Recent NY-BEST News and Notes

News stories and other notes about NY-BEST, New York State and the Battery and Energy Storage Industry beyond New York. Only the last few weeks of news are shown here, to see older news click here.

 NY-BEST Member

AES prespares for layoffs at US utilities as part of wider restructuring effort
2 weeks 1 day ago
In January, AES announced that ValueAct Capital Management has taken a stake in the company. The company said that the investment company’s founder, Jeffrey Ubben, would join AES’ board of directors to help push for cleaner energy resources and work with AES on its plan to sell coal-fired plants, reduce debt and develop more solar power and battery storage. “We are in the midst of a major transition,” AES CEO Andres Gluski told Bloomberg. “We’re growing a lot of renewables, and we are selling our legacy coal assets.”
LG Chem, Samsung SDI Join World's Top 4 EV Battery Producer List
2 weeks 2 days ago
LG Chem Ltd. and Samsung SDI Co. showed the steepest growth among global companies in 2017, making the top five electric vehicle (EV) battery producer list in the world. According to market research firm SNE Research on Feb. 5, LG Chem and Samsung SDI ranked fourth and fifth in the world in terms of EV battery shipments in 2017. LG Chem moved up three notches from a year earlier, while Samsung SDI climbed four notches. LG Chem posted 4.8GWh in EV battery shipments last year, up a whopping 158 percent from a year ago. Its market share surged from 4.3 percent to 8 percent. Samsung SDI’s shipments also grew 80.3 percent to 2.4GWh and its market share increased from 3.1 percent to 4.1 percent.
Here's How Tesla Brushed Off Trump's Solar Tariff - Two Years Before It Happened
2 weeks 2 days ago
President Trump’s new solar tariff is shaking out winners and losers in the US solar industry and it looks like Tesla co-founder Elon Musk is ending up on the winning side.
GE and Arenko form partnership to deliver 41 MW battery to UK
2 weeks 2 days ago
Global electronics company GE and U.K.-based digital energy infrastructure specialists Arenko Group have today announced the construction of a grid-scale energy storage system in the U.K. in what the firms have called a “strategic partnership”. The two companies will look to maximize the advantages found in combining GE’s battery technology solutions, power electronics, and advanced controls, alongside Arenko’s leadership in operating batteries in the U.K. market and proprietary energy trading software platform.
Tesla is Turning 50,000 Homes in South Australia Into Giant Battery
2 weeks 3 days ago
The state government of South Australia is enlisting the help of Tesla to connect 50,000 solar-powered homes in order to create the world’s largest “virtual power plant.” The plan involves installing a 5kW solar panel system and a Tesla Powerwall 2 battery on public housing properties across the state over the next four years—at no cost to the households involved. South Australia has suffered from blackouts in recent years amid fears of a looming energy crisis. Last year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed he could help solve the problem by building a giant battery farm within 100 days.
AES Announces Next Steps in Its Strategic Transformation
2 weeks 3 days ago
AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) today announced a reorganization as part of its ongoing strategy to simplify its portfolio, optimize its cost structure and reduce its carbon intensity. "Our new structure will accelerate our transformation to an energy company of the future. These changes will allow us to quickly capitalize on opportunities by delivering safe, reliable and affordable energy solutions that create shareholder value," said Andrés Gluski, AES President and Chief Executive Officer. "Today's announcement continues the progress we have made to-date on our strategy, including focusing our geographic footprint down to 16 countries from 28, implementing our previously announced cost savings initiatives, and reducing our carbon intensity by bringing new energy solutions to the markets we serve."
SUNY BEST examines energy storage
2 weeks 3 days ago
The possibilities of renewable energy and the implications of an aging electrical grid were examined last Thursday at a SUNY Business and Education Cooperative of the Southern Tier (SUNY BEST) conference. Bill Acker, the executive director of New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST), spoke about energy storage and the need to update electrical grids across the nation.
BMW Teams with Solid Power For Solid-State Batteries
3 weeks 1 hour ago
BMW will assist in advancing Solid Power's next-generation, solid-state batteries for use in electric vehicles, to achieve performance levels required for high-performance EVs. The Louisville, Colorado-based startup was founded in 2012, and just recently received support from A123 Systems, who invested in Solid Power to advance the ongoing development of the company's cell manufacturing strategy.
Battery-Gas Turbine Combination Provides Power Plant Flexibility
3 weeks 1 hour ago
With a broadening portfolio of generation technologies and rapidly changing demands, effectively combining and integrating diverse technologies is important to a reliable power grid. Siemens’ SIESTART solution—a combination of battery technology and a simple or combined cycle Flex-Plant—results in an integrated power plant that reacts instantaneously to complement weather-dependent renewable generation. The energy landscape has changed dramatically over the past several years. Renewable generation plays a larger role in today’s market, and that role continues to expand. In an ideal world, renewables would produce exactly the amount of power demanded at exactly the time it was needed, but that turns out to be the exception rather than the rule. Thus, the weather and time of day is more influential than ever in the power generation industry.
Compound could transform energy storage for large grids
3 weeks 1 day ago
In order to power entire communities with clean energy, such as solar and wind power, a reliable backup storage system is needed to provide energy when the sun isn’t shining and the wind doesn’t blow. One possibility is to use any excess solar- and wind-based energy to charge solutions of chemicals that can subsequently be stored for use when sunshine and wind are scarce. At that time, the chemical solutions of opposite charge can be pumped across solid electrodes, thus creating an electron exchange that provides power to the electrical grid. The key to this technology, called a redox flow battery, is finding chemicals that can not only “carry” sufficient charge, but also be stored without degrading for long periods, thereby maximizing power generation and minimizing the costs of replenishing the system.
Daimler Focuses on Battery EVs, Keeps Hand in Fuel Cells
3 weeks 3 days ago
Daimler is hedging its bets by keeping hydrogen fuel cell technology in development, even as the German giant and most of the rest of the industry have shifted focus to electric vehicles powered by lithium ion batteries. Daimler introduced the preproduction Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell crossover last year at the Frankfurt auto show. It combines hydrogen fuel cell and battery technologies in the form of a plug-in hybrid getting most of its range from the fuel cell side.
Tesla Adopting Manganese in New Lithium Batteries to Boost Performance, Lower Cost
4 weeks 1 hour ago
Manganese, while already an important battery metal does not get the level of hype associated with lithium and cobalt. However, that is set to change as EV heavyweights like Tesla adopt manganese-based battery technologies en masse.
$8.2M contract for Bren-Tronics for military batteries
4 weeks 1 day ago
A U.S. Department of Defense agency has awarded an $8.2 million contract to a Commack-based manufacturer of charging systems for the military. The contract calls for Bren-Tronics Inc. to make rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that would be used by the “war fighter, who would have boots on the ground,” said Kyle Roelofs, vice president of business development at the company.
Siemens Introduces New Microgrid Controller for Smaller Projects
4 weeks 1 day ago
Siemens Digital Grid this week introduced a new microgrid controller, designed for small scale distributed energy projects, in keeping with the rise of solar plus storage microgrids. The new controller — the brain of the microgrid — serves demand for simpler microgrids, often characterized as having fewer generation sources and a smaller number of buildings to serve, perhaps only one.
100 MW/400 MWh Fluence Energy Storage Project for Long Beach - World's Largest Li-Ion Battery Storage Project
4 weeks 1 day ago
Fluence CEO John Zahurancik answered some questions for CleanTechnica about the new company and one of its major new energy storage projects. The project has been in development as part of a $2 billion repowering project in Long Beach, CA to replace aging natural gas peakers with a combination of more modern/efficient combined-cycle gas capacity and the world’s largest battery energy storage facility. The 100 MW system will provide critical capacity to meet local reliability needs in the area, while helping California meet its environmental goals.
AES, Mitsubishi begin construction on 10 MW energy storage system in India
4 weeks 1 day ago
AES India and Japan's Mitsubishi have started construction of the 10MW Advancion energy storage system in Delhi, India. The system, which is claimed to be the country’s first grid-scale storage facility, will be installed at a substation which is operated by Tata Power Delhi Distribution (Tata Power-DDL). Tata Power-DDL is a joint venture (JV) between Tata Power and the government of the national capital territory of Delhi. Fluence Energy, the energy storage technology and services JV of Siemens and AES, will be responsible for the supply of the Advancion technology platform for the project, which is expected to boost reliability for more than 7 million customers in Delhi region.
Tesla's South Australia Battery Makes About $1 Million in Two Days
4 weeks 1 day ago
Tesla’s battery facility that backs up the Hornsdale Wind Farm in South Australia continues to receive tremendous press. It was able to stabilize the power grid when a coal-fired power plant suffered some technical issues in record time. Now it’s expected to be very profitable with its potential to help the grid out during high peak times. Renewable energy company Neoen owns and operates both the Hornsdale Wind Farm and the battery facility hooked up to it with a capacity of 100 megawatts and 129 megawatt-hours. According to Electrek, Neoen is able to use 30 MW / 90 MWh of the system while the rest of it is reserved to the Australian government.
Stored energy: EnerSys to feature new high-performance battery at DistribuTECH
1 month 1 hour ago
Stored energy: EnerSys®, a provider of stored energy solutions for industrial applications, will exhibit its new high-performance PowerSafe® ESG battery as well as its other innovative energy solutions at the DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition in booth no. 1201. The DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition, the utility industry’s largest conference and exhibition, will be held January 23-25, 2018 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas.
Europe's 'largest' shared battery installed in Nottingham
1 month 1 hour ago
What is thought to be Europe's largest community energy battery has been lifted into place in Nottingham. The two-megawatt-hour battery is part of a renewable energy network in a 500-home development in the Trent Basin. It is hoped solar panels, heat stores and ground source heat pumps will supply power at the site which is 30% cheaper than normal. The battery, made by Tesla, will store excess power to be used in homes or sold back to the National Grid.
Voltaiq Updates
1 month 1 hour ago
Voltaiq reports that they have released v4.2 with additional features and analytical tools and are opening a new office in Germany.
Stem Lands $80 Million to Fuel Its Growing Behind-the-Meter Battery Business
1 month 1 hour ago
Behind-the-meter battery startup Stem has raised $80 million in a Series D round, with three new investors -- including one that’s helping bring the company’s lithium-ion battery systems to a new international market. The oversubscribed round was led by growth equity firm Activate Capital. It was joined by Singapore-based investment firm Temasek and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which manages about CAD $180 billion Canadian (USD $145 billion) in Canada’s largest single-profession pension fund.
Enbala Receives Frost & Sullivan 2017 North American Distributed Energy Management New Product Innovation Award
1 month 1 day ago
Enbala announces that it has received the Frost & Sullivan 2017 North American Distributed Energy Management New Product Innovation Award. The award honors Enbala’s distributed energy resource optimization and control platform, the Enbala Engine. This platform underpins the company’s Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) and Virtual Power Plant (VPPs) solutions.
ENGIE Brand Expands in North America
1 month 1 day ago
ENGIE today announced the rebranding of three subsidiaries in North America. The rebrand of Ecova Inc., Green Charge Networks, LLC, and OpTerra Energy Services Inc. is designed to amplify ENGIE’s voice in the North American market and make it clearer for customers and other key stakeholders the range of energy supply and service options that ENGIE provides.

 Beyond New York

County's first utility-scale solar battery project pact forged
2 weeks 1 day ago
Maui Electric Co. has inked an agreement to purchase power from Maui County’s first grid-scale solar and battery energy storage system on Molokai that could lower electric bills, the utility announced Tuesday. The 2.7 megawatts of contracted power from Moloka’i New Energy Partners can potentially provide up to 40 percent of the island’s peak load of 5.7 MW, said MECO spokeswoman Shayna Decker. The agreement still requires the approval of the Public Utilities Commission, and the request has not yet been filed, she said.
ION Energy Acquires Battery Management Company Freemens SAS
2 weeks 3 days ago
Start-up ION Energy, a company building high-performance energy storage systems and electric vehicle infrastructure, has acquired the French battery management company, Freemens SAS. As part of the cash-plus-equity transaction, the entire Freemens engineering and sales team will join the core team of ION. Freemens will continue working with their current clients which include Airbus Safran, CarWatt, NTN SNR and 20+ others. With the acquisition, ION will invest into this business and grow the portfolio of customers in India, US & other parts of EU. Alexandre Collet, Founder and CEO of Freemens SAS has now officially joined ION as Co-Founder & VP of Engineering to strengthen the founding team of ION Energy. After earning a Master’s degree from the National Polytechnic Institute of Grenoble, he spent 2 years with his PhD research professor making inventions in power electronics architecture, Lithium-Ion cell aging factors and state identification. Their innovations and breakthroughs in life-extension of Lithium-ion batteries led to the founding of Freemens in 2011.
Swedish Government Back Northvolt Battery Plant to Tune of €15m
2 weeks 3 days ago
Northvolt’s planned €4 billion large-scale lithium-ion battery production facility in Sweden has received yet more financial backing, this time in the form of a SEK 146 million (approximately €15 million) from the Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten). This is the fourth sizable tranche of financial backing for the project, following ABB’s initial support, wind giant Vestas’ €10 million investment, and Scania’s €10 million investment in boosting R&D support for heavy electric vehicle battery research at the pilot plant in Västerås.
Honolulu Energy Storage Permits Jumpts More than 1,700%
2 weeks 3 days ago
It’s safe to say battery storage has come to Hawaii after Honolulu County experienced a record-shattering year in issuing permits for solar+storage permits for homeowners and businesses alike. According to a report by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), the state capital issued 731 permits for solar+storage projects which, given the county’s population of nearly 908,000 may not seem like much – until you realize the permitting office provided a total of 40 permits in 2016.
MFT Launches Renewable Desalination Unit with Battery Storage
2 weeks 6 days ago
Membran-Filtrations-Technik GmbH (MFT), an Aquarion Group company, has introduced containerized desalination systems for producing drinking water from either seawater or brackish water. Called the MFT RO 100 Desalination System, the unit is powered with only wind and solar energy, which is stored in lithium-ion batteries and has a capacity of up to 120 litre/hour drinking water output. The energy sources are 7,5KWp PV and 350W Wind turbine. The MFT RO 100 Desalination System is ideal for low-power decentralized applications in remote locations where the energy supply is scarce. A remote-control system enables the company to monitor performance real-time from its headquarters in Cologne.
Total Eren Has Approval for Huge Battery at 200 MW Victoria Solar Project
2 weeks 6 days ago
Total Eren, the deep-pocketed new player in Australia’s renewable energy sector that is partly owned by one of the world’s oil majors, says it has approval for a huge battery storage installation at its newly announced 200MW solar project in north-west Victoria. Michael Vawser, the head of Total Eren’s Australian operation, says Mildura council has given development approval for a 100MW/380MWh battery storage facility to be added to the Kiamal solar farm, which is to be built near the town of Ouyen in Victoria. The 200MW committed to by Total Eren at Kiamal is just the first stage of the solar project, which can be sized up to 350MW.
IFC and Canadian Government to Support Renewables and Energy Storage in Africa
2 weeks 6 days ago
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the government of Canada have formed a financial partnership that will utilise public funding to generate private sector investments to spur renewable energy, including energy storage, in Sub-Saharan Africa. The program, known as Canada-IFC Renewable Energy Program for Africa, will feature the Canadian government contributing US$122 million that the IFC will use to catalyze private sector investment in renewables by offering concessional financing mixed with IFC’s own account resources to mitigate a variety of risks that can deter private investment in renewable energy.
Dodd Floats Bill to Require Battery Back-Up for Garage Doors Based on Wildfire Experience
2 weeks 6 days ago
The devastating North Bay wildfires left “numerous” residents “unable to open their garage doors to flee the flames,” so Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa) introduced a bill requiring newly sold or installed garage door motors to have a battery backup, his office announced. “This devastating fire season exposed a number of vulnerabilities and underscored the need to take swift action to prevent people from becoming future disaster victims,” Dodd said in a statement. “Policymakers have a duty to be proactive and adopt thoughtful policies making our communities safer. We can’t stand idly by, and ensuring we have battery backups for garage doors is a small step that can literally save lives.”
Are Cryptocurrency Miners a New Market for Solar Plus Storage Microgrids?
3 weeks 1 hour ago
Cryptocurrency miners are considering microgrids to meet the high energy demand of Bitcoin production — and a California microgrid developer is on top of the trend. San Diego-based CleanSpark is designing a grid-connected, solar plus storage microgrid for a large, unnamed cryptocurrency mining operation. The project is noteworthy because of the large amount of energy consumed in producing Bitcoins. It takes the energy equivalent of nearly 15 U.S. households (14.88) to process just one Bitcoin, according to expert estimates. Not surprisingly, the rapidly increasing amounts of energy being consumed by Bitcoin and cryptocurrency “miners” – operations that create new cryptocurrency by competing to process new transaction blocks – has been making headlines of late amid wild gyrations and soaring exchange prices.
Semi-Solid Lithium Metal Battery is Lightest Rechargeable Battery
3 weeks 1 hour ago
SolidEnergy today manufactures the world’s lightest rechargeable cells at pilot scale for prototype demonstration and specialized aerospace markets. They supply these to large Li-ion cell manufacturers to be integrated with a separator and cathode into full cells which can be customized for different applications including drones, consumer electronics and electric vehicles. SolidEnergy battery cell uses an ultra-thin lithium-metal foil for the anode, a proprietary electrolyte that is stable on lithium metal, and an innovative cell design.
Boeing Invests in Next Generation Battery Technology
3 weeks 1 hour ago
A major stumbling block in the development of a practical electric flying vehicle is battery technology, which is currently plagued by energy sources that weigh too much and produce too little power. This week, Boeing HorizonX Ventures' took a step into battery development for the aerospace giant, when it announced its first investment in an energy storage company, Berkeley California-based Cuberg.
Arizona's 3 GW Energy Storage Target, 'Clean Peak Plan' Part of a 'Wake up Call' to Other States
3 weeks 1 day ago
A 3,000MW energy storage target, proposed in Arizona as part of a grid modernisation policy, recognises the role of the technology in reducing the need for fossil fuels to stabilise the grid, a consultant has said. Yesterday, Andy Tobin of the state’s regulator, the Corporation Commission, presented a plan that includes a goal to generate 80% of Arizona’s power from renewable sources by 2050, a commitment to review the existing Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST) policy, to use renewables to mitigate peaks establishing a ‘Clean Peak’ standard and to deploy 3,000MW of energy storage to “leverage low priced energy during the day”.
California Regulators at 'Essential Starting Point' to Enable Revenue Stacking
3 weeks 2 days ago
Steps taken in California to enable energy storage systems to provide multiple services and to ‘stack revenues’ are “an essential starting point” for the industry, the head of California’s Energy Storage Alliance (CESA) has said. In mid-January, California’s Public Utilities’ Commission (CPUC), the state regulator, issued a Proposed Decision on “Multiple use application issues” affecting energy storage systems connected to the grid. For some time, the energy storage industry, particularly among those working with versatile advanced lithium-ion batteries, has advocated that the ability of storage to provide more than one service – sometimes simultaneously – should be better recognised.
Renewables, Energy Storage, Electric Cars Will Likely Grow Strongly In 2018 As Oil Prices Rebound
3 weeks 3 days ago
Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) predict what will happen in the sector in the year ahead. This year’s predictions have landed. BNEF chief editor Angus McCrone writes that the falling costs in lithium-ion batteries, solar and wind energy that 2017 saw will continue in 2018 thanks to economies of scale and technological improvements, while the global economic recovery and associated strengthening of oil and coal prices will make clean energy and electric vehicles more competitive against their fossil fuel counterparts.
Washington State Bill would Ban Sale of Devices With Hard-to-Replace Batteries
3 weeks 6 days ago
Washington’s state legislature is moving quickly towards banning the sale of devices containing “difficult or impossible to remove” batteries, Motherboard reported today. With a potential start date of January 1, 2019, the ban is a standout element in Representative Jeff Morris’ Fair Repair Act bill, aimed at helping consumers avoid planned technology obsolescence. If passed, the bill would require portable devices to be more easily repairable, rather than disposable. Available for public inspection under the working title HB 2279, the bill has received committee approval on its way to a vote by Washington’s full House of Representatives. Unlike earlier right-to-repair bills, it addresses the specific issue underlying Apple’s recent iPhone throttling debacle: the role failing batteries play in premature device replacement. Morris notes that Washingtonians have pointed to iPhone battery issues as “accelerating the demise of their technology so they have to buy the next model.”
Mercom: Battery storage dominated funding in grid edge technologies in 1H 2017
4 weeks 1 day ago
Venture capital funding for grid edge companies rose in the first half of 2017 to $1.03 billion, well above the $807 million companies attracted in the first half of 2016, according to a new report from Mercom Capital Group. However, funding for energy efficiency and smart grid technology companies declined.
Nissan Follows Tesla and Daimler into the Energy-Storage Business
1 month 1 day ago
It's not a big leap from using batteries to power electric cars to using them to store electricity from solar panels. Tesla and Daimler have already made inroads into the energy-storage business, and now Nissan is joining them.
Report: Higher Capacities Mean Energy Storage Ready for Prime Time
1 month 1 day ago
A new report from Environment New York shows that energy storage is increasingly becoming a viable option for businesses. Rising renewable energy production means that energy storage is ready for prime time, according to the state-based environmental advocacy organization. The report, “Making Sense of Energy Storage: How Storage Technologies Can Support a Renewable Energy Future,” offers an overview of current energy storage technologies and illustrates how adopting energy storage measures can improve reliability and resiliency. Energy storage technologies discussed include thermal storage, utility-scale batteries, commercial batteries, pumped-storage hydropower, compressed air, and flywheels.
Audi has a new Smart Energy Network that uses EVs to help the power grid
1 month 3 days ago
If you’re worried about your electric vehicle overloading the electric grid, don’t. At least, if Audi is involved. The German automaker is taking a page out of Tesla’s book and piloting a new project called the Audi Smart Energy Network. The test combines automobile, home, and power supply in order to from an intelligent energy network. In essence, the program will involve stationary storage batteries with solar installations of various sizes. Software will then allocate the solar energy as needed by either the home or the vehicle.
World Bank plans 'Scaling Solar and Storage' program
1 month 4 days ago
The World Bank plans to make energy storage an integral part of its ‘Scaling Solar’ program, that until now has been focused purely on facilitating large-scale solar tendering, predominantly in Africa. The new Scaling Solar and Storage (SSS) program, which has yet to be formerly announced and is expected to be rolled out over the next couple of years, would work on utility-scale tenders that pair solar PV with battery storage technology. The World Bank engaged Italy-based technical advisory RINA to explore the feasibility of such tenders.
South Korea Takes Lead in Lithium Power Battery Supremacy
1 month 4 days ago
Led by auto manufacturer Tesla, the race for lithium powered battery supremacy is on and South Korea appears to be ready to take the lead. Of course the race is adding to the demand for lithium supplies which are now forecasting a shortfall as early as next year. Lithium companies are already benefiting from the effects of this global competition