NY-BEST Newsletter 12-15-2015

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December 15, 2015

At the recently-completed climate talks in Paris, leaders and representatives from nearly 200 countries reached an historic agreement to limit production of greenhouse gases to levels that would keep global average temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees C, and to further take steps to try to limit temperature rise to less than 1.5 degrees C. According to the NY Times "The ambitious targets included in Saturday’s deal for limiting the rise in global temperatures may help companies involved in renewable energy and energy efficiency by expanding their markets. Setting a high bar may also make the energy industry attractive for innovators and venture capitalists, increasing the chances of sweeping shifts in what has been a conservative business. The agreement may make life difficult for some of the incumbent companies like electric utilities and coal producers, whose product emits high levels of carbon dioxide.”

This historic action is quite likely, then, to spur investment and innovation for clean technologies—and certainly for energy storage as one of the keys to enabling greater penetration of renewable generation and de-carbonization of the transportation sector. 

Tomorrow, NY-BEST will host our final webinar of the year: "Electric and Hybrid Buses: Technology, Performance and Markets”. Join us for this free, one-hour webinar to hear from industry experts about the rapidly growing international and US markets for electric and hybrid buses, as well as bus manufacturers’ current product offerings, and the latest information on bus and charging technology and performance.  Representatives from Proterra, BAE Systems, BYD and Cairn Energy Research Advisors will present and answer your questions in this free event. 

Please also mark your calendar to join industry leaders at Capture the Energy 2016, the largest energy storage conference in the Northeastern United States and NY-BEST's premier event to be held on March 9 & 10, 2016 at the Marriott in Albany, NY. I hope you will join us!

Best Regards,

William Acker Signature

William Acker
Executive Director

Dr. William Acker

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The Latest News From The Battery And Energy Storage Industry

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NY-BEST Member News

ABB to Provide Tech to Power "Futuristic" Norwegian Hybrid Ferry
ABB Group (ABB) has announced that it will provide "integral technology" to a "futuristic" hybrid desiel electric ferry concept, named Seasight by shipbuilder Brødrene Aa, set to operate in Western Norway. Owned by The Fjords, Seasight has been called "one of the most innovative ship designs ever seen on the Norwegian fjords." ABB says it will supply a compact and lightweight version of its Onboard DC Grid system, which controls energy flow between the diesel engine, vessel propeller, and the battery charging station.

Don’t Leave Future Earnings on the Table: Con Edison’s BQDM Project and Behind-the-Meter Energy Storage
The New York State Public Service Commission’s (NYS PSC) Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) program has many utilities embarking on projects to prove out new technologies and business models. A prominent example is Con Edison’s Brooklyn/Queens Demand Management (BQDM) project. BQDM was launched last year to reduce 53MW of load on three networks in order to delay the construction of a $1.2B substation. The NYS PSC has approved Con Edison to spend $200M to help fund both utility side and customer side improvements. $150M of that fund is slated for customer side solutions.

California Added 11MW of Behind-the-Meter Batteries in Q3
Here’s a remarkable statistic from the new U.S. Energy Storage Monitor report, one that indicates that behind-the-meter batteries may be hitting a new stage in growth, at least in the state that offers the best combination of incentives and future opportunities. That state is California, which added 11 megawatts of commercial behind-the-meter battery systems in the third quarter of 2015. That’s more than half the state’s entire installed base to date, deployed in just three months, according to Thursday’s report from GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association.

Green Mountain Power, Tesla offering home battery system
The state's largest electric utility is getting ready to offer customers in-home batteries made by Tesla, best known for making electric cars. In a letter Thursday to the Public Service Board, Green Mountain Power said it would become the first U.S. utility to offer the Tesla Powerwall. The wall-mounted lithium-ion battery, designed to store electricity for residential customers, is just over 4 feet tall, almost 3 feet wide and 7 inches thick. Each costs about $6,500. Being able to store electricity made from solar panels and other renewable, but intermittent, power sources is seen as a key challenge in the push for renewable energy.

Paris Climate Talks To Be A Boon For Energy Storage
As the world leaders come together in Paris to tackle the hot issue of climate change, there is one market that not only remains crucial for growth of renewable energy sources; but also remains the most talked about market in the global investment circles: the energy storage market. Energy storage is steadily turning out to be one of the hottest markets in the energy sector. We are witnessing several exciting new developments in this field related to utilities, transportation and the military sector. The U.S. market continues to be the largest energy storage market. As the latest report from IHS re-affirmed that the U.S., along with Japan and South Korea, will prove to be the driving forces behind the developing energy storage sector

PG&E’s 75MW Energy Storage Procurement to Test Flywheels, Zinc-Air Batteries
In choosing their first round of procurements to meet the state’s 1.3-gigawatts-by-2020 energy storage mandate, California’s big investor-owned utilities have largely stuck to tried-and-true lithium-ion batteries -- until now. On Wednesday, Pacific Gas & Electric revealed contracts for 75 megawatts of storage that includes 20 megawatts of flywheels from startup Amber Kinetics and 10 megawatts of zinc-air batteries from Eos Energy Storage amidst the expected lithium-ion winners. PG&E picked the winners from a list of applicants that added up to more than 50 times the amount of storage it first requested back in its December 2014 request for offers. It’s the utility’s first round of procurements mandated by AB 2514, the state law that set the 1.3-gigawatt requirement in place, and will be submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission for review and approval.

Duke Energy Teams Up With Green Charge Networks for Behind-the-Meter Batteries
Duke Energy, the giant U.S. utility that’s been moving into renewables and distributed energy through its unregulated business arms, has just made a move into the behind-the-meter energy storage business with startup Green Charge Networks. Under a partnership announced Tuesday, Duke Energy Renewables -- a group that includes California solar installer REC Solar and energy management company Phoenix Energy Technologies -- will work with Green Charge to install batteries at commercial, industrial and government sites. The partners will initially target Hawaii and Southern California for solar firming and demand-charge management business cases, respectively.

Deepwater Proposes Offshore Wind Plus Energy Storage Project For Long Island
Deepwater Wind says it has developed a new approach to meeting the growing energy need on Long Island's South Fork: an offshore wind farm and two battery energy storage systems. In response to PSEG-Long Island's request for new local energy resources serving the South Fork - a peninsula in southeastern Long Island, N.Y. - Deepwater Wind is proposing to supply capacity and renewable energy from the 90 MW, 15-turbine Deepwater ONE - South Fork project. This would be the first phase of a regional offshore wind farm the company is developing roughly 30 miles southeast of Montauk - far enough away to be over the horizon. All transmission cables would be buried deep below existing roads and under shoreline features, and there would be no overhead cables or poles, notes Deepwater Wind.

Bloomberg to Power New York Data Center with 2.9 Megawatts of SunEdison Solar
SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE: SUNE), the largest global renewable energy development company, today announced that it has signed a power purchase agreement with Bloomberg, the global business and financial information and news leader, to power the company's Rockland County, New York-based data center with 2.9 megawatts (MW) DC of solar energy. SunEdison will supply Bloomberg with solar power through a state-wide program called "remote net metering" which allows customers to enjoy the savings and environmental benefits of solar without needing to install a system on site. Instead, the solar system is built in the same region as the customer, and clean renewable energy is delivered over the existing power lines.

Falling Costs, Rising Applications Will Boost US Energy Storage Market
The US energy storage industry has already enjoyed its best year ever, with 100 megawatts (MW) of new projects installed through Q3 2015 en route to an estimated 192MW of deployment in 2015, but past is not prologue and the industry is evolving – for the better. Annual energy storage installations will grow from 51 megawatt hours (MWh) in 2013 to 3,659 MWh by 2020 on the strength of improving economics and policy developments, predicted GTM Research Senior Vice President Shayle Kann at the keynote speech kicking off this week’s US Energy Storage Summit 2015.

Invenergy's Grand Ridge energy storage facility wins 2015 Best Renewable Project Award
Invenergy received the award for its Grand Ridge battery storage facility in Illinois. Second-largest lithium storage project in the world. Invenergy's Grand Ridge Storage Facility in October also received Energy Storage North America's (ESNA) 2015 Innovation Award for Centralized Storage. With a 31.5 MW power rating, Invenergy's Grand Ridge Energy Storage, located in LaSalle County, Illinois, is the second-largest lithium project in the world. The project began commercial operation in May and utilizes BYD America's Containerized Energy Storage System. Grand Ridge is the largest renewable energy center in the world with wind, solar and advanced-energy storage in one location.

3 Big Energy Storage Trends, 3 Important Energy Storage Projects
The energy storage market is maturing, and there's now less focus on physics and more emphasis on projects, system intelligence and grid integration. It’s when project development and execution become quotidian and efficient that energy markets really take off. The U.S. deployed 60.3 megawatts of energy storage capacity in the third quarter of this year and 108 megawatts through the first three quarters of the year, according to the latest edition of GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association’s U.S. Energy Storage Monitor. The report forecasts deployments of 192 megawatts this year, triple last year’s total.

5 battery energy storage projects to watch in 2016
It's a universal truth that a grid looking to integrate high levels of variable renewables must be in need of energy storage. Or something along those lines. As solar and wind facilities come online and energy storage becomes more economical, storage projects are emerging across the U.S. with big implications for the technology’s future. Some states with ambitious renewables goals, such as California and Hawaii, are beginning to unlock booming markets for the resource. To help our readers keep an eye on the growth of energy storage going into 2016, Utility Dive has compiled a list of five important storage projects to watch.

SunEdison Scores 20 Megawatt-Hour Battery Storage Project
SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE: SUNE), announced last week the signing of a 10-year agreement with Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator for the supply 5 megawatts (20 MWh) of battery storage. The project will use vanadium redox flow battery technology from Imergy.

Paper Battery Company Announces UL Certification and ROHS Compliance of its Powerresponder Hybrid Supercapacitor Product Line
Paper Battery Company, developer of an innovative supercapacitor-based energy storage and battery enhancement technology, today announced the completion of UL certification for its PowerResponder® product line. PowerResponder is a line of new hybrid supercapacitors with technology enhancements that aim to replace traditional lithium ion batteries in select applications. PowerResponder has also been certified as RoHS compliant, giving it added environmental and safety benefits. The product line will be available in a range of sizes from 90F to 9000F with initial products available to OEM customers by the end of the year.

News From Beyond New York

Energy storage is no longer just hot air
Of the technical advances transforming the energy business, none is potentially more important than storage. Used on a sufficient scale, it could make heat and light available to those living in subsistence conditions and radically alter the world’s energy mix. But it is important to demolish two myths. First, the technological advances are not about to transform the energy system to the point where a large proportion of consumers defect from existing distribution systems. Second, it does not require a dramatic breakthrough to become economic. On the first, by far the most likely next step is the integration of storage mechanisms into existing grids and other distribution systems in ways that manage peak loads and thus contribute to reducing the necessary generating capacity.

US lawmakers propose 5-year phase-out of renewable tax credits
The constant debate over whether and for how long to extend renewable tax credits could be coming to an end. The Hill reports that lawmakers in both chambers are crafting measures that would phase the credits out over time, with a five-year period being the most likely route. The wind production credit is not active now, and lawmakers over the summer were considering extensions. The solar credit, set to revert back to pre-2006 levels at the end of 2016, has also been the subject of much debate. Opponents say the tax credits obscure the real costs of green energy, and the federal government should not be picking which industries it wants to see supported.

On Clean Energy, the Wind Blows From Germany
As world leaders prepared to discuss a major climate change treaty in Paris, Germany had a couple of especially windy days, which drove the share of wind energy in the German grid above 50 percent and the spot price of electricity to zero, or so close to it as to make no difference. All that's missing to make 100 percent renewable energy feasible is cheap and ample storage that would help to smooth supply. That requirement no longer looks impossible. Few countries have the political will and resources for something like Germany's ambitious, painful and expensive energy transition program, known as Energiewende. Yet by going through with it, Germany has helped to spur the development of technology that may work for others without massive subsidies soon.

First Solar Joins $50M Investment in Younicos, Stakes Claim in Energy Storage Market
Here’s another news item highlighting the growing strategic relationship between solar power and grid batteries. On Tuesday, German energy storage startup Younicos announced a $50 million investment from a consortium including U.S. thin-film solar PV giant First Solar. It’s the biggest investment of the year for an energy storage startup -- although, in the case of Younicos, the term “startup” doesn't necessary apply. Founded in 2005, the Berlin-based company has previously raised about $200 million from investors including Korean lithium-ion battery maker Samsung and German-Japanese flow battery maker Gildemeister/DMG Mori Seiki, according to news reports.

So Electric Cars Are Better—Now What?
In our recent report on electric vehicles, we found that battery electric cars produce about 50 percent fewer global warming emissions over their lifetime than similarly-sized gasoline cars. We showed that even with the greater global warming emissions from manufacturing (largely because of lithium-ion battery manufacturing), a battery-electric vehicle still results in significantly lower global warming emissions over its lifetime than its gasoline counterpart. Other studies on this topic have come to similar conclusions. So what’s next? How do we produce even cleaner EVs and encourage their deployment across the country?

Tech billionaires team up for clean energy coalition at Paris climate talks
Billionaires Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, and other high-profile entrepreneurs have pledged to spark a “new economic revolution” based around clean energy after launching a new investment drive for renewables. The Breakthrough Energy Coalition, made up of more than 25 investors from 10 countries, launched in Paris on Monday as part of the U.N. talks where nations are thrashing out an agreement to finally confront the issue of runaway climate change. The group will mainly invest in early-stage clean energy companies across a range of sectors, such as electricity generation and storage, transportation, and agriculture. The initiative has been announced in conjunction with Mission Innovation — an effort from 21 governments, including the U.S., Britain, Australia, Germany, China, and Brazil, to double the amount of public money going into clean energy innovation.

Schneider Electric unveils energy storage system
French electrical equipment maker Schneider Electric SA (EPA:SU) has rolled out to market EcoBlade, a scalable energy storage system to support growth of renewable energy on the grid. The energy storage system is powered by Li-ion batteries. It consists of blades the size of a 30-inch flat screen, weighing under 25 kg. Each blade contains a smart connected battery module and is ready to use in standalone mode. EcoBlade can find application in domestic, industrial or commercial environments, Schneider Electric said in a news release on Friday..

Why is a BMW Billionaire Backing Batteries?
Stefan Quandt, the billionaire behind BMW, has quietly put some of his money into a small company that lets customers store electricity they generate from their solar panels in a battery. Solarwatt and its peers have big ambitions. Sonnenbatterie, a rival staffed by a group of ex-Tesla employees, wants to have more customers than German utility Eon within 10 years. Revenue last year was 15 million euros, double that the previous year, but still somewhat short of Eon's 112 billion euros. Though the companies are tiny, battery storage is another long-term threat for Germany's utilities, which are reeling from a slump in wholesale power prices caused by the growth of renewable energy. As this week's Paris climate talks show, the shift to renewables is only set to accelerate.

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