NEC Provides Energy Storage Solution to SP Group’s Award-Winning Hybrid Energy Storage Pilot

on September 27, 2019


NEC Energy Solutions and NEC Asia Pacific jointly revealed today that NEC provided its 400kW, 400kWh GSS® end-to-end Grid Storage Solution and AEROS® proprietary energy storage controls software as part of SP Group’s innovative hybrid system which recently received the Singapore Minister for National Development’s R&D Merit Award at the 2019 Urban Sustainability R&D Congress.

Singapore District Cooling (SDC), a subsidiary of SP Group and A*STAR Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) have co-developed the controls, management algorithms and interfaces to pilot the hybrid system to further enhance its existing cooling network that supplies centrally-produced chilled water for air conditioning use at 23 buildings in Singapore’s Marina Bay business district.

The unique hybrid system combines a containerized lithium-ion battery from NEC with an integrated thermal management system and power conversion system. It provides added efficiencies through lowering electricity costs needed to produce chilled water and assist with mitigating fluctuations in electricity demand and maintain grid stability. It also uses intelligent control algorithms, which give businesses the ability to offer demand response and other ancillary services. If renewable energy that is used to power the chillers suddenly fluctuates, the lithium-ion battery can immediately discharge energy to balance the supply, hence overcoming the challenge of inconsistent renewable energy in a cost-effective way.

“This project represents several important firsts for NEC Energy Solutions. This is our first project in Singapore, as we expand and increase our market penetration in the APAC region,” said Steve Fludder, CEO of NEC Energy Solutions. “We are also pleased to be part of this project as this is a first-of-its-kind integrated electricity cooling network that uses advanced predictive analytics and intelligent control algorithms to help prove its viability. This “smart” system is a great example of the potential value energy storage has to offer and reflects NEC’s vision for a digital energy enterprise platform of the future.”

About NEC Energy Solutions

NEC Energy Solutions develops and manufactures smart energy storage solutions for electric grid, backup power and lead‐acid replacement applications with system integration expertise focusing on high performance, efficiency, safety and reliability. Products range from massive grid‐scale energy storage systems, successfully operating in commercial revenue service since 2009, to commercial and specialty battery solutions to fit the needs of telecom, datacenter, medical and other industrial applications. For more information, please visit

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsNEC Provides Energy Storage Solution to SP Group’s Award-Winning Hybrid Energy Storage Pilot

Kawasaki, Corvus In Energy Storage System Pact

on September 27, 2019

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) and Corvus Energy have reached a licensing agreement for a lithium-ion capacitor (LiC) technology for the offshore market.

“Corvus Energy has been an outstanding development partner for the LiC technology,” said Takeshi Ohata, managing executive officer of Kawasaki Heavy Industries at their headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. “Their battery engineering experience and marine market leadership gives Corvus Energy expertise unlike any other. Their know-how around thermal management inside battery modules is critical to ensuring safe and reliable operation.”

The LiC incorporates lithium-ion capacitor cells into an energy storage system (ESS) with high-efficiency liquid cooling that maintains an optimal temperature range at very high RMS currents and charge/discharge rates, the company said. The LiC will safely sustain charge/discharge rates of 600oº C peak and 300oº C continuous, enabling both energy recapture/storage and fast discharge for high-power load handling.

“It is truly a validation of our world-class R&D capabilities that KHI selected Corvus to develop this technology,” said Sean Puchalski, EVP of Strategy & Business Planning for Corvus Energy. “The new cutting-edge LiC technology provides the best of both worlds — current-handling performance nearing a supercapacitor with improved energy density. It will enable our offshore customers to cost-effectively improve efficiency through energy recapture from heave compensation, drilling draw works and payload lowering applications with a lightweight, space-saving footprint.”

Corvus Energy will introduce a new product based on the LiC ESS technology with Kawasaki Heavy Industries, trademarked Blue Marlin and targeting the offshore segment it currently serves with its Orca and Dolphin ESSs and Moray subsea ESS. The new Blue Marlin product is expected to be available in 2020.

“Corvus offers a timely solution to an urgent problem,” said Geir Bjørkeli, CEO of Corvus Energy. “Offshore producers are increasingly committed to investing in solutions that reduce the carbon footprint of their operations. We are thrilled that the progressive leadership at Corvus shareholders Equinor and Shell—whose offshore operations are the largest in the world—will help speed adoption of Corvus’ energy efficiency solutions in the offshore segment.”

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsKawasaki, Corvus In Energy Storage System Pact

Why Microgrid Operators and Regional Grid Operators Really Need to Talk

on September 27, 2019

The unknown unknowns are what keep regional grid operators up at night. And right now the rapid growth of customer-sited microgrids, invisible to grid operators, count high among them.

That’s the message delivered last week by Jonathan Monken, PJM senior director, speaking on a plenary panel at the Virginia Clean Energy Summit in Richmond.

PJM operates one of the world’s largest grids, which through a complex orchestration of 180,000 MW, keeps electricity flowing to 65 million customers in 13 states and the District of Columbia.

But change has come to the system at a rapid clip with customers installing their own generation in the form of microgrids and other distributed energy resources (DERs). These assets are not part of the grid managed by PJM but they do influence it. For example, they can change consumption patterns — and in ways the grid operator cannot see.

“The hard part is that we don’t see down to the customer level. We don’t see below 67 kV. That is where the rub comes,” he told the audience of clean energy advocates.

Risk and reward of the new reality
Because they do not know what the distributed assets are doing, grid operators cannot incorporate them into their overall planning, which could ultimately weaken the grid, he said.

As an example, Monken described how PJM got tripped up in its forecast during the solar eclipse of 2017. It’s difficult for a grid operator to forecast how much power is likely to be used on the day of an eclipse because there is little historical precedent. PJM had assumed demand would rise because homes and businesses with solar panels would turn to grid power as the eclipse blocked the sun.

“Then something very weird happened,” Monken said. Rather than rising, demand for power fell by 4,000 to 5,000 MW.

Why? As is often the case, weather played a role. It was cooler than expected. But the unknown unknown emerged from a distributed asset. Without notifying PJM, the maker of the NEST thermostat had asked customers to conserve during the eclipse, which reduced demand by 900 MW.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsWhy Microgrid Operators and Regional Grid Operators Really Need to Talk

Panasonic Unveils New Battery Storage System, Total Home Energy Solution, and More at SPI 2019

on September 26, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Panasonic unveiled its new residential energy storage system, EverVolt™, new products and enhancements, and other solar portfolio announcements today at Solar Power International 2019. The EverVolt™ features a modular design and is available in AC and DC-coupled versions, offering a flexible solution optimized for homeowners’ energy needs and budgets. The home energy storage system enhances Panasonic’s full suite of home energy solutions, including its signature photovoltaic high-performance HIT® portfolio.

The Panasonic engineered storage system is compatible with any solar system or inverter and can be tailored to a homeowner’s individual needs. In addition to offering both the AC and DC coupled options, the system can be scaled down to as little as 5.7kWh of energy storage or expanded to 34.2kWh. EverVolt™ offers simple, one-person installation and is field serviceable. It also comes equipped with advanced software and a user-friendly app for homeowners, allowing customization between multiple operating modes visibility into system status. The product is backed by a 10-year product and performance warranty, one of the best in its class for homeowners.

“Energy storage is one of the fastest-growing segments in the renewable energy space, and homeowners are eager to find a product that fits their exact needs,” said Mukesh Sethi, group manager at Panasonic Solar. “With EverVolt™, homeowners will be one step closer to grid independence and see a quicker return on their solar investment. EverVolt™ users will have the ability to store unused power to use when they need it most or sell surplus energy back to their local utility and generate income.”

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsPanasonic Unveils New Battery Storage System, Total Home Energy Solution, and More at SPI 2019

Ameresco Completes 16-MWh Energy Storage System in Ontario

on September 26, 2019

Ameresco has completed a 4-MW, 16-MWh energy storage project for Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).

The project began four years ago when Ameresco secured two energy storage facility agreements with IESO to design, build, own and operate the “Battery Solid” storage systems. The two solid-state lithium-ion battery systems connect to the Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution grid at a capacity of 4 MW.

“The investment that IESO has made in its grid infrastructure is worthy of celebration,” said Bob McCullough, president of Ameresco Canada Inc. “Battery storage is central to the better utilization of all assets within the electricity system, better value to ratepayers, and reduction of our carbon footprint.”

Both systems absorb power during periods of excess energy supply and deliver it back to the grid when energy demand is high. This project also demonstrates the value of future ancillary services, which would allow IESO to charge or discharge instantly to provide frequency regulation, voltage control and spinning reserve services to the grid, according to Ameresco.

“Taking this action now will demonstrate how energy storage facilities deployed at the distribution level can facilitate more cost-effective designs of both transmission and distribution infrastructure while providing greater power reliability to local areas, regardless of peak energy demands,” McCullough added.

Massachusetts-based Ameresco is focused around energy efficiency, infrastructure and renewable projects. Founded in 2000, the company has more than 1,000 employees in the U.S., Canada and U.K.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsAmeresco Completes 16-MWh Energy Storage System in Ontario

Battery and energy storage highlights at SPI 2019

on September 26, 2019

There are many battery-related companies exhibiting at Solar Power International/Energy Storage International this year. And with plenty of big storage announcements from companies not necessarily directly involved with batteries before, there was a lot of top tech to sort through. Here were the most interesting battery products I saw on the show floor today.

SunPower came out with its own LFP storage system for the residential market, including a simplified service panel. Company reps said they wanted to reduce the number of products for their installer network, offering a fully integrated storage system designed and warranted by one company. With a rated energy capacity of 13 kWh, Equinox Storage can also easily be expanded for larger home loads. SunPower’s new storage product is an obvious addition to its full suite of residential offerings only offered by SunPower dealers.

I promise I saw this in-person; I just did not get a good photo as the booth was packed. Panasonic took lessons learned with its partnership with Pika Energy to release its own energy storage system this year. EverVolt can be AC- or DC-coupled and installed easily by one person. It’s also super easy to add on: EverVolt can be scaled as small as 5.7 kWh or expanded up to 34.2 kWh. And with one warranty, this storage system provides a simple option for homeowners.

Although Generac has traditionally been in the not-so-green generator business, the company is shifting gears in a big way with its battery offering. Generac acquired Pika Energy last year and now has over 150 employees dedicated to breaking into the solar-plus-storage market with its PWRcell energy storage system. Consisting of an expandable battery park, inverter and advanced sensors assembled in Vietnam, PWRcell will begin shipping in December. The batteries are 8.6 kWh and the system can expand up to 17.1 kWh.

What if you could easily use portable power products as home backup? The Yeti storage system from Goal Zero is a really interesting concept for partial-home-backup. The Yeti 3000 Power Station (seen above) can provide 3 kWh of lithium storage for important loads at home or be picked up and transported for tailgating or camping energy needs. If you want more power, the Yeti Link expansion module allows you to add more batteries — of any chemistry. Yeti Link allows users to chain batteries of different chemistries, so you can add some lead-acid batteries to the original lithium-based system.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsBattery and energy storage highlights at SPI 2019

From Science Project to Money Maker: Energy Storage Hits Inflection Point

on September 24, 2019

In 2014, the vast majority of storage projects Greensmith Energy was working on might have best been described as science projects, often dependent on grants or utility R&D budgets devoted to figuring out emerging technologies.

But there was one 20-megawatt project in PJM territory that was unlike all of the others, and not just because of its size. “That was the first project Greensmith ever did in the company’s history that was driven primarily by the financial returns of the project to their customers,” said Risto Paldanius, director of business development for Wärtsilä Energy Storage, Solar and Integration division, who played a key role during the Greensmith acquisition by Wärtsilä in 2017.

It’s a testament to just how much the economics of battery storage and the renewables it supports have improved in less than a few years. Today, potential projects are evaluated primarily on their business case. “If we don’t think the business case is real, we won’t target projects,” said Paldanius. “Close to 100 percent of our projects are commercially driven.”

In 2018, global energy storage deployments grew 147 percent year-over-year to reach 3.3 gigawatts, or 6 gigawatt-hours, according to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. That’s nearly double the average 74 percent compound annual growth rate for the industry from 2013 to 2018. In fact, last year’s deployments made up more than half of the total amount of storage deployed in the past five years, “indicating an inflection in storage demand,” Ravi Manghani, WoodMac’s head of storage research, said when the findings were published in April.

There are other signs of a maturing storage market. For example, customers and manufacturers considering a storage project used to insist on a warranty based on a worst-case scenario.

“Today we are talking about fully flexible warranties that are truly based on the system’s actual operational profile. If it’s one cycle per day, you degrade 20 percent, for example, or for one-and-a-half cycles, you degrade 30 percent. This way, system operational cost is based on actual operations and the warranty matches how the asset owner operates the system,” said Amy Liu, manager of applied technology at Wärtsilä, Energy Storage, Solar and Integration.

For instance, Wärtsilä now knows the small, but noticeable, difference in availability in different size systems. For example, a 6-megawatt project could have an average availability of 97.97 percent, while a 10-megawatt system may have a 98.36 percent availability, and a 20-megawatt system could have an average availability of 98.28 percent.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsFrom Science Project to Money Maker: Energy Storage Hits Inflection Point

Generac Releases Its PWRcell Integrated Energy Storage System

on September 24, 2019

Generac Power Systems today introduced PWRcell: a fully-integrated solar energy storage system. PWRcell boasts exclusive technologies including expandable battery capacity and on-board power monitoring and management as standard.

The PWRcell system consists of an integrated ecosystem of components, including an expandable battery pack, inverter and associated hardware. Each component is specifically engineered to seamlessly install and work together. PWRcell features modular battery packs, equipped with 8.6-kWh batteries, and expandable to 17.1 kWh to match any budget.

“The flexibility of modular battery packs, combined with the most power available make this system best-in-class technology,” said Russ Minick, Chief Marketing Officer and leader of the Clean Energy business for Generac.

PWRcell also provides homeowners with up to 50 amps and 12 kW of surge capacity, enough to start heavy loads such as air conditioners. Once engaged, PWRcell provides 8 kW of continuous power. When more power or capacity is needed, additional PWRcell inverters and batteries can be added for up to 34.2 kWh of DC-coupled storage.

PWRcell is equipped with Generac PWRview technology, an easy-to-use home energy monitoring system that tracks home energy use and provides powerful insights into the home’s electricity consumption. With the intuitive PWRview app, data is processed into useful information that allows homeowners to make smarter decisions regarding their use of energy, lowering usage to extend the amount of time the home can run on PWRcell-provided energy.

PWRcell weighs less than 75 pounds and is easy to install. Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2019, PWRcell will be sold through Generac’s many distribution partners.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsGenerac Releases Its PWRcell Integrated Energy Storage System

Energy Storage As A Service Part of Generation Evolution

on September 24, 2019

Two companies who recently announced they are creating what they consider North America’s largest behind-the-meter (BTM) deployment of energy storage technology have said they plan to expand the service, providing a long-term solution for controlling costs and promoting energy sustainability for businesses.

Executives of the two companies—Honeywell and NRStor C&I—told POWER in a Sept. 23 interview at North America Smart Energy Week (NASEW) in Salt Lake City, Utah, that they see the market for their service expanding as power generation continues to become more decentralized.

The Honeywell-NRStor collaboration is one of several distributed power generation projects being highlighted at NASEW this week, for both energy storage and solar power. More than 700 companies are showcasing their products and services.

NRStor and Honeywell on Sept. 20 announced the launch of their Experion Energy Program, offering energy storage as a service to commercial and industrial customers. NRStor and Honeywell plan to develop and operate 300 MW of battery energy storage systems (BESS) in the U.S. and Canada starting early next year. The companies said they would operate the systems remotely and “provide customers with electricity cost savings, improved sustainability and resiliency.”

“The first 90 megawatts are earmarked for the Ontario [Canada] market early next year,” Moe Hajabed, CEO of Toronto, Ontario-based NRStor C&I, told POWER. “There’s a big market for energy storage in Ontario for cost savings, putting battery storage systems at customer sites. This battery energy storage system can reduce a customer’s cost of electricity, primarily by [reducing] demand charges. There’s a cost aspect, an environmental aspect, and a community aspect.”

Hajabed in announcing the program last week said, “This BTM deployment alone matches North America’s total energy storage deployments in 2018. This collaboration brings Honeywell’s operational excellence, precise equipment and construction to NRStor’s projects and expands the customer base that can take advantage of our energy solutions. This also creates an opportunity for other developers to fund and implement their projects through NRStor’s platform.”

The companies said the BESS will be supported by two remote operations centers that use artificial intelligence-based peak prediction and value stack optimization algorithms. The centers will automatically start the battery systems, with a goal to maximize savings for C&I customers. Control technologies from Honeywell will enable battery dispatch and support network security and cybersecurity protection.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsEnergy Storage As A Service Part of Generation Evolution

Can Energy Storage Be a Staple for Residential Solar?

on September 24, 2019

When Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) introduced the Powerwall in 2015, it was the start of a race toward energy storage becoming a standard offering with residential solar. At the time, the Powerwall was meant to be a backup system for homeowners, but the promise was that eventually, it would offer the opportunity to take a home almost entirely off the grid.

There have been fits and starts for Tesla’s Powerwall business, and to date, it hasn’t really moved the needle for Tesla in comparison to electric vehicles. And today companies like Sunrun (NASDAQ: RUN), Sonnen, and SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) are offering their own energy storage solutions. SunPower’s recently announced Equinox Storage, which pairs with its Equinox solar product, may be the most complete offering yet.

How SunPower is bringing storage into the home

SunPower is pairing an energy storage system that can be up to 12 kilowatt-hours (kWh) with an inverter and hub that will control a home’s energy consumption. The system can charge when solar energy production is at its peak, discharge into the home when utility rates are high, and provide backup in an emergency.

The two systems currently being offered are 4.2 kW/6.5 kWh and 6.8kW/13 kWh, both of which come in a box that’s 62 inches tall, 21 inches wide, and 13.5 inches deep. That’s significantly larger than the 5.75-inch-thick Powerwall and smaller than the largest Powerwall’s 13.5 kWh of capacity. But SunPower is betting that the full package is what homeowners will value.

Norm Taffe, SunPower’s executive vice president of residential solar, said, “Equinox Storage also automatically manages energy supply based on solar production, home electricity consumption, and utility rates to make the most efficient use of stored power every day.” In that sense, it’s a seamless addition for consumers and can save them money from Day One.

When packaged with SunPower solar, the Equinox Storage product offers a single point of contact and warranty for solar and energy storage. And the storage system will likely be the hub for SunPower’s vision of offering energy as a service to customers.

Will homeowners care?

The big question is whether or not homeowners will care about energy storage. Commercial customers are attaching energy storage with about 30% of SunPower’s solar installation, but there’s an economic justification for commercial customers who can lower demand charges by using storage to shift peak demand to off-peak hours.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsCan Energy Storage Be a Staple for Residential Solar?