NEC has installed its Grid Storage Solution, which it says could also provide other ancillary services as EKZ sees fit.

“Battery storage is a vital part of future energy supply,” said Marina González Vayá, storage specialist at EKZ. “The now-completed storage system contributes to the stability of continental Europe’s power grid.”

The new storage system is sited next to an existing substation in Volketswil east of Zürich. NEC expects a payback period of 5-7 years.

“We are excited to deliver the largest energy storage project in Switzerland,” said Steve Fludder, CEO of NEC Energy Solutions. “As countries modernize their power grids across the world, NEC’s storage solutions enable the transformation to a cleaner, more renewable and more digital electric power system of the future. We value the confidence and trust which EKZ has placed in us,” he added.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsNEC Installs Switzerland’s Largest Battery

Hawaii Peaker-Plus-Storage Plant Sets Record

on March 22, 2019

If Hawaii is to meet its stated objective of reaching 100 percent renewable energy in just 26 years, milestones must be met en route. One marker was reached in January, when the world’s largest solar-plus-storage peaker plant came online in Lawa’i, Kauai in the 50th state.

The plant, formally termed the Lawa’i Solar and Energy Storage Project, is owned and operated by Boulder, Colo.-based AES Distributed Energy. AES partnered with Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, a member-owned cooperative serving 33,000 customer accounts on the island of Kauai, in the venture.

The facility consists of a 28-megawatt solar photovoltaic facility and a 100 megawatt-hour, five-hour duration energy storage system. The new peaker will provide approximately 11 percent of Kauai’s power, bringing the portion of the island’s energy supplied by renewable sources to more than 50 percent.

“We believe this project is the largest solar-plus-storage facility in the world at the present time,” said David Bissell, KIUC’s president & CEO. When operating at full capacity and coupled with the Tesla solar-plus-storage facility, it will allow KIUC to meet 40 percent of its evening peak needs with solar energy, he added.

According to AES, the Lawa’i project will eliminate the use of 3.7 million gallons of diesel fuel each year, and at the same time support several vital power distribution scenarios. It allows for solar generation to supply the grid while charging the battery system. It dispatches power stored in the battery system to the grid during peak demand periods. And it can dispatch solar and battery power simultaneously to respond to demand spikes, in addition to supporting the grid by providing ancillary services.

KIUC’s renewable portfolio has grown from eight percent in 2010 to more than 50 percent. Over that period, there has been a corresponding 15 million gallon annual reduction in reliance on fossil fuel.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsHawaii Peaker-Plus-Storage Plant Sets Record