Tesla Breaks Another Record — This Time For Energy Storage Installations

on October 22, 2020

Tesla has broken yet another record. This time it’s for energy storage installations. Tesla’s storage business deployed 750 MWh in Q3. Tesla noted in its Q3 earnings update that the production of its Megapack continued to ramp up at Gigafactory Nevada. Production volumes more than doubled in Q3 2020 compared to Q3 2019.

The demand for Tesla’s smaller Powerwall, made for homes, not only remained strong but is also growing. Tesla pointed out that many of its customers include a Powerwall with their solar installations. Tesla is also seeing “accelerating interest” in the Powerwall due to concerns around grid stability in California, where most of its buyers live.

Tesla believes that its energy business will ultimately be as large as its vehicle business.

Meanwhile, it has created a strategy of low-cost solar priced at $1.49/watt in the US after the US tax credit is applied, something CleanTechnica spoke with Tesla CEO Elon Musk about last month, and this is having an impact. For more on that matter, read: “Elon Musk Explains Why Tesla Solar Power Is So Cheap — CleanTechnica Exclusive.”

Tesla’s total solar deployments more than doubled in the third quarter versus the second quarter — to 57 MW. Solar Roof deployments have almost tripled.

Tesla also recently demonstrated a 1.5-day Solar Roof install. Installation time is one of the key areas of Tesla’s focus to accelerate the growth of this program. Tesla provided photos of its 1.5-day Solar Roof install in the quarterly report. The photos were taken at 7:30 in the morning, at noon, and at 2:00 pm the following day. Have a look:

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsTesla Breaks Another Record — This Time For Energy Storage Installations

Renault eWays: The Group Presents Two Major New Energy Storage Projects

on October 22, 2020

The Groupe Renault is continuing its commitment to sustainable mobility by acting on the electric ecosystem as a whole. With the Advanced Battery Storage project in France and the SmartHubs project in the UK, it is initiating two major projects in Europe using second-life battery technologies. The common objective is to manage the gap between electricity consumption and production in order to increase the share of renewable energies in the energy mix. The aim is to maintain the balance between supply and demand on the electricity grid by integrating different energy sources with intermittent production capacities.

The Georges Besse factory in Douai is home to the first Advanced Battery Storage installation, delivered by NIDEC ASI, an integrator partner and storage solution provider. This project is part of the Groupe Renault’s strategy to develop an intelligent electrical ecosystem in favour of the energy transition. This new project is based on the observation that the slightest discrepancy between consumption and production triggers disturbances that can compromise the stability of the frequency of the domestic network. Stationary energy storage thus makes it possible to regulate and stabilise the network by charging the batteries when demand is low, then reinjecting the energy contained in these batteries back into the network as soon as demand is high.

Advanced Battery Storage is based on electric car batteries compiled in containers and targets an installed capacity of nearly 50 MWh at several sites in France. The Douai site has a total installed capacity of 4.7 MWh using second life batteries, as well as new batteries stored for future after-sales use.

The Advanced Battery Storage project is being carried out in partnership with the Banque des Territoires, the Ecological Transport Modernisation Fund managed by Demeter and the German startup The Mobility House. It demonstrates the Group’s ability to anticipate environmental issues and provide opportunities to innovate with new services.

The SmartHubs project with Connected Energy is located in West Sussex, UK. Second life batteries from Renault vehicles will be operated alongside other technologies as part of a local energy system to help provide cleaner, lower cost energy for use in social housing, transport, infrastructure, private homes and local businesses. The second life batteries will be incorporated into Connected Energy’s specially designed E-STOR systems.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsRenault eWays: The Group Presents Two Major New Energy Storage Projects

Renewables, H2 and Energy Storage: This Week’s POWERGEN+ Schedule is Ready to Roll

on October 21, 2020

POWERGEN+ returns this week with sessions featuring experts discussing the latest and greatest in state regulation and renewable policies, community solar, hydrogen adoption and energy storage options.

The monthly virtual series, enacted during this era of social distancing due to COVID-19, offers the same level of power sector industry content which normally happens at the live event. POWERGEN+ is free to register and sessions are available both live this week and archived for one year.

Registrants can see individual sessions or attend all of them, if they want. Go here to choose.

POWERGEN International is still scheduled for March 30-April 1 in Orlando.

In the meantime, parent company Clarion Energy is working on building virtual sessions with learned veterans in the utility, OEM, service and alternative energy fields. The sessions happening Wednesday and Thursday are focused on the clean energy side of the power generation equation.

On the first day, a group of state and national regulatory leaders will detail how their jurisdictions handle renewable energies and integration as an economic development issue. Later in the day, high-level contributors from National Grid, U.S. Light Energy and Standard Solar will show the path they took to developing major community solar projects in New York.

On Thursday, sponsor Nel Hydrogen will underline key factors in why stored and deployable H2 can help both grid resiliency and zero-carbon goals. The second session panel that day, moderated by Energy Cast host Jay Dauenhauer, will include Rye Development, GE and National Grid Renewables (formerly Geronimo Energy) and give the overview and challenges of various energy storage resources.

Both days will be kicked off by welcome messages from Clarion Energy leaders and keynote addressed from renewable and hydrogen sector leaders. The Wednesday keynote speaker will be Robert Jackson, director for solar PV projects for renewables developer Ameresco, while Thursday morning’s keynote will be from David Bow with Nel Hydrogen.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsRenewables, H2 and Energy Storage: This Week’s POWERGEN+ Schedule is Ready to Roll

Southern California Water District Building 4 New Battery Storage Systems to Boost Energy Resilience

on October 20, 2020

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is preparing to build four new battery energy storage systems that will boost the district’s energy resilience and cut operational costs by optimizing solar power and reducing peak load at its facilities.

The agency’s board of directors voted recently to authorize $2.2 million to design the battery systems at water treatment plants in Granada Hills, La Verne and Riverside’s Temecula Valley as well as a pump station in Lake Forest.

With completion expected in mid-2022, the projects will allow Metropolitan to store excess power to use during peak periods. The energy storage systems will be built with a microgrid configuration, meaning they can be connected to the larger electricity grid, or function independently to continue powering the facilities during a grid outage.

The projects at Metropolitan’s Jensen, Weymouth, and Skinner plants, along with its OC-88 pump station, also are in line with Metropolitan’s Energy Sustainability Plan, which identifies ways to contain energy costs, move toward energy independence and reduce price volatility through cost-effective alternative energy projects.

The projects are estimated to cost $11-12 million. However, through energy savings and incentives from the California Public Utilities Commission, Metropolitan is expected to recoup its costs within three years.

The four Metropolitan sites identified for the energy storage systems were selected because of their on-site solar power generation, their location within high-threat fire districts and/or their location in low-income/disadvantaged communities, conditions for approval for the CPUC incentives.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsSouthern California Water District Building 4 New Battery Storage Systems to Boost Energy Resilience

AES Begins Work on 560MWh ‘Largest Battery System in Latin America’ For Solar and Wind in Chile

on October 19, 2020

AES Gener has held a virtual groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on a 112MW / 560MWh battery energy storage system project in Chile, Latin America.

Multinational electric power generation and distribution company AES Corporation’s local subsidiary said the system, which can store power from nearby solar and wind facilities for up to five hours, is the biggest battery storage system in Latin America to date as well as being Chile’s first solar-plus-storage project.

“This type of investment is a concrete demonstration of the important role of the energy sector in the post-COVID green recovery,” Chile’s energy minister Juan Carlos Jobet, who attended the event along with AES Gener CEO Ricardo Falú and AES Gener’s chairman of the board, Julián Nebreda, said.

“We must continue to make decisive progress in the incorporation of renewable energies to clean the generation matrix. This will allow us to have greater energy independence and create jobs that are so necessary for the green economic recovery,” Minister Jobet said.

The batteries will be paired with 253MW of renewable energy generation, including the 180MW Andes Solar II B project in Antofagasta. Andes Solar II B will be built with 10MW of modular, prefabricated solar PV panels and 170MW of bifacial solar PV panels of the type AES Gener has already deployed in the 80MW Andes Solar II A project which has already begun construction.

The solar energy to be integrated into the national electricity system with the batteries will be built on mountain ranges in Antofagasta in the Atacama Desert, enjoying a combination of high solar irradiance at relatively low temperatures. Meanwhile, the output of the 73MW Campo Lindo wind farm being built in the Bío Bío region in the central south of Chile will also be integrated using the storage system. Campo Lindo is the first phase of a total 480MW cluster of wind turbines being built in the region, near the city of Los Ángeles.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsAES Begins Work on 560MWh ‘Largest Battery System in Latin America’ For Solar and Wind in Chile

Tesla installs Canada’s Biggest Battery Energy Storage System

on October 19, 2020

Tesla has a reputation for installing large-scale battery energy storage systems (BESS) worldwide to help with the transition to sustainable energy. Its most recent project is in the Canadian province of Alberta, where Tesla has installed the country’s largest BESS with the help of TD Asset Management.

The project consists of “up to 60 MW of Tesla Megapack Batteries, providing energy balancing and grid frequency regulation services that support Alberta’s growth in sustainable energy,” a press release from TD Asset Management said.

The project started in September 2020, with TD providing its initial investment to bring the first 20 MW battery storage project to the site in Alberta. It is set to be operational by December 2020. It will ultimately be managed by the TD Greystone Infrastructure Fund’s power investment platform, known as WCSB Power Holdings LP, who will construct and operate the final two 20 MW Megapacks.

Additionally, TERIC Power Limited, an Independent Power Producer that operates out of Calgary, has been given the tasks of engaging in the design and management of the Project.

Ultimately, the goal of most BESS projects is to alleviate the stress on the grid, which is usually powered by less-sustainable sources of power. According to the Canadian Energy Regulator, 91% of electricity is produced from fossil fuels in Alberta. “Approximately 43% from coal and 49% from natural gas. The remaining 8% is produced from renewables, such as wind, hydro, and biomass,” the analysis said.

In times of high energy consumption, the grid can have too much stress upon it and can cause homes or businesses to experience power outages. When this occurs, a backup is needed to keep the lights on. Usually, BESS projects are where the bottleneck is solved.

However, the adoption of sustainable energy is becoming more notable globally. In addition to the Big Battery project in South Australia, which Tesla also commissioned, the Gateway Energy Storage project is also geared toward servicing a massive market: about 80% of California and a small part of Nevada.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsTesla installs Canada’s Biggest Battery Energy Storage System

California’s Lucrative Energy Storage Incentive Gets Fiscally Misused Once Again

on October 19, 2020

California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program has a history of costly, unintended consequences that reveal flaws in the program and in human behavior.

Here’s another big incentive program problem:

Much of the $612 million “equity” and “equity resiliency” incentive for low-income, vulnerable customers and critical facilities in high-risk fire threat areas or those affected by public safety power shutoffs has been used up by customers using electricity for well pumps at second-homes, according to reporting in RTO Insider.

As pv magazine has reported, the Equity Resiliency incentive level is set at $1,000/kWh, which is enough to almost completely cover the installation of a storage system. The Equity Budget incentive was raised to $850/kWh and is directed at low-income customers in disadvantaged communities, and institutions, agencies and small businesses in disadvantaged communities.

But instead, “We were seeing some second-home residents receive the hefty grants, which pay the full cost of battery storage and solar cells to charge the units,” said CPUC Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen, quoted in the same RTO article.

“More than eight months after the decision took effect, the state’s three large investor-owned utilities haven’t started reaching out to medically vulnerable customers,” Rechtschaffen said. “Instead, developers of storage systems have targeted households with wells, regardless of income, and scooped up much of the funding that was supposed to last through 2024.”

The SGIP is a long-time, generous subsidy established by California’s PUC to support distributed energy resources, contribute to GHG emission reductions, demand reductions, and reduced customer electricity purchases. It provides one-time, upfront rebates for distributed energy systems on the customer’s side of the utility meter.

The lucrative program has gone through enormous changes since its creation as a peak-load reduction program after the California energy crisis in 2001. The old program was heavy on generation and had an inordinate fondness for fuel cells.

The 2020 SGIP is a different animal — it’s a stark response to California’s wildfires and Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) with 80% of its SB 700 funds devoted to energy storage, along with a marked emphasis on providing resiliency for vulnerable Californians in vulnerable locations.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsCalifornia’s Lucrative Energy Storage Incentive Gets Fiscally Misused Once Again

Panasonic, Service Finance Co. Unveil PowerOn Energy Storage Financing Program

on October 19, 2020

Panasonic and Service Finance Co. have unveiled PowerOn, a new home energy storage financing program exclusively for Panasonic EverVolt certified installers that enables them to offer 100% financing to homeowners who buy a complete energy storage system including EverVolt battery storage and Panasonic brand solar modules.

The PowerOn program offers affordable payments for homeowners and speedy payment to installers. Homeowners will be able to use any federal tax credits and local incentives to lower their payments and pay down loans faster through refinancing. All promotional loans offered through the PowerOn program include competitive finance terms.

“The interest in energy storage systems has never been higher,” says Mukesh Sethi, director of solar and energy storage at Panasonic Life Solutions Company of America. “One of the key missing ingredients has been nationwide energy storage financing that is easy to access and affordable for homeowners. With PowerOn, any Panasonic EverVolt certified installer can increase sales by selling turnkey energy storage systems with a low monthly payment.”

The PowerOn program provides multiple, flexible, no-money-down financing options to enrolled Panasonic EverVolt certified installers that they can offer to homeowners, including:

  • Transparent pricing – no hidden fees
  • No interest/no payment options, up to 18 months
  • Short- and long-term, low payment options
  • Combination solar/energy storage financing
  • Competitive annual percentage rates

Service Finance Co. has an easy to use dealer portal, online application and mobile app, which offers rapid four-click customer approvals and high approval rates.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsPanasonic, Service Finance Co. Unveil PowerOn Energy Storage Financing Program

“Everyone Knows By Now That We Need Energy Storage, So It’s High Time For a National Deployment Plan”

on October 19, 2020

Our talk with Guido Dalessi, CEO and one of Elestor‘s early investors, is squeezed in between two important performances. At an online conference in London, he tells the world about the importance of flow batteries for energy storage. Half a day later, there is a similar request from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. Energy storage is hot, that much is clear. “Everyone is now aware that the energy transition will never succeed without the option of storage,” says Dalessi. “Now it’s high time for the government to prepare the market for this development.”

From all the different active materials that could theoretically be used to design a flow battery, Elestor selected hydrogen and bromine. This leads to a number of advantages, says Dalessi: “The choice of hydrogen and bromine is purely motivated by Elestor’s mission to build a storage system with the lowest possible storage costs per kWh. Hydrogen and bromine are available in abundance worldwide. Delivery can, therefore, not be dominated by a small group of suppliers – unlike lithium, cobalt, and vanadium.”

The company, which is located at Industriepark Kleefse Waard in Arnhem, now employs 24 people of eight different nationalities. They are mainly scientists and engineers from the chemical and mechanical engineering fields. For its efforts, the company has already received many awards, such as last year’s Pearl Award. Dalessi looks back on it with great pleasure. “It’s not that you can directly measure what such an award does to your company, but this award is especially dear to me because it didn’t need to be preceded by a pitch or anything like that. It came entirely from The Economic Board’s appreciation of us, not influenced by the pitching qualities of someone from Elestor.”

But it doesn’t stop at eternal fame, there was also appreciation in terms of money. Last year, Koolen Industries (from owner Kees Koolen, former CEO of booking.com and early investor in Uber) joined EIT InnoEnergy, Enfuro, and Dalessi BV as investors. Since then, the company got the space to expand the team and build the first systems on a real scale. A few of these are still in the pipeline before entering the commercialization phase.

Does that mean that the step to the market is getting closer?

“Market interest has actually been there from the start, and it’s only growing. We are now talking to a few large companies and expect to be able to close a major deal soon. But before that happens, we will have to prove that our systems are stable. That requires testing, a lot of testing. After all, you don’t know what you’ve built until the endurance tests have been completed. The first 6 of 22 test stations to be built run 24/7 to test the lifespan of 10 to 15,000 cycles and all kinds of other properties. With this, we test the heart of the system, the membrane stacks. We invested heavily in these test facilities in 2020, because only in this way do we know what we really built and can we give the market performance guarantees. The tests also speed up the optimization process.”

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Fractal Energy Storage Consultants“Everyone Knows By Now That We Need Energy Storage, So It’s High Time For a National Deployment Plan”

Storage Supplier Fluence Acquires AMS for Power Market Dispatch Software

on October 15, 2020

Fluence, a leading integrator of large-scale energy storage systems, has acquired grid software startup AMS.

The deal hands an exit to AMS investors, including former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who bought into the startup’s early vision of turning commercial buildings into flexible grid assets. After winning pivotal utility contracts in California, AMS ran up against the capital constraints of managing a multi-year infrastructure buildout as a venture-backed company. In 2017, it pivoted to software to dispatch grid assets more profitably in competitive markets.

That’s the expertise Fluence bought. The joint venture between AES and Siemens already provides software to its battery customers to govern system safety and performance, and to dispatch according to market rules and interconnection constraints. But the AI-backed real-time trading algorithm AMS built will help Fluence customers make more money on their projects, said Fluence CTO Brett Galura.

“Energy storage is really the first truly dispatchable digital asset on the electric grid,” Galura said in an interview Wednesday. “We knew that the best way to continue to add value would be to continue to add more digital capabilities.”

That alignment echoes a partnership from 2019, when integrator NEC Energy Solutions teamed up with AMS competitor Stem to offer wholesale market assistance to storage customers. But those companies did not merge, and NEC ES recently decided to stop pursuing new business.

The goal of these pairings is to make battery plants, and clean energy plants more broadly, more profitable and efficient in power markets, thereby hastening the acceleration of a lower carbon power grid.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsStorage Supplier Fluence Acquires AMS for Power Market Dispatch Software