Generac Acquires Pika Energy, Enters Energy Storage Market

on April 30, 2019

WAUKESHA, Apr 29, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE via COMTEX) — WAUKESHA, Wis., April 29, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Generac Holdings Inc. GNRC, -0.25% (“Generac” or the “Company”), a global leader in the design and manufacture of a wide range of residential, commercial and industrial power products, announced today the Company has acquired Pika Energy, Inc., a manufacturer of innovative battery storage technologies that capture and store solar or grid power for homeowners and businesses.
“Pika’s integrated battery storage solutions are a crucial component in developing a comprehensive system to store and consume clean energy,” said Aaron Jagdfeld, Generac president and CEO. “The visionary ideas and technology that Pika has developed give us a considerable edge as we expand into the rapidly developing market for energy storage.”

Pika is an expert in developing advanced power electronics, software and controls for smart energy storage and management, and their integrated energy storage systems allow users to easily capture, store and use solar energy to reduce energy costs and minimize grid disruptions. The company is located in Westbrook, Maine and was founded in 2010.

“Generac is dedicated to providing people with innovative and forward-thinking solutions to power their homes and businesses,” said Ben Polito, Pika Energy CEO and co-founder. “Pika energy storage technology, combined with Generac’s distribution strength and demand creation capabilities, will make this solution immediately available to more users. We are thrilled to be a part of the Generac team.”

“Pika, now together with Generac and Neurio, a leading energy management technology company recently acquired by Generac, share a vision to develop groundbreaking technologies that modernize the way electricity is generated, stored, and used in homes,” said Jagdfeld. “By combining Generac’s expertise in power products; Neurio’s unprecedented insight into home energy use; and Pika’s expertise in battery storage, we can bring to market the first truly intelligent home energy management system.”

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsGenerac Acquires Pika Energy, Enters Energy Storage Market

Environmental Groups Add To Pressure For Energy Storage Tax Boost

on April 30, 2019

A group of nine influential environmental groups has joined calls for energy storage to get access to the same tax credits as solar and wind.

Legislation has been introduced in both houses for an investment tax credit (ITC) for energy storage. As it stands energy storage systems have to be paired with an ITC recipient such as a solar farm in order to be eligible.

The 30% ITC, due to step down to 26% at the end of the year, was one of the crucial sparks for rooftop solar’s breakout, especially after a $2,000 cap was lifted in 2008.

In the letter to the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, the signatories said:

“Clarifying energy storage’s full eligibility for the ITC would accelerate energy storage deployment, improve power system reliability and resilience, and optimize the nation’s renewable energy resources.

“An energy storage tax credit is a shared priority for extenders legislation. Such a credit provides a uniquely near-term and impactful way to accelerate the transition to renewable energy, spur economic growth, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsEnvironmental Groups Add To Pressure For Energy Storage Tax Boost

Gas Goes Out Again As Top US Utility SCE Picks Energy Storage Instead

on April 30, 2019

Southern California Edison, one of the US’ top-ranking utilities for energy storage capacity already deployed, has signed contracts for seven more clean energy projects, totalling 195MW in its California service area.

The company has announced contracts for six energy storage facilities and one demand response contract. In April 2018, Smart Electric Power Alliance statistics showed that SCE was the leading utility in the US in the preceding year for deployment across the US, with more than 50MW going online. The utility is one of California’s three major investor-owned utility companies in a group which includes the embattled PG&E and SDG&E, which was joint-leader with SCE in the aforementioned rankings. The IOUs are each mandated to deploy a significant share of a 1.5GW target for energy storage deployment by the mid-2020s.

However, a release sent by SCE to over the weekend said that unlike many previous solicitations for large-scale energy storage in the US and elsewhere, the latest 195MW procurement will directly address local network needs including the shortfall in gas generation locally in the wake of the Aliso Canyon disaster.

Aliso Canyon’s big leak resulted in some of the world’s fastest deployments of grid-scale storage, as covered extensively on this site. In continuing efforts to provide adequate capacity to the local area, SCE put out the Aliso Canyon Energy Storage 2 Request For Offers and Local Capacity Requirements Request For Proposals, this year and last, respectively.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsGas Goes Out Again As Top US Utility SCE Picks Energy Storage Instead

Storage: The Energy Transition’s Flexible Friend

on April 29, 2019

Is storage the Holy Grail of the energy transition? Maybe. Certainly, a critical missing link in the quest for decarbonization. If intermittent solar and wind generation can be complemented by competitively priced storage, the power sector can rid itself of its dependency on fossil fuels. Investors, among them utilities, oil majors and private equity, have started to place bets on storage technology playing a big part in future energy markets.

How realistic is that vision? Our Global Energy Storage team – Ravi Manghani, (Director, Americas), Rory McCarthy (Senior Analyst, Europe) and Le Xu (Senior Analyst, Asia Pacific) – has just released its Global Energy Storage Outlook. I went to the team for the answer.

What’s the technology?

Batteries, where the technology is evolving rapidly. Storage for power predominantly uses NMC (nickel, manganese and cobalt) batteries, the same chemistry as in most electric vehicles. The attraction is their efficiency – the ability to release power quickly – and falling costs. The big difference between the two is that EVs need lightweight batteries, and NMCs’ high-energy density fits the bill. Weight isn’t an issue for power storage.

How does storage fit into the power system?

The biggest segment is front-of-the-meter (55% of energy storage). Utilities or private investors build storage for frequency response to help short-term system balancing (second-by-second response), to provide energy capacity availability (up to four hours) and to deal with intermittency as more renewables come onto the grid. Residential (23%) has been mainly state-subsidized solar-plus-storage packages. Falling costs should help continue to drive growth as subsidies are phased out. For non-residential (22%), businesses install storage systems to reduce their reliance on high retail prices at peak times and improve power resilience.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsStorage: The Energy Transition’s Flexible Friend

How Invenergy Quietly Became One of the Biggest Players in Grid Storage

on April 29, 2019

It’s not that Invenergy was ever shy about its storage ambitions.

The Chicago-based developer, which has built 22,600 megawatts of wind, solar and natural-gas generation, entered the storage market in a big way back in 2015. It delivered two 31.5-megawatt projects within six months of each other, outranking any other batteries installed in the U.S. that year.

Then the company went quiet — a fittingly massive followup didn’t materialize. Until early this year, when Invenergy revealed that it would supply much of utility Arizona Public Service’s landmark 850-megawatt energy storage procurement, designed to shift its ample solar resource into nighttime capacity.

APS enlisted Invenergy to supply a 50-megawatt system under a power-purchase agreement, and to build and transfer a portfolio of 140 megawatts connected to APS solar plants (more may follow, as the details get ironed out).

These and a few other projects bring Invenergy’s portfolio of operating or contracted storage to 260 megawatts and 700 megawatt-hours. To top it off, the Energy Storage Association awarded Invenergy the Outstanding Industry Achievement Award at this week’s conference in Phoenix, not far from where the big battery will appear.

Greentech Media sat down with Kris Zadlo, Invenergy’s senior vice president in charge of storage development, to hear how the company got to where it is now.

Build and learn
Zadlo’s team began investigating storage in 2011, and installed its first pilot in 2012 — a 2.5-megawatt system in the PJM grid.

The company followed up with the two 31.5-megawatt deployments in 2015, both operating as merchant frequency regulation plays in PJM, the first major utility-scale storage market. One of those, the Grand Ridge Energy Center, won the innovation award from Energy Storage North America.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsHow Invenergy Quietly Became One of the Biggest Players in Grid Storage

NYPA Issues Energy Storage RFI; Separately, NYSERDA Initiates First Stage of $400M Program

on April 29, 2019

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is seeking expressions of interest (RFI) from companies that want to develop energy storage projects. Separately, another state agency, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) took its first step in a $400 million program that aims to grow an energy storage market in the state.

The RFI is designed to help NYPA gauge private sector interest and determine what energy storage opportunities to pursue. The RFI is open to energy storage developers, battery integrators, and others deploying lithium-ion batteries in utility scale applications.

The RFI can be accessed on the NYPA procurement webpage under the name Q19-6681MH Energy Storage Joint Opportunities. Responses are due by May 13.

On Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the first $280 million of the $400 million now available to accelerate the growth of energy storage projects.

The funding opportunity is part of $400 million investment the state is making to achieve its goal of having 3,000 MW of energy storage in place by 2030.

The energy storage goal is part of Cuomo’s Green New Deal that aims to put New York State on a path to a carbon-neutral economy. “While the federal administration denies the devastating reality of climate change, New York continues to invest in its future by building a more efficient clean energy system,” Cuomo said in a statement.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsNYPA Issues Energy Storage RFI; Separately, NYSERDA Initiates First Stage of $400M Program

Unlock Value by Sharing your Microgrid Resources

on April 26, 2019

Many customers install microgrids for financial benefits and as a safety net to ensure a reliable, resilient power supply in the event of a utility failure. The traditional grid in the U.S., in service for the past 140 years, provides electricity 99.9 percent of the time. This leaves about eight hours per year when equipment issues in the power grid or extreme weather conditions lead to major power outages.

Many customers install microgrids for financial benefits and as a safety net to ensure a reliable, resilient power supply in the event of a utility failure. The traditional grid in the U.S., in service for the past 140 years, provides electricity 99.9 percent of the time. This leaves about eight hours per year when equipment issues in the power grid or extreme weather conditions lead to major power outages.

For example, the University of California, San Diego, operates a microgrid which supplies most of the energy need on campus that includes a 30-megawatt cogeneration plant a 2.8 MW renewable energy fuel cell and 2.4 MW of solar arrays. Other commercial facilities with microgrids might generate some of the power they use but rely on grid electricity for most of their needs.

As mentioned above, most microgrids are connected to a healthy utility grid 99.9% of the time. They rarely operate independently in island mode, presenting an opportunity. There is potential value in intelligently sharing the microgrid’s resources with the utility or other power consumers in the network, outside of the facility in which it is installed.

The utilities are responsible for keeping the grid system running, and they are willing to pay to ensure stability. Amongst other criteria, they must balance supply with demand, keep the voltage and reactive power within specified parameters, and maintain power quality within set limits. Connected microgrids could add value by providing these services.

Today, most microgrid solutions are planned and built with a focus on the customer’s internal power requirements and benefits. Alongside this important function, the system could be designed to maximize asset value by utilizing the energy resources intelligently according to the changing energy needs internally and externally. This ability to continuously optimize internal energy savings and external energy revenue opportunities can provide facility owners with maximum benefits. PXiSE Energy Solutions’ software-based Active Control Technology (ACT) is designed for such purpose.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsUnlock Value by Sharing your Microgrid Resources

Last Second Move By SCE – Gas Plant Scrapped For Storage, Renewables

on April 26, 2019

Southern California Edison (SCE) has about-turned on its plans to procure a new 262-megawatt (MW) natural gas peaker plant to supply power to the coastal city of Oxnard, and has opted for a roster of energy storage projects around the city.

The outcome has seen power producer NRG’s proposed gas plant cancelled before the final round of approvals.

If regulators approve the move, Strata Solar will build and own a new 100MW/400MWh system in the city.

The new system is set to tie for the position as the largest lithium-ion battery in the world, and is expected to come online in December 2020. It’s counterpart in size is the AES Alamitos plant, which is expected to be operational at around the same time.

SCE plans to complement the project with a range of smaller 10MW to 40MW units in the immediate area. Developers for these sites include E.ON, Enel, Able Grid, Ormat, Alta Gas, and Swell – the latter aggregates fleets of home batteries into grid assets, and has won a 14MW contract to provide behind-the-meter demand response.

Activists and others opposed the gas plant, which was viewed as an unnecessary blight on the California coastline, and has been seen as a win for clean energy providers.

“The big takeaway is the power of community opposition,” said Earthjustice attorney Matt Vespa. “Puente was viewed as a done deal… It was going to be on the beach, and now we have clean energy investment in that community instead of a gas plant.”

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsLast Second Move By SCE – Gas Plant Scrapped For Storage, Renewables

Cryogenic Energy Storage: An interview with Javier Cavada of Highview Power

on April 26, 2019

Highview Power recently announced the formation of a joint-venture with TSK, a global leading EPC company for the expansion of its giga-scale cryogenic energy storage systems across Spain, the Middle East and South Africa. The joint-venture is expected to enable the immediate shift from thermal and nuclear power to renewables and is expected to result in ~1 billion EUR over the next three years.

The new JV allows the company to co-develop giga-hour scale, long-duration energy storage systems using Highview Power’s proprietary cryogenic energy storage solution, the only long-duration energy storage solution available today that offers multiple gigawatt hours of storage representing weeks’ worth of storage, not just hours or days. At giga-scale, cryogenic energy storage resources are equivalent in performance to – and could replace – a fossil fuel power station.

REM talked to Highview Power CEO, Javier Cavada, to find out more.

Can you tell me about the two companies that are involved in this project? Highview Power and TSK

Absolutely. Highview Power is a 14-year old company, technology company, headquartered in London. We have expanded now to the US, Middle East and Spain, soon coming to Eastern Europe and South America. Energy storage technology, cryogenic energy storage. The CRYOBattery is our product, our solution is long-duration large-size, always looking for applications to move solar arrays to provide full base-load for the whole day, so four hours, eight hours, ten hours, twenty hours, that’s our sweet spot and wind the same of course. Owning the patent of the technology allows us to have full commercialisation. We have two plants in the UK, a small one and a commercial one on the national grid here in Manchester, and now developing projects in the UK and continental Europe and the US, and next upcoming is the Middle East and we have started to work to penetrate to bring these large long-duration energy storage projects to make sure renewables provide the baseload. That’s Highview Power.

TSK, or TSK Group, it is a company with more than 50 years of history, headquartered in Gijón Spain, in the North of Spain, with offices in in Madrid, and also in Germany. it’s an EPC company, so a construction company with a foundation in electrical equipment, so mainly balance of plants, etc. So it’s becoming a global EPC, it moved heavily into oil and gas and now is doing likewise for renewables and waste treatment plants. it’s a 1.2 billion revenue company, with more than a thousand employees mostly in Spain but I would say 40 percent of the projects are in the Middle East and 40 percent of the projects are in Latin America. They have completed projects in more than 50 countries and more than 30 GW and this alliance is about bringing Highview technology with EPC capabilities to certain regions with a champion company like TSK to deliver projects with quality performance and timing, enabling this technology to expand across Middle East and Latin America, also South Africa with , and of course Spain with TSK’s market now and enable the transition to more renewables.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsCryogenic Energy Storage: An interview with Javier Cavada of Highview Power

Reverse Auctions May Become the Key to Energy Storage Rollout, EDF says

on April 25, 2019

When Xcel Energy conducted a reverse auction in 2018 to help build out its energy storage systems, it received hundreds of bids. It’s all about integrating energy storage into its wind and solar energy networks to increase reliability.

In a traditional auction, the seller does business with the highest bidder. But in a reverse auction, the buyer will go with the low-cost bidder. And that model has had success in the energy storage market.

“Reverse auctions offer a transparent and cost effective approach for procuring goods and services,” says Maureen Lackner, a policy analyst with the Environmental Defense Fund, in an interview. “These features have made it a popular tool applied to a diverse set of needs, including fulfilling road salt contracts in Pennsylvania and purchasing ethyl alcohol for University of California research centers.”

She adds: “With regards to renewable energy, reverse auctions have also gained traction. It is expected that nearly half of global renewable energy capacity between 2017-22 will come from competitive auctions.”

In the case of Xcel, the median price was $21/MWh for wind plus storage and $36/MWh for solar plus storage. The solar-plus-storage bid fell by 20% from one year to the next. Altogether, energy storage prices have dropped by 74% since 2013, says analytics firm Lazard, although it depends on the application. It expects such prices to fall by 8% a year through 2025.

Ambitious goals open way for reverse auctions
Hawaii Electric has had similar success. The utility may have too much solar and it has to curtail it during times when energy usage is less. Battery storage allows it to harness those electrons and to discharge those devices during peak periods — for four hours at a time, instead of having to run a fossil plant. The power company currently has proposals for seven grid-scale solar-plus-storage projects totaling 262 MW with 1,048 MWh of storage.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsReverse Auctions May Become the Key to Energy Storage Rollout, EDF says