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.

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NY-BEST Newsletter June 15, 2018
1 month 4 days ago

 NY-BEST Member

New York's Energy Storage Target Could End Up at 3 GW by 2030
1 week 2 days ago
New York could go the extra mile under the energy storage roadmap released at the end of June. The plan supports Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's energy storage target of 1,500 MW by 2025, but several sources say the final plan could call for an even more ambitious target. Reaching that target, though, could involve challenges that are largely outside of the scope of New York energy agencies. The roadmap identifies near?term policies, regulations, and initiatives needed to realize the governor's 2025 target in anticipation of a 2030 target to be established later this year by the state's Public Service Commission.
California Schools Use Stem, Inc. for Solar+Storage Projects
1 week 2 days ago
Stem, Inc., the global leader in artificial intelligence (AI)-powered energy storage, welcomes ForeFront Power, a leading C&I solar developer, to the Athena™ platform and Stem’s solar partner program. ForeFront Power and Stem will develop solar+storage energy systems for schools and municipalities throughout California. With the addition of ForeFront Power, Stem adds another best-in-class solar developer looking to maximize sales and customer savings by leveraging Stem’s artificial intelligence platform for energy storage. ForeFront Power and Stem were selected as the best renewable energy solutions provider by the School Project for Utility Rate Reduction (SPURR), a California-based joint powers authority that aggregates the buying power of over 240 member schools, colleges, and other public agencies. Over 20 public agencies have used SPURR's Renewable Energy Aggregated Procurement Program to secure preferential pricing and terms for solar and storage solutions with less sourcing expense and effort. ForeFront Power's solar solutions and financing, paired with Stem’s energy storage, enable public schools and agencies to reduce substantial energy expenses, hedge rising utility costs, and conserve bond funds for other needs, with no need for capital outlay or bond money.
alpha-Encorp and Cornell University Commence a Sponsored Research Agreement
1 week 3 days ago
alpha-Encorp and Cornell University have entered into a cooperative agreement to conduct sponsored research at the Baker Laboratory, under the direction of Héctor D. Abruña. Professor Abruña is a renowned electrochemist and member of the National Academy of Sciences. His research group focuses on the development of new materials using a wide variety of characterization techniques of great relevance to battery research. Cornell's agreement is for conducting essential analysis related to quantifying capacity and ion transport for the process of lithium thin film production patented by alpha-Encorp. It is anticipated that the collaboration will take advantage of the hi-tech facilities available at Cornell, especially the ability to study thin films of lithium "in operando", meaning – making movies, at the microscopic scale, of lithium film growth, as it happens in real time.
BMW Agrees to $4.7 Bn Contract with China's CATL for Battery Cells
1 week 3 days ago
BMW plans to source 4 billion euros' ($4.7 billion) worth of battery cells from Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) over the next few years, the carmaker's purchasing boss said on Monday. The long-term contract sees 1.5 billion euros' worth of battery cells coming from a new CATL plant in Erfurt, in the eastern German state of Thuringia, Markus Duesmann said in Munich. The rest will come from China. A contract for the construction of the new plant is due to be signed on Monday during a visit to Germany by China's Premier Li Keqiang.
Key Capture Energy Plans Battery Energy Storage Plant in Saratoga County, New York
1 week 3 days ago
Key Capture Energy will build a 20 megawatt, utility-scale battery energy storage facility at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, New York. As an incentive, the Mechanicville-Stillwater Industrial Development Agency approved tax incentives of nearly $650,000 to advance the Key Capture Energy project, which will interconnect to the adjacent NYSEG substation. The board also approved a PILOT agreement sought by Key Capture Energy, though the company could have used a provision in the state tax code to avoid property taxes altogether. This PILOT agreement will provide more than $160,000 to local taxing jurisdictions.
11 Lithium-Ion Battery Makers that Don't Need Cobalt
1 week 3 days ago
If you’ve been paying attention to the debate about lithium-ion battery materials, then you will know there is a price problem with lithium, but the real market danger is with cobalt. While experts doubt that cobalt scarcity will halt the growth of the lithium-ion battery business, demand for the metal is affecting battery markets and increasing the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s stranglehold on supplies. To the uninitiated, this might seem like a major threat to the lithium-ion energy storage business. But it’s not, for the simple reason that not all lithium-ion batteries need cobalt. Lithium iron phosphate (LFP), lithium manganese oxide (LMO) and lithium titanate (LTO) batteries are cobalt-free.
Cadenza Innovation Powering Up With Unique Battery Tech
1 week 5 days ago
Cadenza Innovation is, if you’ll pardon the expression, surging. The Wilton-based startup, which provides energy storage solutions for license to lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery manufacturers, was selected in June from hundreds of international candidates as one of the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Technology Pioneers — the second time since 2010 that the same founding team has earned that award. Also last month, the firm was awarded funding for a demonstration project to further New York state’s clean energy goals and support Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s energy storage target of 1500 megawatts in New York State by 2025.
Tesla May Revisit Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Bi-Directional Charging Solution
2 weeks 21 hours ago
Tesla could soon revisit the idea of using its electric cars as a battery power source, likely as part of the company’s Vehicle-To-Grid (V2G) bi-directional solutions. Musk’s update came as a response to a Twitter request from Cody Walker, a Tesla enthusiast, who inquired if the electric car maker would eventually introduce a feature where one car can provide battery power to another vehicle. Responding to the inquiry, Musk noted that previous Tesla vehicles had the capability to use its battery for outputting power.
RIT Lab Works to Keep Your Cell Phone Battery From Exploding
2 weeks 1 day ago
We've all heard of faulty cell phone batteries that fail at the crucial times, or worse, burn out and cause injury. Well, a lab at RIT is working on a fix. "A lot of the work that we've done has enabled improvements for these devises," says Matt Ganter, co-director at the RIT Battery Prototyping Center. Ganter says they've helped companies make phones safer, so we don't get failures like the one with Samsung - an error that passed other labs. "It's not always easy to tell early on whether or not that battery will perform well in the future," explains Ganter.
Tesla Powerwalls Save the Day During Heat Wave in Vermont
2 weeks 1 day ago
Vermont is starting to get a significant number of Tesla Powerwalls installed through the company’s partnership with Green Mountain Power (GMP), an important electric utility in Vermont. This latest heat wave in the northeast has hit Vermont pretty hard and GMP says that the energy storage capacity of its network of Powerwalls is making the difference during the peak demand. Josh Castonguay, Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer at GMP, commented (via Vermont Biz): “We know our customers are environmentally conscious and make smart choices about their energy use every day. In this heat wave, our customers’ safety and comfort is key. We are so glad to be able to leverage innovation like battery storage to bring down costs for customers and keep them comfortable and safe. Our growing network of stored energy is allowing us to use technology, in partnership with our customers, to deliver innovative solutions today.
Tesla/Panasonic Investments in Cobalt-Free Batteries Not the Only Game in Town
2 weeks 2 days ago
Cobalt-free materials for lithium-ion batteries are in the sights of many investors these days. A new startup is making the news, having acquired a capital raise of several million dollars. At a time when Panasonic is considering additional investment in Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory, others are increasingly seeing the benefit of research support to find alternatives to politically, structurally, and geographically problematic cobalt. Next Generation Electrode Material for Cobalt-Free Lithium Ion Batteries Conamix, a little-known startup based in Ithaca, New York, has raised several million dollars to accelerate its development of cobalt-free materials for lithium-ion batteries. The company has developed a new material and process for creating low-cost, high-energy, and cobalt-free electrode materials. Conamix’s technology has the potential to decrease the cost of lithium-based batteries for use in many applications, including electric vehicles, grid storage, and — the next big thing in transportation — electric flight.
Tesla's Next California Energy Storage Project May be Its Largest Yet
2 weeks 4 days ago
Tesla's giant Australian energy storage facility may seem small in the near future. Pacific Gas and Electric has submitted proposals for four new energy storage projects to the California Public Utilities Commission, one of which is for a facility at its Moss Landing substation that could output 182.5MW over the course of four hours -- that's more than 3,000 of Tesla's Powerpack 2 units. For context, the Australian location outputs 'just' 129MW. The project would have a total 1.1GWh capacity, which fits with Elon Musk's recent hints that Tesla could have a "gigawatt-hour scale" deal within months. The batteries would, as elsewhere, help keep up with "local capacity requirements" by supplying electricity at moments when power plants aren't enough to meet demand. Provided the CPUC approves the projects, they'd be ready between late 2019 and late 2020.
Voltabox Takes Over Navitas Systems
2 weeks 6 days ago
The German battery manufacturer Voltabox is continuing their expansion, and has purchased the US battery manufacturer Navitas Systems, a specialist for battery systems in the intralogistic area. The supervisory board still has to confirm the decision, however. The acquisition presents the first forage into battery cell technology for the Germans, even if only in the sector of specialty manufacturing. The company maintains their resource supply from a number of manufacturers from China, the USA, Korea and Japan, but has acquired some manufacturing competency with the acquisition, particularly in specialist areas.
The 'New' New General Electric: Renewables Are In, Distributed Gas Generators Are Out
3 weeks 1 day ago
General Electric is unveiling a leaner version of its former self, with a focus on core businesses and a plan to strengthen its balance sheet. The unanimously approved reorganization is the result of a strategic review. Moving forward, GE will focus on power, renewables and aviation. Last year, those areas brought in $35 billion, $9 billion and $27 billion in revenue, respectively. While those domains will remain core to its business, other segments will be spun off as separate GE businesses (such as GE Healthcare) or merged with other companies. The industrial giant is looking to slash its debt by $25 billion. Renewables are still an important part of the plan. According to a presentation to investors, 67 percent of GE’s power capacity additions last year came from renewable sources. The company expects the sector to account for 70 percent of annual capacity additions through 2021.
Vacant American Axle Plant Gets New Life Making Green Construction Equipment
3 weeks 1 day ago
A company specializing in making lithium-ion battery packs and electric drive systems for heavy construction machinery is bringing manufacturing back to the vacant American Axle & Manufacturing facility on Buffalo's East Side with more than $7 million in public and private financing. Viridi Parente Inc., which calls itself a "fuel and engine company for the new century," announced Wednesday it has begun operating at the former auto parts manufacturing facility at 1001 E. Delavan Ave. The power systems it will produce are driven by industrial-grade lithium-ion batteries that last longer than standard diesel engines, according to the company. The company is occupying 25,000 square feet of the overall 850,000-square-foot complex for office, lab and production space.
New York Plans Trip to Energy Storage Future. Takes Along Swiss Army Knife
3 weeks 2 days ago
New York has issued an energy storage roadmap that uses bridge incentives, wholesale market plays, price signal adjustments and other tools ? a swiss army knife approach ? to reach 1,500 MW of energy storage by 2025. Released late last week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the roadmap is the latest playbook for Reforming the Energy Vision, an overarching state policy that accelerates use of distributed energy. Energy storage is increasingly described as a swiss army knife technology because it can serve so many different purposes, from providing onsite backup power to averting expensive grid upgrades. The roadmap exploits these abilities to increase energy storage installations in three arenas: the bulk power market, the distribution system and on customer sites.
Highview Power Storage Switches On World's First Liquid Air Energy Storage Plant
3 weeks 2 days ago
Gareth Brett, chief executive of Highview Power, tells Proactive's Andrew Scott the company's been going since 2006 and they've been developing a new type of long-duration energy storage system based around liquid air. ''It's a totally different approach to storing electricity to lithium-ion batteries'' ''The key differentiator here is that it's a thermo-mechanical storage system .. so it's not based on electrochemistry, it's not a blackbox type of technology and it comprises a bunch of industrial components which are proven, available from all the large manufacturers and are widely distributed throughout industry''.
Kauai Utility Moves Ahead with Tesla, AES Storage on Road to 70% Renewables
3 weeks 3 days ago
As recently as 2011, more than 90% of KIUC's energy was coming from diesel generation. But with a big boost from battery storage the island is now accelerating its plans to transition away from fossil fuels. In February, the KIUC board updated the cooperative's energy goal to 70% renewable energy by 2030. The state as a whole is targeting 100% renewable energy by 2045. The cooperative said the new storage and solar projects "are moving us rapidly closer to our renewable goals," and by the end of next year the utility "will be able to supply roughly 65% of Kaua?i?s night time peak load with stored solar generated energy." The island's rapid shift in course highlights the impact batteries can have, particularly in turning solar into a more flexible resource. The utility held a "blessing of the state?s first dispatchable solar energy plant" in March, which also includes a 52 MWh battery energy storage system.
Plug Power Accelerates on-road Fuel Cell Tech with Acquisition
3 weeks 3 days ago
Earlier this month, electric fuel cell maker Plug Power announced it has acquired American Fuel Cell, a developer of membrane electrode assembly technology. That's a core component that allows fuel cells to create electric power, and Plug Power said the acquisition is meant to accelerate its expansion into the on-road industry, including delivery vehicle fleets. As adoption of electric fleet vehicles increases, Plug Power also noted it will continue "innovating with speed" through specialized research and development teams such as American Fuel Cell. The acquisition adds design capability for membrane electrode assemblies and system knowledge for on-road applications to Plug Power.
NY Releases 'Roadmap' for 1,500-MW Storage Goal
3 weeks 4 days ago
New York officials on Thursday outlined how the state plans to add 1,500 MW of energy storage by 2025, a target set by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in January. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who announced the release of the Energy Storage Roadmap in Queens, said it ?represents the next crucial step forward to tackle climate change and further develop our clean energy economy.? ?Clean energy is the future of our planet, and New York will continue to lead the nation in this technology to fight climate change and conserve resources for generations to come,? Cuomo added in a statement. In his annual State of the State address in January, Cuomo directed the NY Green Bank to invest $200 million to meet the 1,500-MW target ? equal to the demand of one-fifth of New York homes. Cuomo also directed the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to invest at least $60 million in storage demonstration projects and efforts to reduce barriers to deploying energy storage, including permitting, customer acquisition, interconnection and financing costs.
NY Releases Plan to Boost Energy Storage Capacity
3 weeks 6 days ago
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority released an ?Energy Storage Roadmap? Thursday, detailing efforts to reach a nation-leading 1,500 megawatts of energy storage capacity by 2025. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the plan would jump-start New York?s clean energy efforts and help the state combat climate change. ?This roadmap is the next step to not only grow our clean energy economy and create jobs, but to improve the resiliency of the grid to keep our power running in the face of extreme weather and other emergency situations,? he said in a press release announcing the report.
DNV GL Launches Data-Monitoring Software for Integrated Wind, Solar & Energy Storage Systems
4 weeks 21 hours ago
DNV GL is launching GPM Horizon, the world?s first data monitoring platform with full integration of current and future renewable energy systems including solar PV, wind, and energy storage assets. GPM Horizon enables future-proof fleet management by bringing digitalization technologies and integrated renewables systems together in one platform, which are the key drivers for the global energy transition. Global energy forecasters, including the International Energy Agency, foresee a rapid growth in renewable sources. In its 2018 Energy Transition Outlook, DNV GL forecasts that by 2050, well over 80% of electricity will be generated by renewable sources with wind and solar PV each contributing over one third to the mix. As the global renewables market will grow exponentially, with renewable sources of energy to meet 40% in primary demand by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency. As a result, a rise in demand for combined storage plus renewables platforms is expected.
Mercedes-Benz Turns Coal Power Plant Into Energy Storage System With Electric Car Batteries
4 weeks 21 hours ago
Daimler, through its subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Energy and with partners, is turning a coal power plant into a large energy storage facility using over a thousand modules from its electric car battery packs. Like Tesla and its ?Tesla Energy? division, Mercedes-Benz is leveraging its experience with battery packs for electric cars into making stationary energy storage projects. They created a ?Mercedes-Benz Energy? subsidiary and launched several projects. One of them was a residential battery pack to compete with Tesla?s Powerwall. Earlier this year, the company killed the project after admitting that their product was too expensive and overengineered for its application. While they got out of the residential market, they are still going strong with bigger-scale projects.
NEC Energy Solutions Commissions Europe's Largest Energy Storage System for EnspireME
4 weeks 21 hours ago
NEC Energy Solutions (NEC) announced today that they have completed and commissioned the largest energy storage system in Europe for Germany-based EnspireME, a joint venture between Eneco, a Netherlands-based renewable energy company and Mitsubishi Corporation. The 48 MW energy storage system located in Jardelund, Germany has over 50 MWh of storage capacity and will generate revenue from the primary reserve market by providing reactive power to stabilize the transmission grid. NEC provided turnkey engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services which included its GSS? end-to-end grid energy storage solution and its AEROS? proprietary energy storage controls software to build the largest energy storage system in Europe. The 48 MW energy storage system built for Germany-based EnspireME, a joint venture between Eneco and Mitsubishi Corporation, has over 50 MWh of storage capacity. The system, located in Jardelund, Germany, will generate revenue from the primary reserve market by providing reactive power to stabilize the transmission grid. (Image credit: Eneco Group and Mitsubishi Corporation)
VoltaIQ Selected by Mobile Power Solutions to Enhance Battery Design, Testing, and Prototyping Capabilities
4 weeks 1 day ago
Voltaiq, the leader in Battery Intelligence? solutions, today announced that it was selected by Mobile Power Solutions (MPS) to provide comprehensive battery data analytics that enhance their R&D, assembly and manufacturing, and safety and performance testing capabilities. To further improve MPS' leadership in the battery industry, they are creating an environment around Voltaiq Core? that will provide MPS with near real-time visibility into all aspects of their battery certification and testing services. Many Fortune 100 companies rely on MPS to provide vital battery R&D and pack design validation for their automotive, grid, and consumer electronics products. To help their customers achieve their time-to-market targets, it was essential for MPS engineers to have rapid access to clean, correlated battery data. Typical development flows require significant, time-consuming efforts to collect and prepare data for analysis. Industry estimates indicate that up to 80% of the effort involved in any complex analysis is spent performing data extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL). Voltaiq Core dramatically reduces ETL effort with a software platform that automatically collects, cleans and correlates battery data from any tester, and makes it ready for analysis within minutes, freeing up precious and limited engineering resources to focus on battery development, not being a data custodian.
Volta Energy Technologies Announces Investments in Conamix
4 weeks 1 day ago
Volta Energy Technologies (Volta) announced today that it is investing in Conamix, a technology startup based in Ithaca, New York. Conamix has developed a breakthrough material and process for creating low-cost, high-energy, and cobalt-free electrode materials for lithium-based batteries. Conamix?s technology has the potential to dramatically decrease the cost of lithium-based batteries for use in many applications, including electric vehicles, grid storage, and even electric flight. Conamix is Volta?s second investment, following the company?s inaugural investment in Ionic Materials, a promising technology company that has invented and is commercializing materials that enable safe, high-energy, solid-state batteries. The complementary investments add to Volta?s growing portfolio of technologies and businesses that will enable the ubiquitous global adoption of electric vehicles and renewable power generation.
A Freshly Funded Battery Startup Aims to Ease the Cobalt Crunch
4 weeks 1 day ago
Conamix, a little-known startup based in Ithaca, New York, has raised several million dollars to accelerate its development of cobalt-free materials for lithium-ion batteries, the latest sign that companies are eager to find alternatives to the increasingly rare and expensive metal. The problem: The price of cobalt has more than doubled in recent months, as global demand skyrockets for the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles and smartphones. It's also being driven up by the fact that the metal is mined primarily in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where labor and corruption issues are rife. Earlier this year, the nation decided to raise royalties on cobalt and other metals. Given the ambitious expansion plans of lithium-ion producers, the world will face cobalt shortages by the early 2020s, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. This is keeping prices of lithium-ion batteries high and preventing major automakers from lining up long-term supply deals on favorable terms.
NextEra CEO: Cheap, 'Disruptive' Batteries Coming to Kill Coal
1 month 21 hours ago
Cheap batteries coupled with wind or solar power will soon compete head-to-head with coal-fired and nuclear plants. Solar farms with about four hours of storage capacity will be able to sell power for about 3.5 cents within a few years, said Jim Robo, chief executive officer of NextEra Energy Inc., the world?s largest generator of power from wind and sunshine. Wind paired with batteries will be even cheaper, at about 2.5 cents. The shift comes as battery prices are expected to slide 67 percent by 2030, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Advocates of coal, natural gas and nuclear power often cite the intermittent power from wind and solar farms as a barrier to wider use of clean energy. Cost-effective storage counters that argument and will become a ?disruptive? force in the utility industry, Robo said Tuesday at the JPMorgan Chase & Co. 2018 Energy Conference in New York.
Siemens Pilots the Use of Ammonia for Green Energy Storage
1 month 1 day ago
A chemical compound commonly used to boost crop yields could be the answer to helping the world increase its consumption of renewable energy. In a world first, Siemens is opening a œ1.5m pilot project in Oxfordshire employing ammonia as a new form of energy storage. The German industrial firm hopes to prove that ammonia can be as useful as more established storage technologies, such as lithium-ion batteries, when it comes to managing the variable output of wind and solar power. The proof-of-concept facility at Harwell will turn electricity, water and air into ammonia without releasing carbon emissions. The ammonia is stored in a tank and later either burned to generate electricity, sold as a fuel for vehicles or for industrial purposes, such as refrigeration.
How NYPA Is Taking 'First Mover' Position on EVs, Energy Storage and the Digital Grid
1 month 4 days ago
As the largest state-owned public utility in America, in one of the most progressive states in the country, the New York Power Authority doesn?t have the option of taking a ?wait and see? approach on cleantech. Plus, NYPA?s business model enables it to invest in and deploy new technologies in bold ways, according to President and CEO Gil Quiniones. New York?s investor-owned utilities are also deploying innovative technologies. But NYPA can generally take more risks and move faster because it doesn't have to go through the Public Service Commission?s regulatory process. ?We tend to be able to be the first mover and the first tester of new initiatives,? Quiniones said. GTM spoke with Quiniones last week for an update on NYPA?s 2020 strategic plan, ahead of his keynote interview with Shayle Kann, senior vice president at Energy Impact Partners, at the Grid Edge Innovation Summit taking place June 20-21 in San Francisco. One of Quiniones? top priorities is rolling out NYPA?s major new investment in EV infrastructure.

 Beyond New York

Amsterdam's Johan Cruijff Arena Installs Electric Vehicle Battery Energy Storage
1 week 2 days ago
The home of Dutch soccer powerhouse Ajax, the Johan Cruijff Arena, has now become a powerhouse in its own right. The venue is now the site of Europe’s largest commercial energy storage system based on electric vehicle batteries. The arena hosts a three-megawatt storage system, the equivalent of 148 new or secondhand Nissan LEAF batteries. There are also 4,200 solar panels installed at the Johan Cruijff Arena, and much of the energy they collect can be stored as back-up power or supplementary power, making the stadium as sustainable as possible. The World Economic Forum notes that together the batteries can now store enough energy to charge 500,000 iPhones or supply 7,000 households in Amsterdam for one hour. When the stadium’s energy needs are low, its power system can even add to the area grid. (Johan Cruijff Arena is also known as Amsterdam Arena and is the largest stadium in the Netherlands.)
Utility Companies Head Into a Cloudy Future
1 week 4 days ago
The world’s publicly listed utilities employed 3.7 million people, had a third of a trillion dollars in capital expenditures, and brought in $2.2 trillion in revenue in 2017. Power supply is an enormous industry. It’s also an industry that would still be recognizable to utility executives from a century ago. Delivery of electricity, natural gas and water will remain part of the future — but what changes will that future entail for utility companies themselves? It involves a lot more talking about “the utility of the future”:
China's Top EV Maker Starts Battery-Swap Service to Lure Users
1 week 6 days ago
ELECTRIC Vehicle Co, the Chinese electric-car maker preparing for a stock market listing, is starting a battery-swap service to reduce customers' range anxiety and keep up with similar offerings from rivals. The company will sell a version of its EV300 compact car for 79,800 yuan (S$16,368) that allows users to change battery as often as they want for a monthly fee of 432 yuan, Zheng Gang, general manager of BJEV, as the unit of BAIC Group is known, said in the outskirts of Beijing on Thursday. BJEV, China's biggest maker of pure electric cars, and rivals such as BYD Co and NIO are bringing out new models and services at an accelerating pace to lure buyers in the world's biggest and most competitive market for alternative-energy vehicles.
Massachusetts Faces Make-or-Break Decision on Landmark Storage Incentive
2 weeks 21 hours ago
Massachusetts wants to use a forthcoming solar program to kick-start its energy storage industry. The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) will deploy 1,600 megawatts of new solar capacity in the coming years, pending regulatory approval. The incentive contains an adder that pays more for solar generation tied to energy storage. The storage industry has barely gotten started in Massachusetts, but it will play an increasingly valuable role by balancing out the gigawatts of new wind and solar the state has planned. Those intermittent resources are already reshaping the region’s electricity consumption.
Grid Neutrality is a Prerequisite for Energy Storage to Flourish
2 weeks 2 days ago
Without energy storage, the EU target for renewable energy cannot be reached. And that can only succeed if the incentives for investment are set correctly and if “ownership unbundling” rules in the EU energy market are strictly enforced, writes Dr. Hans Wolf von Koeller. Dr. Hans Wolf von Koeller is Head of Energy Policy at STEAG GmbH, a German company which plans, constructs, and operates power plants and distributed energy facilities using fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. Did you know that The Landlord’s Game is the predecessor of the popular board game Monopoly? In 1903, Elizabeth Magie developed the Landlord’s game, and created two sets of rules for her game: an anti-monopolistic set in which all were rewarded when wealth was created, and a monopolistic set in which the goal was to create monopolies and crush opponents.
Innovation is Making Lithium-Ion Batteries Harder to Recycle
2 weeks 4 days ago
As manufacturers make lithium-ion batteries as cheap as they can, they're removing valuable elements that make them worthwhile to recycle, according to the Electric Power Research Institute. EPRI assesses the end-of-life cost of batteries in a report it published at the end of last year. Last week, Ben Kaun, the program manager for EPRI's Energy Storage Program, told members of the Illinois Commerce Commission that the lack of recycling adds an end-of-life cost to lithium-ion batteries.
A World First - Battery Storage on Offshore Floating Wind Farm
2 weeks 6 days ago
A battery designed to store energy generated by the Hywind floating wind farm off the coast of Scotland was successfully installed on June 27 and is being hailed as a "world first" by developers Masdar and Equinor (formerly Statoil). Norway-based Equinor and renewable firm Masdar in Abu Dhabi have unveiled the world’s first battery attached to the floating Hywind windfarm in Scotland. The battery system was designed and developed by German-American battery storage integrator Younicos. Known as Batwind, the 1.2MW battery storage system is the first in the world to be connected to an offshore wind farm. The battery project was constructed on land about 15 miles from where the five floating turbines are generating clean electricity.
Commenters Divided on DER Aggregation, State, LDC Roles
3 weeks 21 hours ago
Solar power and storage providers differed sharply with local distribution companies and state officials in comments filed this week in FERC’s rulemaking on distributed energy resources. More than 50 commenters submitted answers to questions FERC posed, differing on whether aggregation should be limited to single nodes and on the roles of RTOs, state regulators and LDCs (RM18-9, AD18-10). The commission initiated the rulemaking in February, deciding to separate DER issues from its Order 841 on energy storage. The comments supplement testimony from a technical conference in April. (See Gatekeeper or Facilitator? FERC Panels Debate EDCs’ DER Role and RTOs, Regulators Set Course for DER Market Participation.) Below is a summary of the major issues and the range of recommendations FERC received, based on RTO Insider’s review of 40 comments.
What Happens to Used Electric-Car Batteries? You May be Surprised
3 weeks 21 hours ago
The first batches of batteries from electric and hybrid vehicles are hitting retirement age, yet they aren't bound for landfills. Instead, they'll spend their golden years chilling beer at 7-Elevens in Japan, powering car-charging stations in California and storing energy for homes and grids in Europe. Lithium-ion car and bus batteries can collect and discharge electricity for a further seven to 10 years after being taken off the roads and stripped from chassis - a shelf life with significant ramifications for global carmakers, electricity providers and raw-materials suppliers. Finding ways to reuse the technology is becoming more urgent as the global stockpile of EV batteries is forecast to exceed the equivalent of about 3.4 million packs by 2025, compared with about 55,000 this year, according to calculations based on Bloomberg NEF data.
New Controls, New Values, and New Layers of Functionality
3 weeks 21 hours ago
Home storage systems have been considered an ‘early adopter’ market in many parts of the world, perhaps more important as a way that individuals can control their own green energy use and save energy than as a means of generating big money returns. However, the addition of smart control and monitoring systems and the ability to aggregate large numbers of connected solar-plus-storage systems means that for solutions and equipment providers like Israel-headquartered SolarEdge, prolific supplier to markets including the US, UK and Australia, there is a new economic paradigm emerging.
Three Ways Energy Storage Can Generate Revenue in America's Organized Power Markets
3 weeks 1 day ago
Energy storage is surging across America. Total installed capacity passed 1,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) during a record-setting 2017, and the U.S. market is forecast to nearly double by adding more than 1,000 MWh new capacity in 2018 - adding as much capacity in one year as it did in the previous four. However, this exponential growth has mainly been limited to vertically integrated utilities operating outside of the country’s organized power markets, which serve two-thirds of all U.S. electricity consumers. So how can energy storage plug into these markets?
How Your Home Could Generate, Store and Sell Energy
3 weeks 2 days ago
As we move towards renewables in our efforts to decarbonise our economies, energy storage is becoming increasingly important. Could householders become an integral part of national electricity networks? When Adam Courtney decided he wanted to reduce the energy bills at his "not particularly energy efficient" Grade II listed house in Godmanchester, England, solar panels were the obvious answer. But, he says, he soon realised that the savings weren't as great as he'd hoped. Renewable sources of energy don't necessarily deliver at the right time and cloudy days saw his family drawing heavily on the national grid. Meanwhile, he had spare capacity on sunny days, but got very little in return. "We'd ended up feeding back into the grid, but the payment is tiny, so I ended up thinking 'why do that?'," he says.
VW Goes for Solid State Battery with Quantumscape
3 weeks 2 days ago
Lithium ion batteries are commonplace today, but they are believed to be near their full potential. Many are betting big on solid state batteries - like Volkswagen, which will be launching its electric I.D. brand next year. That is why the German automotive group is making sure it has access to this new battery technology: it is increasing its stake in Californian company QuantumScape and forming a new joint venture. "We want to accelerate the commercialization of QuantumScape?s solid-state batteries. And we combine forces to leverage Volkswagen?s experience as a production specialist and QuantumScape technology leadership. Volkswagen is thus taking another step toward a sustainable, zero emission mobility for our customers in the future?, said Dr. Axel Heinrich, Head of VW Group Research, who will take a seat on the board of directors of QuantumScape.
Hyundai Will Use 'Second Life' Electric Car Batteries for Energy Storage
3 weeks 2 days ago
Hyundai is the latest automaker to explore uses for so-called "second-life" electric-car batteries. It's teaming up with Finnish energy-technology company W„rtsil„ to use these batteries for stationary energy storage. Even after they have degraded too much for continued automotive use, electric-car batteries still have plenty of usable storage capacity. Energy storage is an attractive second use for these batteries because it can boost the adoption of renewable energy. The more renewable-energy sources used to generate electricity, the greener electric cars become. It's all connected.
Microsoft and Toyota are Revving Up Interest in Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Energy Tech
3 weeks 3 days ago
Grid battery storage projects like Tesla?s 100-megawatt installation in Australia may be getting lots of press, but behind the scenes, hydrogen fuel-cell systems are carving out a niche in applications ranging from non-polluting motor vehicles to power-gobbling data centers. ?It?s not either-or,? said Sunita Satyapal, director of the U.S. Department of Energy?s Fuel Cell Technology Office. ?We definitely need battery electric vehicles, we need advanced combustion, biofuels ? really, all of the above. But what?s unique about hydrogen is its versatility.?
Battery-Electric Vehicle Versus Plug-In Hybrid: Why Having Both Makes Sense
3 weeks 3 days ago
Not long ago, green car fans had only one choice: a hybrid vehicle like the Prius that gets all its energy from gasoline. Now there is a choice of several pure battery-electric vehicles that get all their energy from grid electricity, several plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that get their energy from a mix of grid electricity and gasoline, and several conventional hybrids like the Prius. When it came time to replace my wife?s 2007 Toyota Prius we decided on a plug-in hybrid to replace it because it would significantly increase the number of electric miles we can drive without requiring any sacrifices in utility. For the Prius replacement, we chose a 2017 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid with 25 miles of electric range with a gasoline engine as backup. I also have a 2015 Nissan Leaf with 84 miles of electric range. Earlier this month, we talked about why my family chose a Prius Prime to replace the older Prius. This is the story about why we decided on a plug-in hybrid in the first place.
FuelCell Energy Announces Recent US Department of Energy Project Awards
3 weeks 3 days ago
FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq:FCEL), a global leader in the design, manufacture, operation and service of ultra?clean, efficient and reliable fuel cell power plants, announces three new projects selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for funding support. In addition to the recently announced ARPA-E project for development of ultra-high efficiency SOFC systems, the company has also been awarded two additional projects aimed at advancing commercialization of the company?s energy storage solution. ?These projects and the progress made on our existing projects demonstrate the readiness of our SOFC to advance to larger scale,? said Chip Bottone, Chief Executive Officer, FuelCell Energy, Inc. ?Utility companies are recognizing the fast-growing need for cost-effective, financeable, long-duration energy storage, which is becoming increasingly urgent as more and more intermittent sources are placed into the electric grid.
Energy Storage Wars: The Next Big Thing In the Power Sector
4 weeks 21 hours ago
In order to combat the devastating effects of climate change and ensure a clean future for coming generations, massive investments and research are being undertaken in renewable energy solutions. Arguably, numerous advances have been made in solar and wind power ? but these systems have a major drawback: they are most effectively used when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. This brings us to the biggest challenge the sector has to tackle: effective ways to store that energy for longer, so it can be used when the sun and wind are not available. Mass-scale energy storage does exist, but it is dominated by just one technology: pumped hydro, where excess electricity is used to pump water into a reservoir, and that stored water is in turn used to run turbines to generate extra power when needed. There are other technologies, such as batteries, electrochemical storage, etc., but these make up a small percentage of total capacity (less than 5% of the total, according to policy group REN21).
In Massachusetts, Capacity Ownership of Distributed Resources Could Determine Fate of Storage
4 weeks 1 day ago
A little-noticed debate in Massachusetts could have a big impact on the trajectory of the state?s energy storage market. Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) convened a technical conference on solar and storage facilities participating in ISO-New England?s forward capacity market (FCM). The question of capacity payments and who is entitled to them is part of a larger debate about how distributed energy resources are going to be deployed in Massachusetts. The key issue in the capacity debate is not the technical issue of qualifying for ISO-NE?s FCM, but the policy question about who will retain ownership and control of a facility's capacity.
Five Things Utilities Should Consider for Energy Storage
1 month 21 hours ago
Across the country, increased energy storage deployments are being spurred by customers looking to gain more control over their energy bills and utilities aiming to build resilience and flexibility into their grid operations. Grid flexibility has always been important, but its significance continues to grow as more and more variable generation is added to the grid ? primarily in the form of wind and solar. Storage acts as a buffer to absorb and offset the changing energy supply and demand. As a result, 431 MWh of energy storage was installed in the U.S. in 2017, and nearly three times that amount (1,233 MWh) is expected in 2018, according to GTM.
Massachusetts Senate Passes Bill to Spur Clean Energy
1 month 1 day ago
The Massachusetts Senate on Thursday night passed a clean energy bill that was welcomed by the industry. The bill Increases the state's renewable energy portfolio standard by requiring power suppliers to buy an additional 3% of renewable energy annually, up from an additional 1% and removes the cap on solar net metering. The legislation further calls for additional offshore wind and hydropower procurement, according to a statement released by senator Sal DiDomenico, Assistant Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate. It allows the Department of Energy Resources to recommend the procurement of up to 5,000 MW of aggregate offshore wind capacity by the end of 2035 and of more than 9,450,000 MWh of clean energy generation. In addition, the bill, S.2545, An Act to promote a clean energy future, asks the Department of Energy Resources to create a programme to achieve an energy storage target of 2,000 MW by the start of 2025.
Inside Form Energy, the Star-Studded Startup Tackling the Hardest Problem in Energy Storage
1 month 1 day ago
A crew of battle-tested cleantech veterans raised serious cash to solve the thorniest problem in clean energy. As wind and solar power supply more and more of the grid's electricity, seasonal swings in production become a bigger obstacle. A low- or no-carbon electricity system needs a way to dispatch clean energy on demand, even when wind and solar aren't producing at their peaks. Four-hour lithium-ion batteries can help on a given day, but energy storage for weeks or months has yet to arrive at scale. Into the arena steps Form Energy, a new startup whose founders hope for commercialization not in a couple of years, but in the next decade. More surprising, they?ve secured $9 million in Series A funding from investors who are happy to wait that long. The funders include both a major oil company and an international consortium dedicated to stopping climate change.

 Press Releases

NY-BEST Applauds Release of NY Energy Storage Roadmap
4 weeks 21 hours ago
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Statement from NY-BEST Executive Director Dr. William Acker (Albany, NEW YORK, June 21, 2018) – The New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST) today applauded the release of the New York Energy Storage Roadmap which charts the course to achieving Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s 1,500 MW energy storage deployment target by 2025.   The following statement was issued by Dr. William Acker, Executive Director of NY-BEST: “The New York Energy Storage Roadmap represents a major step toward realizing the State’s 1,500 MW storage deployment target by 2025, harnessing the benefits that energy storage can provide to the electric grid while also creating a robust market and thousands of new jobs for New York’s economy. “The Energy Storage Roadmap illustrates what NY-BEST and our members have long recognized: energy storage is critical to modernizing New York’s electric grid, improving grid resilience, enabling renewable energy, reducing reliance on fossil-fuel generation, while also providing real benefits for ratepayers and producing environmental and economic benefits for the State. The recommendations and investments included in the Roadmap, once implemented, will accelerate deployment of energy storage resources on the electric grid and ensure that the State realizes the numerous benefits energy storage provides. “Energy storage provides flexible, reliable power that produces no greenhouse gas or harmful air emissions. By pairing storage with renewable energy sources, like wind and solar power, the energy that is generated when the sun is shining, and the wind is blowing can be stored for use at a later time. In this way, storage supports the State’s renewable energy goal of achieving 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. Energy storage also helps balance supply and demand, reduces pressure on the electric grid at peak demand times, and makes the electric grid system more flexible, efficient and resilient. Energy storage also can rapidly respond to fluctuating demands for electricity, helping to stabilize the grid and ensure system reliability. “NY-BEST and our members look forward to working with our State partners to implement the Roadmap actions and build a premier energy storage sector in New York.” About NY-BEST The New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology (NY-BEST) Consortium is a non-profit corporation and industry-led consortium with more than 160 organizational members. NY-BEST’s mission is to catalyze and grow the energy storage industry and establish New York State as a global leader in the energy storage industry. Visit us on the web at www.ny-best.org ###     Contact: Denise Sheehan, NY-BEST Phone: (518)463-8644 (office), (518)429-6924 (mobile) Email: denise@caphill.com