NY-BEST Newsletter 4-22-2014

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April 22, 2014

Based on the strong and positive interest in the recently-announced Enhanced Demand Response Program from NYSERDA and ConEdison, NY-BEST and Pace Energy and Climate Center have teamed up to host a special one-day conference for anyone interested in learning more about this new incentive program and how to participate.  The Conference and Expo: Improve Building Performance and Reduce Energy Costs: New ConEdison and NYSERDA Incentives for Energy Storage and CHP - will provide attendees with:

  • the most up-to-date information on Con Edison/NYSERDA incentive program;
  • an overview of the different energy storage and CHP technologies, their applications and benefits and the associated economics;
  • practical information on the siting process in New York City from the Department of Buildings;
  • valuable advice on how to proceed; and
  • a unique opportunity for technology providers and building owners to meet face-to-face, network and match their needs and services.

The goal of the conference is to bring together technology providers, commercial energy users and key stakeholders to provide them with useful information about the incentive program, the available technologies and approval processes in an effort to facilitate connections that will help ensure the success of this important program. This event will take place from 9:30AM to 4:00PM on Thursday, May 22nd on the Pace University Campus in New York City. I hope you will plan to join us as a participant, exhibitor and sponsor of the event. More information on the agenda, exhibiting opportunities, sponsorship and registration is available on our website.

I'd also like to bring your attention to an upcoming event on May 14th from 7:00 to 9:00PM. NY-BEST has partnered with the NYU School of Engineering, Solar 1 and Greentech Media on the live webcast of The Age of Intelligent Storage: Distributed Systems, Smart Software and Control Systems. The event will take place live in NYC and we've arranged for NY-BEST member companies to be able to watch the live stream of the event at no charge. There is no need to register for this webcast, a link will be provided to NY-BEST members a few days before the event for members to join in on May 14th at 7:00 PM.

I'd like to welcome the newest members of NY-BEST:

  • Global Design (Randolph, NJ) specializes in the simplification of energy efficiency, through optimized solutions that are tailored to various industries and segments. GDC provides a multi disciplinary array of technical and financial driven services to energy users. Solutions are provided through 6 main service platforms · Energy Audits · Energy Efficient Designs · Project Management · Return on Investment Solutions · Energy and Building Monitoring Services · Ongoing Sustainability Services
  • Pacific Northwest National Lab (Richland, WA) is a U.S. Department of Energy multi-program laboratory that conducts $1 billion annually in research and development for government and industrial clients. In addition to the main campus in Richland, associated facilities include the Marine Sciences Laboratory in Sequim, Wash., and offices in Seattle, Wash., Portland, Ore., and Washington, D.C. Approximately 4,400 scientists, engineers and other professionals are employed at PNNL.
  • SolarCity® (San Mateo, CA) provides clean energy. The company has disrupted the century-old energy industry by providing renewable electricity directly to homeowners, businesses and government organizations for less than they spend on utility bills. SolarCity gives customers control of their energy costs to protect them from rising rates. The company offers solar power, energy efficiency and electric vehicle services, and makes clean energy easy by taking care of everything from design and permitting to monitoring and maintenance. SolarCity currently serves 14 states and signs a new customer every three minutes.

Best Regards,

William Acker Signature

William Acker
Executive Director

Dr. William Acker

Latest News

The Latest News From The Battery And Energy Storage Industry

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NY-BEST Member News

AES plans 100MW Northern Ireland wind energy storage
The battery-based system would be built at the company's Kilroot conventional power station near Belfast. Energy from Northern Ireland's wind projects will be fed into the facility during times of high generation and released when demand peaks. The company has applied to Northern Ireland's grid operator SONI for permission to link up the facility to the grid. If the go ahead is given, the project is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2015.

Electric Ferry Completes First Six Months Service Through Norwegian Winter
Electrovaya Inc. CA:EFL -0.87% is pleased to announce that the KF Hisarøy electric cable ferry has now been sailing between Mjånes and Hisarøy in Norway daily for six months, with flawless operation over the wintery seas in Norway. The ferry's new propulsion power system consists of a complete rechargeable battery system from Electrovaya in cooperation with Solund Verft, HAFS Elektro & Rør AS and Electrovaya's subsidiary Miljobil Grenland AS in Norway.

More investment dollars for energy storage, but early funding still lacking
In the first three months of 2014, energy storage startups Aquion Energy, Amprius, and Primus Power collectively raised more than $70 million. For Aquion Energy, the funding closed a $56.1 million Series D round over the past year. Primus Power raised $20 million in a Series C round led by Anglo American Platinum through its Platinum Group Metals Development Fund. Of the three major investments, Primus Power is the only company to have a strategic investor in Anglo American Platinum.

GE and PowerStream launch Canadian microgrid project
GE and community-owned energy firm PowerStream have launched a joint microgrid demonstration project at PowerStream’s headquarters in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. PowerStream built the microgrid with engineering design services from GE. The system integrates power from a 1.8 kW wind turbine, 81 x 210 W solar panels and a 5 kW solar carport, a 35 kW natural gas-fueled generator, and battery energy storage including a 23 kW lead-acid battery, a 12 kW lithium ion battery and a 6 kW sodium nickel chloride battery. It also features a 14.4 kW electric vehicle charger.

Sendyne Addresses New Energy Industry Needs in China
Sendyne is pleased to announce new distribution agreements with both Shenzhen New Energy Corp. in Shenzhen, China, and Able Top Asia Pacific Limited in Hong Kong, who will support and deliver the company’s products throughout the region.

A123 Sheds Grid Storage Business, Focuses on Micro-Hybrids
A123 Systems LLC, a developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphate® lithium iron phosphate batteries and systems, today announced an agreement to divest of its grid storage business and other assets related to energy storage for telecom and IT data storage applications. A123 is increasingly focused on the transportation market with a particular emphasis on micro-hybrids. This rapidly growing application segment is attractive because automotive OEMs around the world are steadily turning towards simpler forms of electrification in their mainstream high-volume vehicle lines to address the ever-increasing regulatory requirements of lower emissions and better fuel economy around the world. A123's battery technology is very well suited to the requirements of this market and the company is currently producing 12-volt micro-hybrid batteries for numerous programs across three vehicle manufacturers.

Plug Plots Path From Forklifts to Trucks for Fuel Cells
Plug Power Inc. is looking for new markets where its fuel cells can take on fossil fuels. First on the list: refrigerated delivery trucks and airport support vehicles. The company expects this year to report its first profit since its initial public offering in 1999 as sales grow for its fuel cell-powered forklifts. Forklifts for the $20 billion material-handling market were never Chief Executive Officer Andrew Marsh’s ultimate goal. The ambition is to create an industrial ecosystem powered by fuel cells -- with forklifts as the first product to generate enough revenue to support the company.

How long will electric vehicle batteries last? Tesla’s Roadster could be a guide
The question of battery longevity does not have a simple solution. Many factors affect cycle life of a battery pack, most notably climate, charging habits, driving style, and battery chemistry, and all the tests in the world cannot exactly replicate how each individual driver will use the battery over the life of the vehicle. How long will your vehicle’s battery hold on before being reassigned to a solar system on someone’s roof?

Electrovaya Delivers Next Generation Battery Packs to Dongfeng Motors for Its Electric Vehicle Program
Electrovaya Inc. CA:EFL +1.85% announced that it has delivered its next generation of prototype battery packs to Dongfeng Motors (DFM) in China. DFM, a leading Chinese automaker, is embarked on a major electric vehicle program, which includes two electric vehicle platforms. Electrovaya's Lithium Ion SuperPolymer (R) 2.0 battery consists of high energy density cells and Battery Management System (BMS) along with sub-assemblies of mechanical, thermal, electrical and electronics.

Canadian Micro-Grid Project Features Electrovaya Lithium Storage
Electrovaya Inc. a developer and manufacturer of lithium ion battery systems today announced that it will partner with Canadian Solar Inc. for a micro-grid project. Electrovaya plans to provide a 200 kWh energy storage system which will feature its Lithium Ion SuperPolymer 2.0 technology.

Incentives for energy storage spread worldwide
Last October, California became the first government to require its utilities to store a significant slice of the power they produce, instead of using it all right away. Now a growing roster of states and countries is taking up versions of the same idea, creating rules or incentives that will place storage in homes in Japan and Germany, at wind farms in Puerto Rico, along transmission lines in Ontario, and at individual buildings in Manhattan. Every region has a somewhat different problem. The fact that energy storage is being applied to each is a sign that batteries are getting cheaper and better, and that the overseers of the power grid are beginning to rewrite the rules to accommodate energy storage, several industry experts said.

Samsung SDI Showcases A Curved Battery With V-Bending Technology For Wearables -
Samsung SDI rolled out a tiny 210 mAh curved battery which it plans to use in some more upcoming wearables. The battery is said to offer a significantly longer life when compared to devices made by its competitors and is already in use in its Gear Fit wearable device which it launched globally a week ago. Serious about the wearables space, Samsung claims that the improved battery can help the Gear Fit last for up to five days with low usage on just a single charge. Such claims could only be possible thanks to the V-bending technology. This technology allows Samsung to reduce the size of the battery while increasing the battery’s capacity; also making it flexible to an extent.

Green Charge Networks: In Some Markets, Cost-Effective Energy Storage Is Already Here
Early in March, Green Charge Networks announced receipt of a $10 million financing program from TIP Capital that would allow the company to finance storage products for their customers and eliminate upfront costs.The announcement generated significant buzz, because storage is quite clearly the next frontier in the electricity game, helping to integrate renewables and improving the efficiency and reliability of the power grid. The fact that Green Charge was lining up customers with actual projects at that potential scale was somewhat of an eye opener.

Scientists track 3D nanoscale changes in rechargeable battery material during operation
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have made the first 3D observations of how the structure of a lithium-ion battery anode evolves at the nanoscale in a real battery cell as it discharges and recharges. The details of this research, described in a paper published in Angewandte Chemie, could point to new ways to engineer battery materials to increase the capacity and lifetime of rechargeable batteries.

NEC acquires grid energy storage and commercial systems business of A123 Systems from Wanxiang
This acquisition, for approximately $100 million, strengthens the energy storage capability of NEC's smart energy business, a core segment of its Mid-term Management Plan's commitment to social infrastructure. A123 Energy Solutions will be integrated into the NEC Group of companies and operated globally as a key element of its business.

New York Power Authority to relicense 1,160-MW pumped-storage hydro facility
The New York Power Authority filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on April 10 a notice of a plan to seek a new license for the 1,160-MW Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Project. The current license for the project expires on April 30, 2019. Each of the project’s four turbine-generators was rebuilt with most of their mechanical electrical components being replaced and repairs made to virtually all other parts. With completion of the modernization program, the four units have a generating capacity of 290 MW each.

News From Beyond New York

Daimler acquires lithium-ion battery maker in intensified focus on electric cars
Automaker Daimler AG is acquiring the remaining shares in a lithium-ion battery cell maker from specialty chemical company Evonik Industries AG as it intensifies its focus on electric cars. The German companies said in a statement Tuesday that in addition to acquiring Evonik's 50.1-per cent stake in Li-Tec Battery GmbH, Daimler will also buy Evonik's 10-per cent share in their Deutsche ACCUmotive GmbH

GM to add 1,400 jobs to support EV production
General Motors Co. on Tuesday is expected to announce it will add 1,400 jobs and invest about $450 million at its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant and Brownstown Township battery assembly facility, according to four sources familiar with the automaker’s plan. The announcement is expected to include adding a second shift at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant and investing to build a redesigned plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt, according to sources. One source, who asked not to be identified because the plans have not been made public, said the second shift would be added next year. Another source said the investment also is focused on battery technologies.

Car Companies Take Expertise in Battery Power Beyond the Garage
DAVIS, Calif. — As more homeowners generate their own electricity from solar panels, they still need power from a utility after the sun goes down. Now, automakers say they may have an answer, by storing that carbon-free energy in electric car batteries for later use. Honda on Tuesday is introducing an experimental house in this environmentally conscious community to showcase technologies that allow the dwelling to generate more electricity than it consumes.

Analysis probes charge transfer in porous battery electrodes for the first time
The electrochemical reactions inside the porous electrodes of batteries and fuel cells have been described by theorists, but never measured directly. Now, a team at MIT has figured out a way to measure the fundamental charge transfer rate—finding some significant surprises. The study found that the Butler-Volmer (BV) equation, usually used to describe reaction rates in electrodes, is inaccurate, especially at higher voltage levels. Instead, a different approach, called Marcus-Hush-Chidsey charge-transfer theory, provides more realistic results—revealing that the limiting step of these reactions is not what had been thought.

A Better Battery
Steven Chu, a Nobel laureate and former secretary of energy, and Yi Cui, a celebrated battery researcher who works with Chu at Stanford, describe how an overhaul of the unglamorous battery will jump-start a shift to renewable energy. Why do batteries matter? Look at all your electronic devices: from laptops to smartphones to Kindles or iPads, even your watch. Those electronics are getting better at reducing the amount of energy they need, but as they do, you get greedy and want their capability to increase. The battery, and how much energy you can store in a given volume and weight, is the defining factor in this whole field.

Panasonic Seeks 34% Sales Boost on Lithium-Ion Battery Push
Panasonic Corp. (6752) plans to boost sales by about 34 percent during the next five years as it seeks to expand in areas targeted for growth, including its lithium-ion battery business. The consumer electronics company targets 10 trillion yen ($98 billion) in revenue in the 2018 fiscal year, President Kazuhiro Tsuga told reporters in Tokyo yesterday. That compares with the 7.48 trillion yen in the fiscal year ending March 31, according to the average of 19 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Panasonic shares fell.

NASA asks for battery alternatives to send ships deep into space
NASA knows that liquid hydrogen fuel and lithium batteries can’t pack enough power to send ships and astronauts record distances from Earth. The agency announced today that it will offer up to $250,000 for battery alternatives it can use for Earth and deep-space missions. The funds come as a part of NASA’s plans to invest over the next 18 months in technologies “that address several high priority challenges for achieving safe and affordable deep-space exploration,” associate administrator for space technology Michael Gazarik said in a statement. NASA expects to choose roughly four proposals divided into two categories: improvements on battery features like cell chemistry packaging and cell integration, and technologies that surpass lithium batteries’ theorized limits altogether.

Xtreme Power Bought by Germany’s Younicos
Xtreme Power, the well-funded grid battery startup whose ambitions flamed out in bankruptcy this January, has a new owner. On Tuesday, the Lyle, Texas-based startup’s assets were acquired by Younicos, a Berlin-based grid battery and energy management startup. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Xtreme creditor and “stalking horse” bankruptcy bidder Horizon Technology Finance announced Monday that it received $9.9 million in cash for its share of the bankrupt company. Horizon had previously committed to outbid any offers under $10 million, which appears to indicate that larger bids hadn’t emerged.

NEC provides Enel with 2MWh battery system for grid trials
NEC Corporation has commissioned a 2MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system designed to ease the integration of renewable energy into the grid for Italian distribution system operator (DSO) Enel Distribuzione. The DSO is a subsidiary of multi-national Enel Group and is using the NEC system to trial the capabilities of energy storage systems in a range of applications. These include peak shaving, power balancing, power quality, voltage regulation and frequency regulation.

Put Battery Storage in the Hands of Grid Operators
The design of an electrical grid for the 21st Century is one of the world’s most exciting challenges, and at SolarCity we are vigorously engaged in assisting the effort. Our vision is of a grid that is cleaner, more efficient, more flexible, more secure, and more affordable than what we currently have today. I’ve recently read speculation about one of the most valuable tools to advance this vision—energy storage—that needs to be addressed.

Scientists at SLAC's synchrotron observe 'breathing' layer during battery operation
High-tech "smart windows," which darken to filter out sunlight in response to electric current, function much like batteries. Now, X-ray studies at SLAC provide a crystal-clear view into how the color-changing material in these windows behaves in a working battery – information that could benefit next-generation rechargeable batteries. Researchers installed ultrathin sheets of smart-window material, nickel oxide, as the anode in a lithium-ion battery, and used SLAC's Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) and equipment at other labs to study its changing chemistry and 3-D features.

UK must invest in energy storage, warns Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Greater consideration of energy storage technologies, including investment, is necessary for the UK to have the best chance of meeting its targets for renewable energy generation and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, according to a report published today by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). The report, Energy Storage: The missing link in the UK’s energy commitments, is an assessment of the available energy storage technologies and how each could impact on the UK's ability to add renewable energy capacity.

Solar Plus Storage: Could a ‘Utility in a Box’ Cause Massive Grid Defection?
Could solar paired with battery storage make utilities obsolete? That's the question analysts are asking as the economics of the technologies improve. The short answer is "No." Utilities operate an extremely valuable set of infrastructure and equipment, and still benefit from legacy customer relationships. The economics of leaving the grid entirely are usually not favorable either. But, it's an important question to ask...

Hitachi and Demansys Energy LLC Agree to Launch Demonstration of "CrystEna" Energy Storage System
Hitachi America, Ltd, and Demansys Energy LLC ("Demansys") today announced that they have reached an agreement to perform a demonstration project utilizing Hitachi's "CrystEna" compact container-type energy storage system in the market for frequency regulation and capacity services, and that site installation work will soon commence. The demonstration, which is designed to confirm the benefits of using the CrystEna energy storage system for grid stabilization, will run for two years, beginning in June 2014.