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

New York's 'Largest' Energy Storage System Powers Up
5 days 1 hour ago
A 20MW battery storage claimed to be the largest installation of its kind in New York has been completed. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) said Key Capture Energy’s storage system will serve the state’s electricity system by enhancing power grid performance and reliability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also supports New York’s ambition to install 3,000MW of energy storage capacity by 2030. The Key Capture Energy system is the first to be completed since Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the state’s Market Acceleration Bridge Incentive Programme in April which included $150 million (£122m) for bulk storage projects – the company was awarded $1.3 million (£1.3m) funder the programme.
Pason Power Partners with Energy Toolbase to Create End-to-End Energy Storage Software Platform
1 week 1 hour ago
Pason Power, a provider of intelligent software for the energy storage market, is combining its business with Energy Toolbase, a software platform that specializes in modeling and proposing the economics of solar and energy storage projects The two will join forces to provide a suite of project estimating, storage control, and asset monitoring products. The newly combined entity will retain the Energy Toolbase and Pason Power brand names. “We are all very excited about joining forces as we feel this will enhance our ability to offer our customers the best suite of design, control, and monitoring products available” stated Enrico Ladendorf, Managing Director of Pason Power.
Installing Lithium Ion Battery Systems in Buildings Will Require Permits Under New City Rules
1 week 2 days ago
The city's grid could soon reap big relief from small instruments installed in buildings, clean energy advocates say. Lithium ion battery systems, which reduce buildings' reliance on traditional power sources and store electricity for use during demand spikes, have been set up at a handful of locations across the city, according to Jason Doling, an assistant director at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Doling said the devices have been more widely used on the West Coast and in remote areas like Hawaii, but have increasingly been added in the boroughs, including at the Marcus Garvey Apartments in Brooklyn and Glenwood buildings across lower Manhattan. The equipment's cost and the still-evolving technical requirements of hooking up the technology have been hurdles, Doling said. But changes to the city's building code slated to go into effect next month are meant to pave the way for more batteries, which Doling said range from the size of a kitchen refrigerator to a large shipping container.
Stem to Showcase Storage + Solar Solutions for Wholesale Market at Solar Power International
1 week 2 days ago
Stem, Inc., the global leader in artificial intelligence (AI)-driven energy storage services, will feature its new front-of-meter wholesale offerings and resilient solar + storage solutions during Solar Power International, September 23-26 in Salt Lake City. "There is a tremendous opportunity in the wholesale distributed generation market for solar. But key to that is intelligent storage, which can turn solar into a flexible, responsive resource that can be traded in the energy markets. Maximizing returns by determining which markets and programs to utilize over the life of the project is where Stem’s expertise most benefits the solar asset owner,” said Alan Russo, chief revenue officer of Stem. "Building on our experience with storage co-sited with solar and pioneering expertise in delivering best-in-class solutions across the entire energy lifecycle, Stem is well positioned to expand its offerings into the front-of-meter market, which is the highest growth segment for storage.”
5 States Blazing the Trail for Integrating Distributed Energy Resources
1 week 4 days ago
Distributed energy resources (DERs) is an expansive term, including everything from backup generators to microgrids. In some states with 100 percent clean energy mandates, like California and Hawaii, the focus is on solar — lots and lots of it — and the tools needed to integrate this massive new grid edge resource. Batteries are another important tool in the kit, but so are air conditioners, water heaters, refrigerators, pumps, and other behind-the-meter flexible loads — not to mention electric vehicles. Distribution utilities are going to need all of these DERs to manage the paradigm shift to come as renewables grow to a majority of the grid’s energy. But integrating DERs that are customer-owned and outside direct utility control is a challenge on many levels.
Storage Order Fuels Legal Battle Over FERC Authority
2 weeks 1 day ago
A looming legal brawl over a new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order will trigger a fresh round of judicial scrutiny focused on the line between state and federal authority in wholesale power markets. Power producers and state regulators last month sued in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit over Order No. 841, a FERC directive that opens the door for batteries and other energy storage technologies to participate in wholesale electricity markets — even if they are behind a retail meter (Energywire, July 17). Generally, FERC has oversight of interstate electricity sales, while retail sales fall to states. But the Supreme Court has recently upheld efforts by FERC to boost competition in wholesale markets, even when those changes affect retail rates.
The Biggest Batteries Coming Soon to a Grid Near You
2 weeks 3 days ago
Sure, small-scale batteries in homes and businesses can link up and deliver veritable megawatts of capacity. But there’s nothing like the sheer adrenaline rush of stacks and stacks of lithium-ion cells packed into climate-controlled boxes and blasting electrons faster than a coal plant operator can say “secular decline.” So who’s got the biggest battery? Elon Musk supplied the biggest lithium-ion battery to a wind farm in South Australia back in 2017, and that project retains the biggest-battery title two years later. But the early-adopter phase is about to end: Contracts for bigger and bigger batteries will jockey for dominance into the early 2020s. Interconnection queues suggest even bigger ones will follow, north of 500 megawatts.
Tesla Batteries Are Keeping Zimbabwe's Economy Running
2 weeks 5 days ago
Zimbabweans are relying on Tesla Inc. to help them pay their bills. Amid power outages of as long as 18 hours a day, Econet Wireless Ltd., Zimbabwe’s biggest mobile-phone operator, is turning to the Palo Alto, California-based automaker and storable-energy company for batteries that can keep its base stations running. The southern African country faces chronic shortages of physical cash, so almost all transactions are done digitally, and many via mobile phones.
Johnson Controls Announces Partnership to Increase Amount of Capital Available for Solar and Battery Storage Projects
3 weeks 3 days ago
Johnson Controls recently announced a partnership with Capital Dynamics to increase the amount of capital available for customers in North America working on solar or battery storage projects. The agreement will grant easier access to funding for Johnson Controls customers utilizing a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for projects of varying sizes, starting at $1 million, by aggregating them into a larger portfolio of projects. Through a joint venture with Consolidated Edison, Johnson Controls has already been working to expand the market for solar and battery solutions, and controls to integrate them. This effort, combined with increased funding opportunities through the partnership with Capital Dynamics, positions Johnson Controls to be able to better help customers incorporate behind-the-meter, solar and battery storage into their built environment.
Storage Specialist GlidePath Boosts Wind Portfolio With Texas Acquisitions
3 weeks 4 days ago
Wind power generation is biggest in Texas, according the US DoE's newly released 2018 wind sector reports. The latest major development in the Lone Star State has seen energy storage developer GlidePath Power Solutions acquire a 149MW portfolio of onshore distributed energy projects from Exelon Generation. The new acquisition means Glidepath now holds an operating portfolio of more than 445W of renewables and more than 1GW of battery storage projects across the US. The developer says its operations team will optimise performance at all 8 wind farms, located in the north-west region of the state and look at opportunities to develop on-site battery storage systems. The portfolio supplies the Southwest Power Pool market.
Storage Developer Plans to Bring Batteries to 149 MW Texas Wind Portfolio in SPP Territory
1 month 1 hour ago
SPP's generation portfolio has changed dramatically over the past decade, with 50 GW of wind, 28.5 GW of solar and 5.7 GW of storage in its interconnection queue as of June. "The high penetration of wind energy in North Texas offers us an excellent opportunity to pair these facilities with the latest battery storage technology," David Braun, president of GlidePath Asset Management, said in a statement. Meanwhile, GlidePath, which recently acquired at 10 MW/MWh standalone battery project near Houston, believes that battery storage is the one of the solutions to the problems that plagued the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) last week.
NEC To Execute New England Storage Projects
1 month 1 hour ago
NEC Energy Solutions (NEC ES) will execute six energy storage projects of more than 20 megawatts at municipal power plants throughout New England. The endeavor in Madison, Maine, and Ashburnham, Templeton, Wakefield, Middleton and Taunton, Mass., would reduce costs for transmission and capacity charges – directly benefiting ratepayers. “We have more than 750 megawatts of energy storage systems around the world from Japan and China to Hawaii and California, in Chile and Brazil and across the Atlantic to Germany and the UK,” Steve Fludder, CEO of NEC Energy Solutions, said. “It is especially important for us to make an impact right here at home in Massachusetts and the rest of New England.”
New England's Municipal Utilities Get a Taste for Battery Storage
1 month 1 day ago
NEC Energy Solutions is building momentum with its grid battery offerings for municipal utilities in New England. Two years after a pathbreaking storage project with the Sterling Municipal Light Department in Massachusetts, NEC has added five more contracts in that state and one in Maine. The projects will add up to 20 megawatts of power capacity and more than 40 megawatt-hours of energy storage. The battery systems will help the municipal utilities reduce the consumption peaks that drive monthly transmission costs and an annual capacity charge. By predicting peaks and discharging at the right time, the storage plants save money for utility customers.
Long Island, NY Will Become a Solar Energy Storage Hot Spot
1 month 1 day ago
Energy storage seems to be the key to renewable energy. A $55 million dollar initiative is going to turn Long Island into a veritable hotspot of sustainable energy. Let us examine the details of this scheme. Well, similar to other New York residents Long Islanders have been offered $250 per kilowatt-hour with businesses up to 5 megawatts for energy storage. All this is funded by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Why Long Island? In splendid isolation, Long Island is ideal for testing the waters so to speak. Cut off from the mainland, it has great wind power capabilities and this combined with solar power it is expected to fill the storage ability. This will fulfil Governor​ ​Andrew Cuomo’s vision of achieving a carbon-free grid.
Tesla Energy Storage Potential Given Boost At Company And Industry Levels
1 month 5 days ago
The announcement of the Megapack product from Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) in early August is an important one. News concerning autos tends to hit the headlines more. The Megapack announcement may have gone somewhat under the radar. Tesla's aim is to have half their revenue from energy storage and batteries. There have been numerous comments from Tesla executives to this effect in the past. The world is changing over to renewables even faster than many had predicted. The demand for energy storage is growing very rapidly as a result. Recent developments for Tesla in Australia reinforce this point. The only question is whether Tesla will have the capacity and focus to meet that demand.

 Beyond New York

California's Initiatives to Overcome Its Challenges in the Sun
1 week 2 days ago
California is embracing energy storage as a reliability solution for an electrical grid that’s adopting more renewable, intermittent generation. Public agencies such as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power have set ambitious energy storage targets while companies across the state are developing cutting edge storage technologies such as zinc-air batteries and renewable hydrogen. The goal is to ensure a dependable energy supply for the state as it races toward its target of 100% carbon-free energy by 2045. For more than two decades, California has overcome a series of unforeseen challenges that have threatened to derail the state’s transformation to clean, reliable energy. Whether it was cheap natural gas challenging the economics of renewables or California’s push to implement the country’s toughest auto emissions standards, state policymakers have untangled regulatory and economic clean energy knots years before other states or countries were even aware of them. In doing so, California reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 13% from 2004 to 2016 while its economy grew by 63%.
Los Angeles OKs a Deal for Record-Cheap Solar Power and Battery Storage
1 week 3 days ago
For a long time, there were two big knocks against solar power: It’s expensive, and it can’t keep the lights on after sundown. A contract approved Tuesday by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power shows how much that reality has changed. Under the 25-year deal with developer 8minute Solar Energy, the city would buy electricity from a sprawling complex of solar panels and lithium-ion batteries in the Mojave Desert of eastern Kern County, about two hours north of Los Angeles. The Eland project would meet 6% to 7% of L.A.'s annual electricity needs and would be capable of pumping clean energy into the grid for four hours each night.
The Greening of California Continues with Upcoming Energy Storage Solicitations
2 weeks 3 days ago
The California Energy Commission (CEC) Oct. 30 will release two energy storage solicitations totaling $31 million to support the state’s goal under SB 100 of attaining 100% fossil-free electricity by 2045. The commission wants to get the word out now because preparing energy storage projects and proposals can be time consuming, said Mike Gravely, CEC research program manager. “We are doing this to bring new technologies that are cheaper and better performing to meet SB 100,” he said, adding that existing technology isn’t capable of meeting the requirements of the legislation.
Energy Storage Enjoys Another Record Year
2 weeks 6 days ago
The energy storage market enjoyed another record year for deployment in 2018, according to a new study by Navigant Research. The news is not so surprising for a growth sector that is just finding its feet. However, while that growth is driving energy storage into new applications and in increasing volumes, the geographic distribution remains concentrated in just ten countries. Those being U.K., France, Germany, U.S., Brazil, India, China, Japan, South Korea and Australia. Navigant expects these countries to install 1,242.1MW of energy storage in 2019, which it predicts will represent 80% of the market all in all.
Energy's Future - Battery and Storage Technologies
3 weeks 4 days ago
The efforts to lift our power generation and electrical grid into the 21st century is a multipronged effort. It needs a new generation mix of low-carbon sources that include hydro, renewables and nuclear, ways to capture carbon that don’t cost a zillion dollars, and ways to make the grid smart. But battery and storage technologies have had a hard time keeping up. And they are critical for any success in a carbon-constrained world that uses intermittent sources like solar and wind, or that worries about resilience in the face of natural disasters and malicious attempts at sabotage.
Residential Energy Storage VPPs Are Gaining Traction
4 weeks 1 hour ago
As the behind-the-meter distributed energy storage market continues to mature, a series of factors have propelled residential energy storage systems (RESSs) to the forefront of industry consciousness. These factors include technological progress, legislative and regulatory tailwinds, and new grid challenges associated with intermittent renewable generation. RESSs can be a highly flexible and valuable resource, improving efficiencies for system owners and the power grid. While residential battery storage has been a growing market in select geographies for several years, the market was primarily driven by early adopters concerned with supporting clean energy or self-sufficiency more than economic self-interest. RESSs were largely regarded by utilities as a niche product for clean energy connoisseurs.
Energy Storage is Paving the Way for New Economic Models
4 weeks 1 day ago
As the world moves towards the mass adoption of renewable energy, some questions come to mind. Which energy sources are most practical for the future? How do we rebuild an energy infrastructure and economy that works? What economic models are best for this new energy economy? Energy storage can answer some of these questions. Energy storage is picking up speed At the moment, the installation rate of solar panels is rapidly accelerating. And partially, massive reductions in price are facilitating this growth trend. Energy storage is beginning to follow a similar trend line. Specifically, we are rapidly nearing a time when we’ll be able to store excess energy to cover the energy needs of energy customers.
How Did Massachusetts Blossom Into an Environment Ripe for Energy Storage, Pushing Technologies and Business Models to the Cutting Edge?
1 month 1 hour ago
It created a market that demands and allows for value stacking. Today's energy storage technology can help power the country more efficiently and sustainably, and it's getting better all the time. However, this resource's greatest strength—the ability to both take in and let out energy rapidly—can be complicated to properly value. It's also been a bit of a headache to equitably work into the country's many mechanisms governing electricity generation and transmission. Having an energy storage system provide just one service can be expensive, and it's a big waste of potential. Enter Massachusetts, where the stars have aligned and the full potential of energy storage may soon be on display, providing not one or two services, but seven or eight with a single project.
Long Duration Energy Storage: The Future of Grid Flexibility
1 month 2 days ago
Managing demand on the power grid continues to grow increasingly more complex. Along with the urgent need to reduce carbon-based energy generation, consumer demand for energy is growing and shifting hourly, daily, monthly, and seasonally. New distributed energy resources are being developed and integrated at a faster rate every day and renewable generation and its variability are being brought online faster than predicted. All these factors make it more challenging for all utilities to meet demand when and where it is needed. As more aggressive goals are set to transition the electrical system away from fossil fuels, energy storage is poised to be the economical solution to address the rapid growth and variability of distributed renewable generation. Energy storage growth is market-driven as power can be worth less than zero at times in some regions and power providers look for ways to avoid investing in costly new generation assets. But this growth is also being incentivized and regulated by federal and an increasing number of state governments.
SoftBank Fund Makes Energy-Storage Bet With an Unusual Battery
1 month 5 days ago
SoftBank Group Corp.’s massive Vision Fund is making its first-ever energy storage bet -- and it’s on a rather unconventional type of battery. The fund, created by Japanese tech giant SoftBank Group Corp., is investing $110 million in Energy Vault, a Swiss startup that’s using cranes and concrete to store energy. An electric crane hoists up blocks of concrete and stacks them into a tower when power is plentiful. When power is needed, it uses gravity to take the structure apart brick by brick. The weight of the descending blocks converts kinetic energy into electricity. The startup faces stiff competition. Huge lithium-ion batteries have emerged as the storage of choice for utilities looking to deal with short-term fluctuations on their grids. The costs of those have plunged 85% since 2010. Entrepreneurs have long pitched alternatives that can hold more energy and supply for longer -- including ones that compress and liquify air and split and store hydrogen, but none have taken off the way lithium-ion has.