US National Fire Protection Association’s Energy Storage Standards Published

on September 13, 2019

The second draft of the US National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) energy storage system guidance on fire hazards and safe installation best practice for stakeholders has been published.

The standard, NFPA 855, “provides requirements based on the technology used in ESS, the setting where the technology is being installed, the size and separation of ESS installations, and the fire suppression and control systems that are in place,” according to a NFPA release yesterday.

The association said it seeks to inform “designers, builders, facility managers, manufacturers, responders and others” about fire hazards. The NFPA noted that some ESS technologies are becoming increasingly energy dense, increasing their potential usefulness but also presenting challenges that require the first responders and the industry to “become educated and proactive about ESS safety.”

The standard has been in development since 2016 and has taken into account more than 600 public inputs and 800 public comments, while the NFPA also offers online training for fire service members, conducts research, offers factsheets to policymakers and makes resources available online.

Analysis – Andy Colthorpe, Editor, E-S.n
It is thought that the development of more unified standards across industry could not only help with safety but also help streamline installation and permitting processes among other benefits, if done correctly.

Previously, Roger Lin at NEC’s Energy Solutions division has told of his role on the standards committee at NFPA, commenting that “there’s a lot of great stuff in there [ NFPA 855],” including “seemingly trivial” considerations that can end up causing serious problems. Lin noted also that in New York, considered to be the US state with the most stringent fire codes, NEC is testing lithium-ion battery systems to UL standards with New York’s fire department.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsUS National Fire Protection Association’s Energy Storage Standards Published

New York Powers Up 20-MW Battery Storage Facility

on September 13, 2019

September 13 (Renewables Now) – The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has completed what it says is the state’s largest battery storage system — a 20-MW installation in New York’s Capital Region.

The facility, called KCE NY1, was supplied by Key Capture Energy and will be used to enhance the state’s electrical system by improving power grid performance and reliability, thus helping lower greenhouse gas emissions. The project will also support the state’s target for 70% of its power to come from renewables by 2030 and for the deployment of 3 GW of energy storage capacity by the same year, NYSERDA said on Thursday.

Key Capture Energy is part of the START-UP NY programme, administered by Empire State Development, which helps new and expanding businesses through tax-based incentives and academic partnerships. The Albany-based firm is partnering with the University at Albany.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsNew York Powers Up 20-MW Battery Storage Facility

Top EU Financier To Refocus On Market-Based Renewables, Energy Storage

on September 13, 2019

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is debating plans to shift its multi-billion energy funding firepower to back energy storage and free-market renewables more decisively.

The bank’s board of directors met this week to discuss a major overhaul of its six-year-old energy lending policies, with fossil fuel divestment proposals meant to help the EU lead the global fight against climate change.

The 46-page draft circulated by the EIB – which must be adopted before it becomes final – anticipates a new direction in the bank’s ongoing campaign to back energy ventures, which has seen it pump nearly €50 billion (US$55 billion) into the sector over the past five years alone.

Free-market renewables are among the new targets the EIB will sets its sights on, the draft shows. The bank now wants to back “market-based” energy ventures that source part or all of their revenues from energy markets or via mechanisms such as auctions, the document says.

The EIB will also bankroll battery storage, demand response and decentralised energy systems, key to integrating the high volumes of variable solar and wind – a 60% share of the EU-wide electricity mix – it estimates will be present by 2030 if the bloc meets its binding targets for that year.

The “limited track record” of these novel technologies will likely hamper their efforts to raise capital, the EIB’s draft energy policy notes, adding that the going will be particularly tough for those exposed to the risk of wholesale market prices.

The EIB will work to boost uptake of batteries and other new entrants through tailored finance and advice, the draft promises, adding: “Bank financing volumes may remain modest, but they can have a strong early demonstration effect, helping to leverage additional private sector investment.”

New EU energy chapter as global green finance gathers steam
Whether the EIB’s lending shift becomes hard policy will be decided later, with its Board of Directors set to discuss the draft again in Luxembourg on 15 October. Contacted by PV Tech, a bank spokesperson did not shed light on adoption timetables, noting that the decision rests on how talks play out.

The bank’s move makes it the latest clean energy financier to revamp its policies in the wake of the Paris Agreement on climate change of 2015. The positioning comes as UN scientists warn the world must invest US$2.4 trillion a year in renewables if it hopes to limit destructive global warming.

The EIB is not the only state-sponsored financier to be eyeing a refocus on storage batteries and other less-mature technologies. In late July, Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corp (CEFC) promised greater allocations to grid stability and large-scale energy storage over the next 12 months.

Financiers’ interest in grid-supportive energy storage is building as economics improve, particularly around solar-based systems. Various studies have described these hybrids as already – or soon to be – competitive in Europe, while major US utilities are mulling moves as coal’s attraction weakens.

The EIB’s talks to bring its energy lending in line with post-Paris climate goals come at a momentous time for the EU bloc, currently witnessing the arrival of a new European Commission cabinet after the elections in May this year.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsTop EU Financier To Refocus On Market-Based Renewables, Energy Storage

California’s Largest Battery Storage Installation to Be Installed in Mojave Desert

on September 12, 2019

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and Glendale Water and Power, through the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA), on May 16, 2019, received SCPPA’s approval on agreements with 8minute Solar Energy (8mSE) for the installation of a 300-MW/1,200-MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) located at 8mSE’s Eland Solar and Storage Center. The LADWP Board of Commissioners approved the plan on Sept. 10.

The BESS will be co-located with a 400-MW solar PV plant (PV Plant), which will deliver energy across a 5-mile gen-tie to LADWP’s Barren Ridge Switching Station in the Mojave Desert (Figure 1). The agreements were formalized as power purchase agreements (PPAs) with a 25-year term.

Each PPA nominally stipulates a 100-MW/400-MWh BESS, for a total size of 200-MW/800-MWh, but LADWP intends to exercise its option under the PPA to expand the BESS to the larger size of 150-MW/600-MWh, for a total size of 300-MW/1,200-MWh. Each BESS and PV Plant (Project) is expected to reach commercial operation no later than December 2023. The PV Plant will be built in two phases, with Eland 1 and Eland 2 each having 200 MW of PV and 600 MWh of BESS. Figure 3 shows the interconnection of Eland Solar and Storage Center with the Barren Ridge Switching Station.

In order to accommodate the Project, the Barren Ridge Switching Station will need to be expanded with two new busses. In addition, a +200-MVAR/–100-MAVR static VAR compensator (SVC) will be installed at the Barren Ridge Switching Station to supply requisite VAR support and stiffen the newly commissioned Barren Ridge-Rinaldi Transmission Line (BRRTL) receiving the Project energy. The new 63-mile 230-kV, double-circuit BRRTL was completed in 2016 at a cost of approximately $240 million, primarily to enable the Barren Ridge Substation to serve as a hub for renewable energy. Figure 4 shows construction of the BRRTL, while Figure 5 shows on-going upgrades to the Barren Ridge Substation.

The BESS installation near LADWP’s Barren Ridge renewable hub will better position LADWP to meet its aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard goals of 55% by 2025, 80% by 2036, and 100% carbon neutral by 2045. Renewable generation, such as solar and wind, is heavily weather dependent and will vary over time, often making it difficult to schedule and count on with a high level of certainty. New technologies, including energy storage, advanced inverter functions, and enhanced monitoring and controls, potentially have the capability to bridge the gap between variable renewable and conventional generation.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsCalifornia’s Largest Battery Storage Installation to Be Installed in Mojave Desert

California’s Initiatives To Overcome Its Challenges In The Sun

on September 12, 2019

California is embracing energy storage as a reliability solution for an electrical grid that’s adopting more renewable, intermittent generation. Public agencies such as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power have set ambitious energy storage targets while companies across the state are developing cutting edge storage technologies such as zinc-air batteries and renewable hydrogen. The goal is to ensure a dependable energy supply for the state as it races toward its target of 100% carbon-free energy by 2045.

For more than two decades, California has overcome a series of unforeseen challenges that have threatened to derail the state’s transformation to clean, reliable energy. Whether it was cheap natural gas challenging the economics of renewables or California’s push to implement the country’s toughest auto emissions standards, state policymakers have untangled regulatory and economic clean energy knots years before other states or countries were even aware of them. In doing so, California reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 13% from 2004 to 2016 while its economy grew by 63%.

With the ramp-up of renewable energy generation, one of the trickiest challenges bedevilling state policymakers has been how to supply reliable energy to consumers despite the intermittent nature of solar, wind and other forms of renewable generation.

The California Independent System Operator, CAISO, christened this pattern the “the Duck Curve” to describe the net electricity demand they must serve after netting out daily solar and wind energy generation. The resulting net load has a regularly recurring daily dip and rise that looks like a duck. The addition of 20,000 megawatts of new renewable generation over the past nine years in the state has exacerbated that curve by steepening its slope over the course of the day as ever more solar energy floods into the market and then retreats. Visually, instead of the smooth, almost lazy “U” of diminishing and rising demand, the state now rides a daily roller coaster as millions of solar cells begin to generate power in the morning and then taper off production in the late afternoon – just as households turn on their TVs, washing machines and other appliances.

Viewed on a weekly or monthly scale, the dramatic peaks and valleys of this peaking power profile appear something like multiple stalagmites rising from a cavern floor.

The Duck Curve over the course of a week in May 2017 (actual) and May 2030 (predicted) shows ‘icicles of opportunity’ on the grid. Images: Strategen.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsCalifornia’s Initiatives To Overcome Its Challenges In The Sun

Neoen Unveils 1.8GW Wind-Solar-Storage Hybrid

on September 12, 2019

Its Goyder South complex would include up to 1.2GW of wind power and 600MW of solar PV, plus 900MW of battery storage, according to the South Australian government.

The project would be built in three stages, with the first set to include 400MW of wind, 200MW of solar PV, plus 300MW of battery storage.

Completion of Goyder South’s second and third stages would depend on the construction of a 330kV, 900km high-voltage interconnector between South Australia and New South Wales.

Transmission system operators (TSOs) ElectraNet and TransGrid are aiming for the Project Energy Connect transmission line to be completed in 2022 or 2023.

Goyder South’s 900MW battery storage component would be nine times the capacity of the 100MW/129MWh Tesla battery attached to its 314MW Hornsdale wind farm.

Elon Musk’s US firm provided the lithium-ion battery — reported to be the largest in the world — following a series of blackouts in South Australia in 2016.

Neoen is one of four wind developers being sued by the Australian Energy Regulator for failing to ensure their projects “complied with their generator performance standard requirement to ride-through certain disturbances” during the South Australia blackout.

The French firm is also developing the Kaban Green Power Hub in Queensland and the Bulgana Green Power Hub in Victoria, Both are wind farms with battery storage attached.

Elsewhere, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has launched a reverse auction to contract up to 250MW of new renewable energy generation and up to 20MW/40MWh of battery storage.

The federal district aims to source 100% of its electricity from renewables.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsNeoen Unveils 1.8GW Wind-Solar-Storage Hybrid

Los Angeles Says “Yes” To The Cheapest Solar Plus Storage In The USA

on September 11, 2019

Yesterday, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a power purchase agreement (PPA) with 8minute Solar Energy for a solar power plus energy storage facility located in Kern County, California. Now that the LADWP commission has approved the project, it will move to a vote with the Los Angeles City Council before it can be delivered to the Mayor’s desk for a final signature. The project’s guaranteed commercial operation date is December 31, 2023 – about 12 years after it was initially filed in early 2012.

The LADWP portion of the 25 year PPA is for 375 MWac of solar power coupled with 385.5 MW / 1,150 MWh of energy storage, while Glendale Water and Power took the other 25 MWac of solar plus 12.5 MW / 50 MWh of energy – totaling 400 MWac of solar plus plus 300 MW / 1.2 GWh of energy storage. LADWP will pay about $1.1 billion over the 25-year contract.

When pv magazine USA originally reported on the project, it was suggested that it would be up to 400 MWac of solar plus 200 MW / 800 MWh of energy storage – which would be priced, in aggregate, at 3.297¢/kWh. The final version of the project delivered will in fact be a 300 MW / 1.2 GWh energy storage installation – with an aggregate pricing of 3.962¢/kWh.

The project was originally offered at a record US price of 1.997¢/kWh for solar power alone, but the prices have increased with the energy storage adders – so we, technically, might no longer have a record low solar power price with this project. One might argue that the NV Energy contract 8minute signed for 2.376¢/kWh is still the cheapest “solar” in the USA, with this project being the cheapest “solar+storage” whose price has been revealed to date.

The image below, from a presentation by team members shows the project broken into Phase 1 and 2, each 200 MWac of solar and 100 MW / 400 MWh of energy storage. At the bottom of the image, the energy storage expansion is described – noting a 0.665¢/kWh adder, and that the two projects would meet 3.8% of the city’s renewable portfolio standard in 2025.

Kern County, California has many thousands of pages of PDFs describing the environmental aspects of the project. The project brought together 22 real property agreements – including many transmission easements, as well as land options and purchase agreements. The LADWP page hosts a 930 PDF that includes the contracts, and a lot of great information.

The total amount of electricity to be produced by the facility is still a bit fuzzy.

The 200 MWac Eland 2 project contract states the site is expected to deliver 856,094 MWh of electricity in the “initial stub year”, with 80% of that value guaranteed – but an option that 120% might be delivered (below image). As well, if there is “excess energy”, that is electricity that is greater than the 120% value, the customer is obligated to purchase such electricity – but at a discounted price of 1.154¢/kWh.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsLos Angeles Says “Yes” To The Cheapest Solar Plus Storage In The USA

Residential Energy Storage Broke Records In Q2

on September 11, 2019

Energy storage embodies the symbiotic nature of renewable energy more than any other singular source. It’s like a jacked-up version of a pilot fish, bringing out the full generating potential of the resource that its paired with.

It should come as no surprise that as solar energy grows and expands, especially in the residential market, storage is right there, growing alongside it. This view is cemented by Wood Mackenzie Power and renewables’ new report the Q3 2019 U.S. Energy Storage Monitor, which shows that the United States deployed 35 MW of new, residential, energy storage in Q2 2019.

That represents the highest single-quarter mark ever and a nearly 33% increase over the previous high of 26 MW in a single quarter, set a year ago in Q2 2018. It’s also 41% higher than Q1 figures.

In total, 76 MW of storage was deployed in the second quarter of 2019, with this figure representing both front-of-the-meter (FTM) and behind-the-meter (BTM) resources. These 76 MW represent 165 MWh, with 83% of all MWh coming from BTM projects. California’s residential market accounted for 23% of all MWh deployed in the quarter at 39.2 MW, the most of any state and followed by Hawaii at 10.7 MWh and the PJM service area excluding New Jersey at 3.7 MW.

While residential storage is booming like never before, that success is not matched by the remaining sectors, though that does depend on how one defines success. This is because year-over-year energy storage deployments are up 20%, however the market fell 49% quarter-over-quarter. This Fall is mostly driven by a stagnation in FTM deployment, as residential/nonresidential figures are modestly smaller than their Q1 peers.

However, all of that doom and gloom is brought up just to say that Wood Mackenzie does not expect to see a downwards trend in future deployment, in fact the opposite is true. While FTM deployment fell 77% quarter-over quarter, the figure is still 17% higher year-over-year and the FTM pipeline grew by 66% in Q2, driven by continued large-scale utility procurements and developer interest in ISO markets.

And speaking of projections, Wood Mackenzie anticipates that 2019 will finish with 478 MW deployed, a 54 percent increase over the 311 MW deployed in 2018. Looking further into the future, Wood Mackenzie predicts that the storage market will grow by roughly tenfold between 2019 and 2024, bolstered by supportive policy structures and new opportunities for storage to provide wholesale market services.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsResidential Energy Storage Broke Records In Q2

Battery Storage Systems At ‘The Edge of Profitability,’ As German Households Reach 1GWh Of Capacity

on September 11, 2019

The dramatic fall in cost, occuring alongside the mass roll-out of home storage systems in Germany since 2013, has highlighted the potential of decentralised batteries in virtual power plants to utility companies and grid operators.

Since 2017, every second residential PV installation in the European state has been accompanied with a battery pack, and there are now roughly 150,000 home storage systems with an estimated capacity of about 1GWh in circulation. Decentralised batteries are “one of the hottest topics in energy research,” according to Dr Kai-Philipp Karies, Jan Figgener and David Haberschusz, energy storage researchers at RTWH Aachen University in Germany.

In an article for Volume 20 of PV Tech Power, the quarterly technical journal from our publisher Solar Media, the researchers argue that battery storage systems are at “the edge of profitability” across several market segments today. The article looks at the emotional and economic drivers behind Germany’s residential storage boom and unpacks the complex business case for commercial storage. It also highlights the role multi-megawatt batteries could have in supporting national transmission grids and phasing out fossil fuel generation.

When it comes to the latter, the researchers note that Germany and the UK are the two “most important” markets in Europe. The UK – which is more susceptible to energy instability due to its island grid – can “prevent, or at least mitigate” national grid blackouts like the one incurred in late August by deploying “increasing amounts” of utility-scale battery storage systems. In Germany, three of the four grid transmission operators have submitted bids to the German grid regulator to test ‘grid-boosters’ – in other words, battery systems with a total capacity of 1.3GW.

Practical insights gained from the operation of grid-operated battery systems will provide lessons for a future which must cater to an increasing number of electric vehicles, according to the academics.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsBattery Storage Systems At ‘The Edge of Profitability,’ As German Households Reach 1GWh Of Capacity

Microgrids Made Easier — and Smarter — With Software That Uses Artificial Intelligence

on September 10, 2019

Good things don’t always come easily. Microgrids are no exception.

“The process of developing microgrids can be costly. It begins with a feasibility study reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars, even before any design, procurement and installation,” said Kay Aikin, CEO of US-based Introspective Systems.”Moreover, those feasibility studies are filled with disclaimers, and closing the gaps of uncertainty is crucial. Microgrid designs are unique, and therefore it is difficult to scale up the process of those studies without the use of technology.”

Fortunately, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can help. Aikin’s company, along with Israel-basesd Brightmerge, are incorporating both into a microgrid software platform that determines microgrid feasibility and creates optimal design specs and operational controls.

The partners have several pilot projects underway with the goal of bringing the software platform to alpha stage in the second quarter of 2020 and rolling out production systems in 2021.

One pilot project is moving forward faster — a solar-plus-storage microgrid on Maine’s Isle au Haut that’s due to break ground soon. “We’ll build the system over the next 2-1/2 months with the aim of having it up and running by mid-November,” Aikin said in an interview. The island is served by an aging undersea cable connected to the mainland 20 years past its useful life that could fail at any time.

Transactive energy and microgrids
The Introspective Systems-Brightmerge microgrid software development project is governed under a contract Introspective Systems recently finalized with the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation. Its unit, BIRD Energy, has been awarding grant funding for projects proposed jointly by US and Israeli companies since November 2009.

Brightmerge and Introspective Systems won a grant in December 2018 to develop and test dynamic grid pricing with edge load responsive device control. The grant was part of $6 million in funding BIRD Energy awarded to seven projects to be carried out jointly by Israeli and US organizations.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsMicrogrids Made Easier — and Smarter — With Software That Uses Artificial Intelligence