Minnesota Gets its First Large-Scale Energy Storage System

on August 7, 2018

In 2017 the University of Minnesota released a study – Modernizing Minnesota’s Grid: An Economic Analysis of Energy Storage Opportunities – projecting that solar+storage would be more cost competitive than a natural gas peaker plant in 2018 (a quick reminder that it is more than halfway through 2018).

In the document (page 42) Connexus Energy put forth their logic for solar+storage to offset peak demand. The utility found that a majority of members were willing to pay up to 5% more for their electricity for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When they combined this with the demand charge offset that comes from solar+storage, the economics made sense, specifically for the utility. And now, as a result of an economic analysis, the utility has broken ground on two solar+energy storage facilities.

Connexus Energy is based in Ramsey, Minnesota and serves 130,000 customers in portions of seven counties in the central part of the state, particularly Anoka and Sherburne Counties. The cooperative utility began looking at batteries in 2016, but found they didn’t yet pencil. However, since then the economics have changed and now the utility projects savings of around $4 million a year through peak load reduction.

The Connexus projects consists of two solar gardens, one each in Ramsey and Isanti County’s Athens Township. The Connexus solar project is being developed by Engie, a French energy firm, while Florida’s NextEra Energy is taking care of the storage system.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsMinnesota Gets its First Large-Scale Energy Storage System

World-class Battery Storage System Helps to Power Country Town

on May 21, 2018

Phys-OrgA new energy storage system developed by University of Adelaide researchers and industry partners is now successfully supporting the electricity network for the country town of Cape Jervis, South Australia.

The new, world-class system is part of a $3.65 million trial led by the University of Adelaide in collaboration with SA Power Networks and system supplier PowerTec. The project is supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) on behalf of the Australian Government with $1.44 million in grant funding.

The mobile battery energy storage system and its specialised control system reduces peak load of the local substation, stabilises the  in the area, and supports a number of nearby customers in the event of a power interruption – all without manual intervention.

The battery receives control signals from high-voltage electricity infrastructure more than 5km away at the main powerline to the town of Cape Jervis, and makes its own decisions about how best to support local electricity delivery.

“This technology is novel because the mobile battery energy storage system’s operations are now completely autonomous,” said Associate Professor Nesimi Ertugrul, from the University of Adelaide’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

“If an outage occurs, our mobile battery system automatically runs a range of safety checks before providing back-up power to nearby houses until the main grid is restored.

“This feature means that residents can also share residential solar power with neighbours during an outage.

“This autonomous battery system has many unique and advanced features. We can monitor the system and intervene if necessary, but the system can operate safely in all kinds of situations without the need for any operator instructions,” Associate Professor Ertugrul said.

“It also allows us to understand the technology under real operating and weather conditions, and gives us the potential to create a knowledge base for industry and system developers.”

The South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, welcomed the commissioning of the battery as an example of how  can be help make our system more affordable and reliable.

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsWorld-class Battery Storage System Helps to Power Country Town

Energy storage breakthrough could boost EV range and slash charge time

on February 28, 2018

Electric cars could soon have as much range as petrol and diesel cars — and recharge in a matter of minutes — thanks to what researchers are calling a “breakthrough” in energy storage technology. Teams from Bristol University and Surrey University have created a new material for supercapacitors, which store electric charge, that could see EVs recharge in as little as 10 minutes compared to the eight hours it can take for EVs with lithium-ion batteries. And according to the researchers, it boasts enough energy density to see EVs surpass even the top range of current leading models, such as Teslas. Elon Musk himself has previously said a breakthrough in EV technology would likely come from supercapacitors, rather than batteries.

The technology was originally being developed for mobile devices — researchers wanted to create a transparent polymer for Google Glass-like applications — but once the team discovered the energy storage potential of the material it refocused its efforts. Now it believes the polymer could be more energy-dense than lithium ion, holding 180 watt-hours per kilogram, while lithium ion holds around 100-120 watt-hours per kilogram.

However, the technology has some drawbacks. Its capacity to charge quickly means it loses charge relatively rapidly, too. Leaving a supercapacitor car on your driveway for a month would see it lose most of its charge, for example. So it’s likely the first cars offering this tech would come with a small conventional battery, too. Nonetheless, while it may still be early days, this technology has the potential to eradicate some of the biggest barriers to EV take-up. According to Dr. Donald Highgate, research director for company Superdielectrics, which worked with the universities on the project, “It could have a seismic effect on energy, but it’s not a done deal.”

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsEnergy storage breakthrough could boost EV range and slash charge time

Energy Storage Myths: #1 Arbitrage

on June 17, 2016

Energy Storage Myths: #1 Arbitrage

Dispelling Industry Myths to Reveal the Value of Energy Storage


Daniel V. Crotzer | Energy Storage Consultant
June 17, 2016

 

#1 Myth: Buy Low / Sell High
What if we told you that the way energy storage companies market is misleading? For the past few years energy storage companies have touted arbitrage as the Messiah of the industry. We are going to show you how to avoid misconceptions and understand the real value of energy storage. This article shows the current value of arbitrage.

 

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Fractal Energy Storage ConsultantsEnergy Storage Myths: #1 Arbitrage