March 11 (SeeNews) – US utility Duke Energy Corp (NYSE:DUK) is testing hybrid ultracapacitor-battery energy storage system at one of its substations in North Carolina, it said Thursday.
The 100-kW/300-kWh storage system, said to be the first of its kind, went online last month. It will be used to demonstrate applications, including extended operational life, rapid response, real-time solar smoothing and load shifting. There is a 1.2-MW solar installation connected near the substation.
“With so many solar installations in North Carolina, we must look for innovative ways to better incorporate renewable energy into our system – and still provide reliable service at a competitive price for our customers,” said Thomas Golden, technology development manager for Duke Energy.
Nearly 18 GW of electric generating capacity was retired in 2015, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and more than 80 percent of that was coal-fired.
About 30 percent of those coal retirements happened in April after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule went into effect.
According to the EIA, some plants applied for and received one-year extensions and will retire this April. Several plants received additional extensions beyond April 2016 based on their roles in grid reliability.
This spring, National Grid will launch a new online marketplace that allows customers in Rhode Island to shop for solar and receive an incentive for improving energy efficiency at the same time.
SolarWise Rhode Island is part of National Grid’s 2016 Rhode Island Renewable Energy Growth Program, which launched last year. The initiative will help the state meet its goal to increase the amount of electricity generated by customer-owned equipment by 160 megawatts over a five-year period.
National Grid is partnering with EnergySage to deliver the SolarWise program. Through EnergySage’s online marketplace, customers will be able to compare solar options for their home or business and receive competitive quotes from preapproved installers. National Grid is the first electric utility company in the nation to offer a transparent platform for the purchase of distributed solar.
What used to be considered distinct methods of modifying demand – energy efficiency, demand response, behavioral-driven load shifts – are increasingly coming together in customer facing programs. While the load and revenues associated may still be distinct for the utility, a key to engaging customers is in presenting a cohesive message they can act around.
“The customer experience is seamless,” said America Lesh, manager of energy efficiency programs for Baltimore Gas & Electric. “They don’t need to know that these are separate programs. That’s even true of the energy efficiency space. Customers want to pick something, set it and forget it.”
CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Duke Energy has started testing a first-of-its-kind battery technology at its Rankin Substation in Gaston County, N.C.
The hybrid ultracapacitor-battery energy storage system (HESS) will demonstrate multiple service applications: extended operational life, rapid response, real-time solar smoothing and load shifting.
“This approach will allow our energy storage systems to do a variety of tasks,” said Thomas Golden, technology development manager for Duke Energy. “With so many solar installations in North Carolina, we must look for innovative ways to better incorporate renewable energy into our system – and still provide reliable service at a competitive price for our customers.”
A joint venture between Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) and SunEdison Inc. will see 50MW of energy storage systems delivered to the electric utility Southern California Edison(SCE). The project will locate battery storage systems on-site at commercial and industrial customers’ premises. SCE has bought capacity from the two companies under a 10 year contract, and is part of their plan to add 2.2 GW of cleaner resources, including the integration of renewables and energy storage systems by 2022.
The AMS ‘Hybrid-Electric Buildings’ Project makes use of a large network of batteries integrated in specific buildings where the electric utility requires grid support. The additional energy produced will aim to off-set and eventually replace the energy currently being produced by conventional gas-fired plants, as well as the recently decommissioned San Onofre nuclear plant. The project will mark the first time SCE taps into energy stored by their own customers to provide grid support during peak hours.
In yet another record-breaking year, the solar industry in the United States installed 7,286 megawatts of solar PV in 2015. GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association announced the historic figures today ahead of the March 9 release of the U.S. Solar Market Insight report.
For the first time ever, solar beat out natural-gas capacity additions, with solar supplying 29.5 percent of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. in 2015. Led by California, North Carolina, Nevada, Massachusetts and New York, the U.S. solar market experienced a year-over-year growth rate of 17 percent. Geographically, the market continues to diversify with 13 states installing more than 100 megawatts each in 2015.
States that made major solar strides include Utah, which jumped in the rankings from 23rd to 7th place, and Georgia, which moved from 16th to 8th in the nation.
SEOUL, South Korea, March 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Kokam Co., Ltd, the world’s premier provider of innovative battery solutions, today announced that it has successfully deployed two Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) Oxide Energy Storage Systems (ESSs) – a 24-megawatt (MW) system / 9-megawatt hour (MWh) and a 16 MW / 6 MWh system – for frequency regulation on the South Korean electricity grid. The 24 MW system is the largest capacity Lithium NMC ESS used for frequency regulation in the world.
Operational since January 2016, the two new systems, along with a Kokam 16MW / 5MWh Lithium Titanate Oxide (LTO) ESS system deployed in August 2015, provide South Korea’s largest utility, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) [NYSE: KEP], with 56 MW of energy storage capacity for frequency regulation. These three systems are part of the world’s largest ESS frequency regulation project, which is scheduled to have deployed 500 MW of battery-based energy storage when it is completed in 2017.
Southern Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, has acquired the company’s second Texas solar project.
The 120-MW East Pecos Solar Facility is being constructed on about 1,000 acres in Pecos County. The project is expected to include about 1.2 million First Solar thin-film photovoltaic solar modules mounted on single-axis tracking tables.
First Solar is building the project and will operate and maintain the facility upon completion.
Construction began in February, with the project expected online by the end of the year.
Originally published on the ECOreport. No other utility company has more installed renewable capacity or uses a stronger proportion of renewably produced electricity. According to recent press releases, the utility giant E.ON leads the way to Germany’s Green Grid.“Renewables account for more than 80 percent of the electricity that flows through our networks, well above the national average. This demonstrates that E.ON already operates the innovative, efficient energy networks of the future. Each year we invest more than €1 billion to expand our networks in Germany,” said Thomas König, Managing Director of E.ON Deutschland.32 GW of the 96 GW of installed renewables capacity subsidized under Germany’s Renewable Energy Law were connected to E.ON by the end of 2015.