NY-BEST Newsletter 11-30-2012

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Bringing you the latest updates from the
Battery and Energy Storage Industry

November 30, 2012

Bill Acker & Governor Andrew CuomoEarlier this week, I had an opportunity to brief Governor Cuomo and key members of his senior staff along with the members of the Finger Lakes regional economic council on the progress and plans for the NY-BEST Product Commercialization Center. I'm pleased to report that the briefing was well received and that interest and support for our project--and for energy storage in general--is very strong. We will have much more to report on the Commercialization Center in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned.

As you may be aware, Governor Cuomo recently formed three commissions in the aftermath of "superstorm" Sandy that are charged with undertaking a comprehensive review and making specific recommendations to overhaul and improve New York State’s emergency preparedness and response capabilities, as well as examining how to improve the strength and resilience of the state’s infrastructure to better withstand major weather incidents. Many of you responded to our call earlier this month for input to the commission, and we're grateful for the input we've received to date.

I am happy to report that I have been appointed to serve on the Governor’s new “Ready" Commission. You can read more about the commissions here. The NYS Ready Commission is tasked with finding ways to ensure critical systems and services are prepared for future natural disasters and other emergencies. The Commission will be co-chaired by Ira M. Millstein, Senior Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, and Dr. Irwin Redlener, Director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. The Commission’s recommendations are due to the Governor by January 3, 2013.   Specific areas the Commission has been charged to review and make recommendations on include addressing vulnerabilities in the State’s health care, energy, transportation, communications and other systems and ensuring that new, modified and existing construction is resilient.  I am also pleased to report that Jason Doling is actively engaged with the commissions representing NYSERDA. I will keep you apprised of developments from the Commission and I appreciate your support.

I'd like to offer my congratulations to several NY-BEST members who recently won awards from the Advanced Research Projects Administration - Energy (ARPA-E). NY-BEST members selected for funding include Cornell University, United Technologies Research Center, General Electric and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The awards to NY-BEST members totaled over $12 million and represent nearly 10% of the total awards given under the solicitation.

NY-BEST will host a webinar on December 19th entitled "Smart Grid 2.0: Batteries Included" in which we will highlight and explore the emerging and rapidly growing role for energy storage devices as key elements of the electricity grid of today and in the future. This topic is particularly timely with respect to the work of the Commissions highlighted above and we've arranged a strong panel of speakers to explore the issues and opportunities.  Please mark your calendar and plan to join us. Further details and registration information will be sent out soon.

Finally, I'd like to welcome the most recent new members to NY-BEST:

WATT Fuel Cell (Port Washington, NY) is a developer of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) systems that will operate on many readily available hydrocarbon fuels such as natural gas, propane, JP-8, diesel, and various renewable fuels. WATT's product platforms will provide quiet, light, efficient, affordable, and environmentally responsible energy solutions for a range of applications in the portable power and distributed-generation energy markets.

Long Island Forum for Technology (LIFT) - (Bethpage, NY) is a 35 year old not-for-profit economic development organization that provides Long Island's manufacturing and technology businesses with networking opportunities, access to enabling technologies, hands-on applications of technology, know- how and a wide range of programs directed at fostering an environment for innovation, lowering the cost of operations, increasing growth and forging relationships.

Sustainable Innovations, LLC (Glastonbury, CT) is committed to the development of technologies based on a common electrochemical platform that promote the use of renewable resources and lead to a sustainable energy infrastructure. Our H2RENEW(tm), HALO-GEN(tm), and CO2RENEW(tm) products generate and compress hydrogen, efficiently store energy from renewable resources, and sequester carbon dioxide.

NSCscale, Inc. (formerly known as NSC Technology) (Binghamton, NY)  is a nanotechnology company with a mission to develop advanced nanomaterials, enabling technologies, and commercial products that significantly advance the research and performance capabilities of energy conversion/storage (fuel cells, metal-air batteries) and chemical/bio sensor devices.

Best Regsards

William Acker
Executive Director

Funding Opportunities:

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NY-BEST Member News:

Industry inertia holds back battery innovation
The lack of incentives to innovate on batteries due to cheaper existing materials and customer apathy mean the IT industry is still hugely reliant on aging technology, and this inertia needs to be addressed.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo gets glimpse of region's future
Bunched like commuters on a city bus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy rode around, past and through some of the capital projects local leaders are hoping will win state approval — and dollars.

Scientists capture lithium-ion batteries in nanoscale action
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborating institutions have developed methods of examining lithium-ion reactions in real-time with nanoscale (billionths of a meter) precision, offering unprecedented insights into these crucial materials.

GM Says Chevy Spark to Start at Less Than $25,000
General Motors Co. (GM), which has failed to meet sales goals for the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, plans to begin selling an all-electric version of the Chevrolet Spark initially in California and Oregon in 2013's third quarter.

General Motors throws more support behind electric vehicles
Electric vehicles are becoming more popular in the U.S., where automakers have seen a swell in the demand for clean transportation coming from environmentally and economically conscious consumers. General Motors is one of the country's car manufacturers that is working to have supply match demand and has announced plans to bring as many as 500,000 new electric vehicles to U.S. roads by 2017. The company's plans do not focus solely on vehicles that use electricity and nothing else, however, as General Motors is also interested in hybrid vehicles.

Award-winning scientist working for better batteries
After millions in the tristate area struggled without power, one of the region's newest residents offered alternatives to the utility system. Esther Takeuchi, a distinguished and award-winning scientist who joined Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory in the late summer is a battery expert whose prior work on batteries earned her the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama in 2009, said her role could include developing the types of batteries that could be used to store energy to provide power when the grid goes down.

GM, ABB & Duke demo community energy storage from 5 used EV batteries
General Motors and ABB demonstrated a new grid distributed community energy storage system built from five used Chevrolet Volt batteries. The modular air-cooled unit can provide about 25 kW of power for about 2 hours (50 kWh of energy capacity).  Duke Energy is testing one of the units.

Plug Power, Fedex collaborate on Energy Department plan
Plug Power and one of its best-known customers, FedEx, are collaborating on a $2.5 million Department of Energy initiative to put hydrogen fuel cells in airport vehicles.

Solar Companies Seek Ways to Build an Oasis of Electricity
When Hurricane Sandy wiped out the power in areas like coastal Long Island and the Jersey Shore, what should have been beacons of hope — hundreds of solar panels glinting from residential rooftops — became symbols of frustration.

GE to Purchase 2,000 Ford C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrids
GE will purchase 2,000 C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids - Ford's commitment to convert half of its global fleet to alternative fuel vehicles

Electrovaya Launches Residential Lithium-Ion Energy Storage System
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov 14, 2012) - Electrovaya Inc. (EFL.TO) today announced the launch of its lithium-ion energy storage system for home usage. The battery stores power from the grid or from solar panels and stores it for later household use.

Licensing packages are being prepared for immediate deployment in commercial facilities. Installing a production line in an existing facility capable of making 300 tons of electrode materials per year (enough to make 30,000 Toyota Prius battery packs) would require very low capital equipment expenditures. Companies employing the technology can expect a payback period on their investments of less than two years.

GM Plans to Build 500K EVs Annually by 2017, Use Volt Batteries for Power Outages
General Motors is looking to take huge strides in the way of electric vehicles (EV) and electric batteries: it wants to produce 500,000 EVs per year, and it wants to use Chevrolet Volt batteries to power homes during blackouts.

GM Says 100-Mile Battery Range Key Tipping Point for EVs
SAUSALITO, CA – The first auto maker to break the 100-mile (161-km) range on batteries for electrified vehicles will dominate a market segment where costs are keeping a lid on sales volumes, General Motors product-development chief Mary Barra says.

First Nation wind project deploys battery storage in Canada
Two of Saft's 400kW Intensium Max 20E Li-on batteries will be supplied under the deal with Cowessess First Nation's High Wind and Storage Project, which is located outside the provincial capital of Regina.

Microgrids Keep Power Flowing Through Sandy Outages
The widespread power outages in the wake of Hurricane Sandy cast light on the weakness of a completely centralized electric power system and spotlighted the benefits of distributed power generation.

Hero group ties up with Canadian firm for electric bike batteries
Hero Eco Ltd, part of the Hero group, has tied up with Electrovaya of Canada, under which the Canadian company will "work with Hero Eco to implement lithium ion-powered electric bikes for Hero's markets in worldwide."

General Electric Assigned Patent for Primary Aluminum Hydride Battery
General Electric, Niskayuuna, N.Y., has been assigned a patent (8,304,121) developed by Grigorii Lev Soloveichik, Latham, N.Y., John Patrick Lemmon, Schoharie, N.Y., and Ji-Cheng Zhao, Latham, N.Y., for a "primary aluminum hydride battery."

For more news about NY-BEST and NY-BEST members click here.

News from Beyond New York:

Call for Presentations
Battery Power 2013, an international conference highlighting the latest developments and technologies in the battery industry, is currently accepting abstracts. The conference will explore the important topics impacting battery power systems used in consumer electronics, medical and military markets.

On-Bill Repayment Shows Great Promise for Energy Efficiency, But Significant Challenges Remain
On-bill repayment has received a great deal of attention during the last few years as a potential approach to expanding the reach of energy efficiency financing in the residential and commercial sectors. With on-bill repayment, utilities or third-party lenders cover the upfront cost of energy efficiency retrofits and customers pay back the loans through their utility bills.

Toyota Plugs Away at the Next-Gen Electric-Car Battery
Light and powerful lithium-ion batteries have allowed automakers to make electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles with ample acceleration and reasonable range and life. But lithium is expensive—the battery pack of the Nissan Leaf costs about $12,000—and the range of electric vehicles is still limited—about 138 miles per charge in ideal conditions for the Leaf—making the technology a tough sell for many drivers.

Electric Vehicle Naysayers: Get Over It, Support American Jobs
When I was governor of Michigan, we worked with private companies and the legislature to apply for federal government stimulus grants to be the place where the electric car, and its guts, the battery, would be built. Amazingly, we received 12 grants worth $1.35 billion -- more than half of the total awarded nationally. For just the lithium-ion battery alone, we were able to attract 18 companies to the state to build the various parts, with a potential boost of 63,000 jobs. That's 63,000 jobs!

EV maintenance and repair costs: 35 % cheaper than for ICEs
"In addition to financial incentives and lower cost of electricity compared to conventional fuels, EV owners can also save on servicing costs to compensate for higher purchase costs" said Prof. Willi Diez, IFA Institute Director.

ERCOT Beats Previous Wind Power Record By 150 MW
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of the state, has announced that it set a new wind power record on Nov. 10.

Renewable Energy VC Funding Poised To Triple
The venture capital (VC) funding market for renewable energy (RE) is poised to triple by 2020 due to positive regulatory policies, environmental support for a lower carbon footprint and innovation in RE technologies, finds a new report from Frost & Sullivan.

Better batteries can power U.S. job growth
With the recent election focused on the economy, let me tell you why we need to support energy storage research in this country.

CNN Says Fuel Cells Will Compete with Battery-Powered Cars
CNN is reporting today that hydrogen fuel cells "could overtake today's battery-powered vehicles." The news agency's primary evidence is the expected release "by the end of this year" of the fuel-cell version of Hyundai's ix35 sport utility vehicle—known in the US as the Tucson. According to CNN, Hyundai will lease a few Tucson fuel cell vehicles starting in just a few weeks, and plans to make up to 1,000 fuel cell cars by 2015. Hyundai's long-term target will be 10,000 units a year.

RAV4 EV joins forces with Tesla
Toyota has joined forces with Tesla Motor Corporation in a unique collaboration in shared technology - particularly battery technology. The development project resulting from this alliance is the all-electric 2013 Toyota RAV4 EV - claimed to be the world's most aerodynamic SUV. It is expected to achieve an average range of 100 miles from a full charge and can be completely recharged in about six hours with a 240V/40A charger.

US Nissan LEAF Battery Production Underway For 2013 LEAF, Sales Begin First Quarter of 2013
About a week ago the grand opening ceremony of Nissan's new electric car battery plant in Smyrna was cancelled.  This led some to speculated it had something to do with the LEAF's relatively slow sales to date, or a possible hiccup in the manufacturing process.

Report: Market overview of battery storage systems for solar power
Solarpraxis has published the first comprehensive market overview of battery storage systems for solar power. Some 80 battery storage systems from 30 different providers are discussed in detail. The market overview appears in the November issue of the trade publication PV Magazine .

CODA teams with Stem for energy optimization at two InterContinental hotels
CODA Energy and Stem have teamed to deploy smart energy optimization systems at two InterContinental Hotels in San Francisco.  The energy optimization solutions from Stem, including a battery-based CODA Core, helps the two hotels to efficiently manage renewable electricity usage and demands.

Price Chopper making big push into electric vehicles with free charging stations
Price Chopper will soon open an electric vehicle charging station at its store in Niskayuna, New York – the first in what could eventually be a large network of charging stations at the supermarket chain.

How Improved Batteries Will Make Electric Vehicles Competitive
There are plenty of reasons why electric cars aren't catching on, but one problem is certain: the batteries cost far too much.

Entanglement Makes Quantum Batteries Almost Perfect
Physicists have long known that it is possible to extract work from some quantum states but not others. These others are known as passive states. So the quantity physicists are interested in is the difference between the energy of the quantum system and its passive states. All that energy is potentially extractable to do work elsewhere.

A Startup's Smart Batteries Reduce Buildings' Electric Bills
An energy startup called Stem has developed a battery for commercial buildings that's clever enough to predict—based on the price of electricity—when to store power and when to release it. The market for the company's technology is limited for now, but its product hints at how distributed energy storage and management could transform the grid.

FuelCell Energy Announces 121.8 Megawatt Order, Largest Ever Received by the Company and the Fuel Cell Industry
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, today announced an order from its South Korean partner, POSCO Energy for 121.8 megawatts of fuel cell kits and services to be manufactured at the FuelCell Energy production facility in Torrington, Connecticut. The estimated value of the multi-year contract is approximately $181 million. POSCO Energy, the largest independent power producer in South Korea, is a subsidiary of POSCO, a leading global steel producer. 

For more news articles from beyond New York State click here.

This news update is provided as a service to members and interested parties of the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium. NY-BEST is an industry-led coalition working to build a vibrant, world-class, advanced battery and energy storage sector in New York State.

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