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

ESS Inc. Joins Power Africa in Partnership to Accelerate Deployment of Grid-Scale Flow Batteries on the Continent
3 weeks 5 days ago
ESS Inc., the leading manufacturer of safe, low-cost and long-duration energy storage systems, announced that it has joined Power Africa, a U.S. Government-led partnership coordinated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), as a private sector partner. As the program’s first flow battery partner, ESS Inc. has committed to deploying its long-duration energy storage solutions for microgrid and utility-scale projects throughout the continent. “We are excited to become a partner of the Power Africa program,” said Craig Evans, founder and CEO of ESS Inc. “Our low cost, long-duration and long-life battery is especially suited for the needs of the African market, particularly in microgrid, renewable integration and utility grid strengthening applications. ESS Inc. looks forward to working with Power Africa and its network of project developers, utilities, and EPCs to expand the availability of electricity with the world’s most environmentally friendly battery.” Power Africa works with African governments and coordinates the efforts of 12 U.S. government agencies, 18 bilateral and multilateral partners, and nearly 150 private companies to remove barriers that impede energy development in sub-Saharan Africa. It was launched in 2013 with the goal of increasing access and availability of electric power throughout sub-Saharan Africa – where two out of three residents lack this basic service.
Enel, Partners Complete 22-MW Battery Storage Plant in Germany
4 weeks 1 day ago
Italy’s Enel SpA (BIT:ENEL) celebrated on Thursday the completion and commissioning of a 22-MW energy storage plant in the German state of Brandenburg. The Cremzow Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) required a total investment of EUR 17 million (USD 19m). It will provide frequency regulation services to the country’s Primary Control Reserve (PCR) market, helping to stabilise the local grid. The facility could also be integrated with ENERTRAG’s wind farms at a later stage. Enel Green Power Germany (EGP Germany) holds 90% of the special purpose vehicle (SPV) that owns the battery park, while local renewable power company ENERTRAG has the remaining 10%. Swiss energy storage solutions company Leclanche acted as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor and manager, Enel noted.
FERC Upholds Electric Storage Order
4 weeks 1 day ago
FERC on Thursday rejected multiple requests to reconsider its landmark electric storage order, prompting a partial dissent from Commissioner Bernard McNamee over requests to allow states to opt out (RM16-23-001, AD16-20-001, Order No. 841-A). The majority rejected requests that it allow relevant electric retail regulatory authorities (RERRAs) the ability to opt out of its storage provisions, as the commission did for demand response under Order 719. The commissioners also rebuffed questions about their authority to require that power sold by RTO markets to an electric storage resource (ESR) for resale be at the wholesale LMP. Dissent McNamee’s 13-page dissent said the majority “fails to recognize the states’ interests in ESRs located behind a retail meter (behind-the-meter) or connected to distribution facilities.”
Engie Acquires Genbright to Unlock More Value From Distributed Storage and Solar Portfolio
4 weeks 1 day ago
Engie North America has built a big portfolio of distributed energy projects across the U.S., ranging from more than 75 megawatts of behind-the-meter battery systems from Engie Storage (formerly Green Charge Networks), to the hundreds of megawatts of commercial solar projects in the works from the developer it acquired last year, SoCore Energy. On Wednesday, Engie North America acquired Genbright, a startup with software it believes can unlock a much broader range of revenue streams for these distributed energy resources (DERs), by linking them into the multiple opportunities being opened in U.S. wholesale energy markets. Genbright, founded in 2013, has built up a portfolio of more than 50 megawatts of solar, storage and demand response resources now using its proprietary wholesale market platform. Some showcase projects include a $3 million deployment of 200 Ice Energy load-shifting air conditioner units on the Massachusetts island of Nantucket, a 1.5-megawatt/3-megawatt-hour behind-the-meter battery project with an unnamed commercial customer in Massachusetts, and a 5-megawatt/10-megawatt-hour front-of-meter battery being deployed in Maine.
Energy Storage Firm ESS Delivers Flow Battery System to Camp Pendleton
1 month 16 hours ago
ESS Inc., a maker of energy storage systems, deployed an Energy Warehouse long-duration flow battery system at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California. The 50 kW / 400 kWh battery is integrated into a microgrid with a CleanSpark microgrid controller and provides up to eight hours of storage to enable back-up capabilities for critical loads; operational energy cost savings through on-site generation with storage; and full islanding capabilities for resilience. The project is being completed in partnership with the project's prime contractor, Bethel-Webcor JV.
Everyone Wants to Combat Climate Change. How Fast Can NY Do It?
1 month 16 hours ago
Environmentalists have ambitious plans in Albany this year: codifying aggressive targets to wean the state off of fossil fuels; a moratorium on gas pipelines; and divesting billions of dollars in state pension funds from fossil fuel companies like Exxon Mobil Corp. Already this year, lawmakers approved a statewide ban on plastic bags and passed a package of bills cracking down on toxic chemicals in consumer products. “Gone are the days when we debated the doubts about whether climate change is happening or not,” Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York, said at a recent press conference with Democratic lawmakers. “For far too long, commonsense environmental measures that would protect our air, water and our health had little chance of becoming law in New York.” But while several major environmental measures should be easier to advance since Republicans lost control of the state Senate, time is running out in this session for Democrats to check the remaining boxes on their environmental agenda.
Tesla's Buffalo Factory Will Now Build Supercharger V3 and Energy Storage, Report Says
1 month 16 hours ago
Tesla's "Gigafactory 2" in New York is undergoing something of an identity crisis as of late. It's now mostly being used by Panasonic to make solar components, but soon, according to a Thursday report by Electrek, Tesla will give it new purpose as the home of Supercharger V3 electronics and energy storage (think Powerwall) production. Tesla is also using the facility to ramp up production on its long-awaited Solar Roof materials. Why is that a big deal? Well, there has been a fair amount of interest in Tesla's products that aren't cars, but with the brand's initial difficulties in getting the Model 3 car into volume production, those other products got pushed somewhat to the back burner. Now that production of cars has stabilized somewhat; it's becoming possible for Tesla to use some of its cell production for these other, less demanding projects.

 Beyond New York

The Future of Energy Storage in the United States is Bright
3 weeks 5 days ago
As utilities, independent power producers, and large corporates shift away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy sources, energy storage is becoming a key piece of the renewable energy solution in the United States. Unlike fossil fuels where generators can control the amount of energy supplied and when it is supplied, solar and wind power are intermittent resources that produce energy only when the sun shines or when the wind blows. Energy storage is therefore critical not only to solve this intermittency challenge, but also to permit generators to respond rapidly to fluctuations in demand, thereby increasing grid resiliency and reducing the need for peaking plants to backstop such resources during periods of high electricity demand. As a result, energy storage will play a key role in the future of renewables development in the United States. Like other forms of renewable resources, the cost of storage, and of batteries in particular, has declined sharply over recent years, driven by expanding manufacturing capabilities and an increase in the storage technology learning curve. This reduced cost has led to an increase in deployment of storage solutions. Battery storage, for example, has increased rapidly in recent years and appears poised for explosive future growth. While the United States currently has a little more than one GW of installed battery storage capacity, market predictors estimate that number could grow to more than seven GW of utility-scale and grid-connected battery storage by 2022. Indeed, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables' latest report on energy storage projects that energy storage deployments will grow thirteenfold over the next six years. Global Energy Storage Outlook 2019: 2018 Year in Review and Outlook to 2024.
Reducing Commercial and Industrial Power Costs with Energy Storage
3 weeks 5 days ago
Commercial and industrial operations today face increasingly steep costs for electric power, as well as increasingly frequent and costly disruptions in the grid. These are costs that eat into the bottom line and, for some businesses, can severely affect their ability to operate profitably. For many of those customers, installing a modern energy storage system can address both issues and significantly reduce a company’s spending on power. By providing a pool of solar-generated power that can be brought online at times of peak usage, storage systems enable companies to escape the costliest periods of demand charges. The same system also can provide them with reliable, ready backup power, eliminating the lost revenues that result when operations are curtailed by grid outages. The toxic toll of tariffs
François Legault Pitches Quebec as "Battery of North America" in New York
3 weeks 5 days ago
Quebec Premier François Legault is in New York City this week, promoting the province's hydroelectricity as a green energy option for the bustling metropolis. In April, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by importing "zero-emission Canadian hydroelectricity." He called for negotiations to begin immediately on building a supply line that would connect a hydro station south of Montreal with the Big Apple.
WoodMac: Energy Storage Will Move Toward Value Stacking as Industry Matures
4 weeks 1 day ago
The U.S. energy storage market is expected to more than double in 2019, according to a March report from Wood Mackenzie and the Energy Storage Association (ESA). Report authors forecasted a deployment of 1,681 MWh this year, up from 777 MWh in 2018. And while the deployment of storage does not appear to slow down any time soon, industry stakeholders are working on a framework to provide more monetary incentives for deployment. "One of the things that’s definitely happening in the industry is value stacking. Your batteries can not only just provide for one use-case application or for just one revenue stream, but vendors are trying to build systems where they can actually use a particular battery system for several use-case scenarios and can derive several value streams out of it," Gupta said Thursday. She specified that residential behind-the-meter (BTM) battery systems do not only provide resiliency and backup power for their respective owner, they also provide grid services. Utilities will compensate customers for allowing them to tap into their home battery system or participating in demand response programs, Gupta added.
AEP and Honda Team Up to Find New Use for Old Electric Vehicle Batteries
4 weeks 1 day ago
Honda joined forces with American Electric Power (AEP) this week on a mission to give new life to used electric vehicle (EV) batteries and to expand EV integration into the power grid. Under the agreement, Honda will take used batteries from its short-lived Fit EV to AEP, which will study how best to integrate those systems into the electric grid. For the Ohio-based utility, it is the latest investigation into the implications of large-scale electrification, as it works to identify the best way to support the emerging mobility system. What AEP learns will be shared with Honda, so they can jointly develop new technology and industry standards for vehicle grid integration. “Together with AEP, we are exploring opportunities to use the 2nd life battery to improve energy security, reduce CO2 and prepare for broad scale electrification of the transportation ecosystem,” Ryan Harty, manager of Connected and Environmental Business at American Honda Motor Co., said. “Neither automakers nor utilities can address these complex technical, policy and business issues alone.”
Democrats Try to Extend Wind, Solar Aid They Agreed to Let Die
1 month 1 day ago
Tax credits worth billions of dollars for the wind and solar industries are set to expire or begin phasing out next year -- part of a 2015 deal Democrats struck that ended a 40-year-old ban on the export of crude oil. But some Democrats are seeking to extend the credits, saying President Donald Trump’s tariffs on solar panels and moves to roll back Obama-era climate-related policies have changed the equation. “We had a change election, we’ve got new leadership in the halls of Congress and we’ve got an opportunity to seize,” Representative Haley Stevens, a Michigan Democrat elected in November, said in an interview.
JV to Bring Solar-Plus-Storage to LMI Communities in New York
1 month 1 day ago
Solar developer OYA Solar of Canada and Crauderueff & Associates, a New York affordable solar developer, have partnered to originate and develop 200 solar-plus-storage community projects on the rooftops of low-income communities across New York City. The process can help community solar subscribers save up to 10 percent on the cost of electric power. The joint venture’s target is to equip more than 2,500 regulated affordable housing buildings with rooftop solar arrays, which will reduce energy costs for low- and moderate-income homes. Solar energy produced at the partnership’s community solar facilities will be sold at a discount to LMI households.
California ISO Tests Flow Battery Tech That Could Decrease Bulk Storage Costs
1 month 2 days ago
U.S. energy storage deployment is expected to double in 2019 and exceed 4.4 GW by 2024, according to a March report by Wood Mackenzie and the Energy Storage Association. In 2018, the U.S. installed 350.5 MW/777 MWh of storage capacity, with 47% of deployments occurring front-of-the-meter. Given the nationwide increase in renewable energy targets, utilities and wholesale market operators have ample reason to experiment with different types of storage technologies in order to determine which of them will provide the most benefits to the grid and consumers. CAISO refers to storage as a "vital strategy" to meet California's goal of 100% zero-carbon electricity by 2045. The state's current oversupply of solar power in the middle of the day and subsequent drop-off in the evening has led to a curtailment of solar. With more storage on the grid, the oversupply of solar could be captured and used later in the day, reducing the need for curtailment and increasing the grid operator's ability to balance load, CAISO said.
North Carolina Approves Duke's First Solar + Storage Residential Microgrid
1 month 2 days ago
Hot Springs is served by a single 10-mile transmission line that passes through mountainous terrain in the Pisgah National Forest, creating frequent, lengthy outages. Whether Duke's microgrid is the cheapest way to address the problem remains an open​ question, but regulators say the project could give the state and utility a better understanding of how the storage technologies can make the grid more reliable. "Though it is not clear that the Hot Springs Microgrid is the most cost effective way to address reliability and service quality issues at Hot Springs, the overall public convenience and necessity would be served by granting the certificate," the Utilities Commission concluded in their order. The system benefits from the Hot Springs Microgrid are material, "but are difficult to quantify accurately without real world experience in [Duke's] service territory," the North Carolina Utilities Commission wrote. Regulators said Duke will "gain valuable experience" by operating the microgrid, "and this experience and data collection and analysis will be beneficial in future cost-benefit analyses of projects with that proposed to include an energy storage component."