GlidePath Partners with Renewance to Advance Battery Recycling for Energy Storage Systems

on October 29, 2020

Chicago, October 28, 2020 – GlidePath Power Solutions LLC (GlidePath), one of America’s leading independent developers and operators of utility-scale energy storage and renewable energy projects, today announced that it has partnered with Renewance to advance battery recycling and repurposing efforts for the energy storage industry.

Renewance is an industrial battery life cycle management company and a winner of the Department of Energy Battery Recycling Prize. Renewance provides battery decommissioning, collection, re-use, and recycling services to the rapidly growing energy storage industry. Through this partnership, Glidepath will employ the Renewance Connect™ platform to manage its energy storage portfolio from top to bottom. The Renewance Connect platform will additionally help reduce operating costs and complexity for GlidePath, while increasing the environmental benefits of the company’s battery storage assets. To date, GlidePath is one of the largest storage operators to partner with Renewance.

“Our portfolio of energy storage projects has been growing for some time now and, in order to sustain this upward trajectory, we are thinking ahead about the full life cycle of batteries,” said Chris McKissack, CEO of GlidePath, “Our decision to collaborate with Renewance was driven in large part by our shared vision and commitment to innovation. Teaming with Renewance is an important step toward making battery recycling and re-use standard practice in energy storage.”

“Partnerships like these are critical if we are to improve the overall sustainability of renewable energy solutions aided by battery storage,” said Anne Foster, Head of ESG at Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, of which Glidepath is a portfolio company. “The industry needs to resolve the recycling and re-use case upfront, not down the track. Renewance and Glidepath are doing just that and we compliment them both. Quinbrook is strongly committed to ESG and sustainable investing and innovations in recycling and re-use of batteries is an increasingly important ‘must have’ solution.”

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsGlidePath Partners with Renewance to Advance Battery Recycling for Energy Storage Systems

Utility-Scale and Floating Energy Storage Firsts in Singapore

on October 29, 2020

Innovations and developments of energy storage in SIngapore are being advanced by the state’s Energy Market Authority.

The Energy Storage System (ESS) solutions initiative has been created by the regulator bringing together industry and research partners to advance storage and in turn support the growing deployment of solar resources.

Solar is the most viable renewable energy resource for Singapore.

The first utility-scale storage is a 2.4MW/2.4MWh lithium-ion battery system, which has been installed in an SP Group (formerly Singapore Power) substation.

The project is aimed to evaluate the performance and safety of energy storage solutions in Singapore’s hot, humid and highly urbanised environment and to aid in establishing technical guidelines for future deployments.

The system due to come online at the end of 2020 will participate in the wholesale electricity market to provide services to mitigate the intermittency caused by solar, as well as to reduce peak demand.

“Energy storage systems are one of the most promising solutions to help Singapore integrate more solar energy into the power grid,” says EMA Chief Executive Ngiam Shih Chun in a statement.

“We have been working with partners to facilitate the deployment of different energy storage solutions. This is critical in supporting Singapore’s target of at least 2GWp of solar deployment by 2030.”

Another distributed storage system is being deployed at the electrical switchrooms of five public housing blocks in Punggol. The aim with this project is to develop a centralised control system to manage distributed lithium-ion batteries across several sites and again to guide future developments.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsUtility-Scale and Floating Energy Storage Firsts in Singapore

The Issues With Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling – and How to Fix Them

on October 29, 2020

The mounting challenge of lithium-ion battery recycling should be addressed at the design stage. To date, though, manufacturers have focused more on safety, power density, and cyclability.

Lithium-ion battery recycling researchers from the universities of Leicester, Newcastle and Birmingham; The Faraday Institution; the ReCell Center and the Argonne National Laboratory have examined product design and published their findings in the paper The importance of design in lithium-ion battery recycling – a critical review, published in Green Chemistry.

“To create a circular economy for any material, it is important to have few components, a lower cost for the secondary process [recycling] than the primary process [raw material extraction], a simple purification flowsheet, valuable components, and a collection and segregation mechanism,” wrote the authors. “It also helps when the material has a significant environmental impact if not recycled, as this tends to mandate its recycling.”


Lead-acid batteries fulfill those design requirements, which explains a collection rate of near 100% in Japan, the U.S. and most of Europe and a recycling regime which recovers more than 98% of the total mass of the batteries. Lead-acid batteries are straightforward in design, with a polypropylene casing, an electrolyte, and two electrodes, made from lead and lead oxide. Separating components by density is relatively simple given lead and polypropylene have values of 11.3 and 0.9g/cm-3.

The similar density values of the cathodes and current collectors in lithium-ion batteries renders a similar approach impossible. Therefore, lithium-ion devices require approaches such as redox reactions, solubility, or exploiting electrostatic and magnetic properties to separate the materials of which the cells are made up.

Lack of labeling is another significant obstacle to an effective recycling regime. Unlike lead-acid batteries, lithium devices show a variety of chemistries and architectures, such as NCA, NMC, LMO, LCO, and LFP batteries, all of which can combine in different chemistries. Cells can also come in pouch, prismatic, or cylindrical form before being soldered together into modules and combined in the pack.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsThe Issues With Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling – and How to Fix Them

US Army Gets $7.2 Million For 5–10 Year Plan For Better Energy Storage

on October 28, 2020

The US Army is going to be marching a whole new generation of electronic gear into the field over the next 5 to 10 years, and it will take a whole new generation of high performance, lightweight energy storage devices to keep them powered up. That’s good news for clean energy fans, as new military technology has a way of seeping over to the civilian sphere. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a new $7.2 million battery research program just launched by the Army Research Laboratory.

More Energy Storage For More Gear In 5–10 Years

Why, it seems like only yesterday that CleanTechnica took note of the Army’s big battery headache. That was all the way back in 2011, when the Army relied heavily on disposable batteries for on-the-go energy storage.

The sheer number and weight of batteries weighed heavily on the Army’s mind, but that is only part of the problem. The logistical complications are also nightmarish.

“The military uses at least 100 different types of batteries, which poses challenges for supply and purchasing, shipping and distribution, and disposal in accordance with any applicable environmental regulations,” we observed.

Adding to the hurt is cost. According to the Army Research Laboratory, in 2011 the yearly cost for fielding a battalion’s worth of batteries in Afghanistan was second only to the cost of munitions.

The increased use of rechargeable batteries hasn’t helped much. The Army calculates that batteries still account for 20 pounds of gear needed by each soldier on a 72-hour mission, and more trouble looms ahead as they pile on new and more sophisticated electronics.

For those of you keeping score at home, here’s a partial laundry list to be introduced over the next 5–10 years: “secure tactical radios; goggles with thermal and low-light sensors, rapid target acquisition and aided target identification, augmented reality and artificial intelligence; the next-generation combat rifle; unmanned aircraft systems; counter-IED equipment and more.”

And more!

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsUS Army Gets $7.2 Million For 5–10 Year Plan For Better Energy Storage

Renewable Energy Surges Even In Fossil Fuel Friendly Red States

on October 28, 2020

The nation’s two largest coal-producing states, Wyoming and West Virginia, have emerged as leaders in renewable energy and energy storage, respectively, according to a new report.

States that voted red in the 2016 presidential election occupy seven of the top-ten spots for wind and solar generation as a percentage of their electricity consumption, according to Environment America’s Renewables on the Rise 2020, released last week.

“There are clean energy leaders in big states and small states, red states and blue states, states on the coasts and states in the heartland,” say the authors, Tony Dutzik and Jamie Friedman of Frontier Group and Emma Searson of Environment America’s Research & Policy Center. Environment America is a branch of the Public Interest Network.

Kansas, Iowa and North Dakota generate enough renewable energy to meet more than half their electricity demand, according to the report. Oklahoma is not far behind at 45 percent. Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota also appear on the top-ten list.

It remains to seen whether the growth of clean energy in red states will turn them purple or encourage cleaner Republican energy policy, but some signs of influence have appeared.

Just after the 2018 Midterm election, a post-election voter survey “found strong support among Republicans and Democrats alike for government action to accelerate development and use of clean energy in the United States,” according to the survey sponsors, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum and the Conservative Energy Network.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsRenewable Energy Surges Even In Fossil Fuel Friendly Red States

The Innovations and Organisations Behind Two US Microgrids

on October 28, 2020

As renewable energy generation grows, electricity grids have needed to adapt. Increasingly, smaller-scale generation has allowed communities to set up their own small electricity networks, called microgrids. These promise secure energy supplies, as well as an opportunity for people to invest in their own energy future.

In the US, this can mean less risk exposure to sever weather events, when utilities could take a long time to reach remote communities.

Boston suburb develops ‘microgrid without borders’
The Chelsea suburb of Boston, Massachusetts, has developed a ‘microgrid without borders’ for residents and businesses to opt in to. While Massachusetts rarely faces the full force of hurricanes, towns in storm prone areas of the US have increasingly considered microgrids as a way to ensure power stability.

Maria Belen Power, member of environmental group Green Roots, told Frank News that residents were struck by what they saw during Hurricane Maria in 2017. “It became clear that [the idea of a microgrid] connected with residents because of Hurricane Maria, and it became an opportunity for us to think: ‘How do we do things differently?’.

“What would it look like if Hurricane Maria had hit Chelsea, and how could we be better prepared to deal with a disaster like that and the energy infrastructure that’s not set up to sustain that?”

The microgrid runs in existing grid power cables, but users manage their energy supply using software. Outside of this, there are no extra physical cable connections.

The microgrid would use natural gas generation, along with a battery facility and, if possible, solar panels. The planned battery facility would allow the city to move away from the diesel generators it currently relies upon in emergencies.

The city government has started working with GreenRoots and other climate campaign groups to plan and develop the microgrid. They expect development to take one to two years.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsThe Innovations and Organisations Behind Two US Microgrids

Sterling and Wilson to Build Solar Storage Hybrid Power Plant in Niger

on October 27, 2020

Sterling and Wilson Pvt Ltd (SWPL), India’s leading engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company, has announced that its Hybrid & Energy Storage division (HES), in consortium partnership with French EPC company Vergnet and SNS Niger, has signed an EPC contract to construct a Solar PV Battery Storage and Diesel Genset based hybrid power plant in Agadez, Niger, in West Africa. Tendered by The Nigerian Electricity Company (NIGELEC), the project consists of 18.9MWp solar + 11.55MWh/3.0 MVA battery energy storage system (BESS) + 6.54 MVA (2.18 x 3 MVA) diesel generator and 20 kV substation, and evacuation line up to the Nigelec Substation in Agadez. The consortium will also be responsible for a two-year operation and maintenance (O&M) service of the power plant.

The project also includes the rehabilitation of the electrical network of the city of Agadez, which does not allow the evacuation of electricity to and within the city, and the electrification of the neighbouring hamlet of Tibinitene.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Deepak Thakur, CEO – Hybrid & Energy Storage, Sterling and Wilson, said, “We are extremely delighted to have secured another prestigious opportunity in Africa after successfully commissioning Nigeria’s first solar storage hybrid power plant, which is also Africa’s largest battery energy storage system. Hybrid energy solutions is a huge opportunity as many power generation and distribution companies in places like Africa are moving into renewables.”

“As one of the leading turnkey EPC solution providers globally, with project management, engineering and delivery expertise of over 11 GW of diversified energy offerings across geographies, along with our consortium partners, we are committed to deliver this project well on-time, fully complying with the stringent quality and safety standards,” added Mr. Deepak Thakur.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsSterling and Wilson to Build Solar Storage Hybrid Power Plant in Niger

So, What Exactly Is Long-Duration Energy Storage?

on October 27, 2020

Long-duration storage occupies an enviable position in the cleantech hype cycle. Its allure has proven more durable than energy blockchain, and its commercialization is further along than super-buzzy green hydrogen.

Depending on who you talk to, long-duration storage technology can knock out coal and gas peaker plants, turn renewables into round-the-clock resources and generally pave the way for a carbon-free grid.

But beyond the high-level predictions, it’s hard to find a consistent definition of what this category actually means and exactly what it’s supposed to do. That’s largely because a market for such things hasn’t really existed.

That’s starting to change. On October 15, a coalition of community-choice aggregators in California released the first major request for proposals targeting long-duration projects. To qualify, plants must be:

50 megawatts or greater:

  • Able to discharge electrons at that level for eight hours or more
  • In operation by 2026
  • Companies interested in this process cover a range of technologies, including pumped hydro, gravity-based, compressed air and flow batteries, as well as current market leader lithium-ion batteries.

GTM previously covered the main technologies vying for this emerging grid role and recently published an explainer on green hydrogen, another long-duration contender. In light of the new effort to actually buy some of this stuff, GTM has compiled a guide to why it matters, what products and companies are competing to supply it, and what hurdles this category faces.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsSo, What Exactly Is Long-Duration Energy Storage?

Five Facts about Energy Storage that Every Californian Should Know

on October 27, 2020

If you aren’t already paying attention to energy storage, you should be. While most people admittedly don’t get giddy at the thought of a lithium ion battery, energy experts and policymakers do and they are becoming increasingly excited about the potential role energy storage can play in the future of electricity management. And for good reason – storage can help build resiliency, shore up energy reliability in communities, and support the move to 100 percent renewable energy.

And nowhere is this more apparent than California – a state that has already committed to 100 percent clean electricity and has quickly turned to energy storage as a key piece of this challenge. Over the past decade, the state has been a leader in storage development and has pioneered successes in the area that any energy-interested reader would be remiss to ignore. If this is news to you, not to worry, we’re here to catch you up. Here are five facts about energy storage in California you need to know.

1) California leads the charge on energy storage

California leads all states in energy storage deployment, and frankly, the other states aren’t even close. According to the Department of Energy, California currently boasts around 300 utility-scale storage projects, well ahead of second place New York and Massachusetts with only around 40 each and about triple the number of active projects in the entire nation of Germany. This accounts for more than 1,500 megawatts (MW) or 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of storage capacity. To put that in context, this amount of storage has roughly the same maximum power output as 4.68 million solar panels and around 13,635 Nissan Leafs (or the flux capacitor of one time traveling DeLorean).

Notably, California’s storage prowess extends beyond its sheer number of projects. The state was the first in the nation to establish an energy storage procurement target a decade ago and has continued to be a trailblazer in developing and passing storage legislation. California, for instance, is the only state along with New York, to design storage policies aimed at addressing equity and underserved communities to rectify disparities in energy access and cost.

2) California’s storage programs and projects are innovative

The state is home to some of the most ambitious storage initiatives, projects, and mandates in the world. At the cornerstone of these achievements is the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), an initiative that provides financial incentives to promising storage projects, both commercial and residential. The program has already provided millions of dollars in incentives and is poised to continue funding projects through at least 2025. This is particularly exciting for residential customers seeking to outfit their homes or small businesses with battery technology. The program will prioritize future funding for low-income and high-fire-threat communities in the hope that storage can help individuals keep the lights on during outages.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsFive Facts about Energy Storage that Every Californian Should Know

US House Bill Offers $1.5 Billion in Clean Energy Microgrid Grants

on October 23, 2020

A new federal program would offer $1.5 billion in grants for clean energy microgrids under a bill introduced in the House of Representatives.

The bill aims to help fund clean energy microgrids for critical infrastructure, with a focus on low-income communities and communities of color.

The Energy Resilient Communities Act is designed to help combat power outages and rolling blackouts, reduce pollution, create green energy jobs and fight climate change, according to the bill’s Democratic sponsors Reps. Nanette Diaz Barragán from California and Yvette Clarke from New York.

“From Superstorm Sandy to summer heat waves, Brooklynites are all too familiar with the impacts of extreme weather on our communities and critical infrastructure,” Clarke said Oct. 20. “And as our nation grapples with record fires out West, and a record hurricane season down South, we know that resilience and equity must be top of mind in all our efforts to build a better and cleaner future.”

Last year, 546 microgrids were installed in the United States. About 86% of them were at least partly powered by fossil-fueled generators, according to the lawmakers.

Ranking clean energy microgrids

The bill would authorize $1.5 billion in annual grants for clean energy microgrids to support the critical infrastructure needed in the aftermath of an extreme weather event. It also offers $50 million for technical assistance.

The legislation reserves at least $150 million of annual funding for grants supporting community-owned energy systems.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsUS House Bill Offers $1.5 Billion in Clean Energy Microgrid Grants