April 29, 2016
Since the time our last newsletter hit your inbox about two weeks ago, NY-BEST participated in two major conferences and filed comments as part of two NY REV-related proceedings. We presented at and attended the Advanced Energy Conference in New York City and participated in the Energy Storage Association’s Annual Conference in Charlotte, NC. While at the events, we met with representatives from many of our member companies and heard first hand of the strong progress that energy storage continues to make in serving market needs across the globe, in the US and in New York State. Clearly, 2016 will be a big year for storage!
NY-BEST, with a great deal of input and help from our policy committee, filed comments to two of the REV proceedings last week. Comments were submitted for both the Clean Energy Standard White Paper
and the Value of DER (also known as LMP + D)
. I encourage you to review the comments in order to stay current with the latest REV information. I’d also like to thank Denise Sheehan and the members of our policy working group for their efforts in producing these—and many other—comments and policy documents. If you’d like to get engaged int the policy working group, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by giving one of us a call.
Finally, I’d like to give you a heads up on our next webinar from NY-BEST. May 19th, we will host a webinar on The Value of Distributed Resources. As a key topic in the REV proceedings this year, we will dive in to the latest thinking on how to value DRs. Stay tuned to your inbox for details and registration information. The webinar will be free for NY-BEST members.
I’d like to welcome the newest member of NY-BEST:
The Standard Hydrogen Corporation (Ithaca, NY)
believes in a bright future enabled by electrical energy storage. SHC is enabling acceleration to that future through commercializing hydrogen energy storage. SHC's mission is to harness hydrogen, the most abundant element, and utilize it for the dual purpose of enabling grid-connected energy services, and as a ZEV transportation fuel. SHC is commercializing Hydrogen Energy Services™ to enable better use of renewable energy resources, match capacity to demand, and to recharge electrical vehicles and rapidly refuel hydrogen electric vehicles at their Onsite Energy Stations™. Simultaneously. Economically.
The Latest News From The Battery And Energy Storage Industry
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Flow Battery Funding Flows On: ViZn Lands $10M for Zinc-Based Energy Storage
Investments are flowing in the flow battery business, with ViZn Energy Systems the latest to raise funds to scale up its zinc-based chemistry. The startup has raised another $10 million of an ongoing round of investment, according to a regulatory filing. The newly disclosed investment adds to $1.4 million added in April 2015 and $5.3 million added in October, and brings ViZn’s total funding in this round to $16.8 million of a target of $22.9 million. Back in June 2015, CEO Ron Van Dell told us the company was seeking about that amount to scale up from its then-pilot scale level of deployments.
NY utilities, solar companies propose transition away from retail net metering
It seems like a case of strange bedfellows where solar companies are joining hands with major utilities, but the new coalition formed in New York appears to have found a middle ground for compensating solar owners for the excess energy they export to the grid. New York is currently in the middle of a broad regulatory proceeding, the REV, which aims to transform utilities into distribution system platform providers (DSPPs) that will own and maintain the grid as usual, while overseeing the interconnection of distributed resources and the creation of distributed energy markets.
Can N.Y. solar-electric deal recharge U.S. green-energy effort?
The head of the leading rooftop solar company in the U.S. told me last year that one of his top priorities was to strike deals with electric utilities that would make them partners rather than rivals in the changing power sector. “I’m very interested in finding a utility that we can work with that wants to solve problems, not prevent change,” Lyndon Rive, the co-founder and chief executive of SolarCity, said in June. “It would be learning for both of us.” Well, Rive got his wish last week as SolarCity and two other solar developers, SunPower and SunEdison, joined six New York utilities in announcing their formation of the “Solar Progress Partnership.”
Eos Energy Storage Awarded $2 Million to Demonstrate Behind-the-Meter Battery Systems
Eos Energy Storage (“Eos”) today announced plans to demonstrate residential and commercial battery systems at the University of California San Diego, with the support of a $2 million award from the California Energy Commission. Eos is partnering with global original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”) to package, distribute, and support mass market products utilizing the company’s safe, long-lasting Znyth battery technology. Eos manufactures grid-scale battery solutions designed to support 4-hour locational capacity with industry-leading levelized cost of energy. The company’s core product—the Aurora 1000?4000—is a 1MW|4MWh DC battery system which is now being sold at a volume price of $160 per usable kWh while supporting more than 5,000 full depth of discharge cycles or approximately 15 years of continuous operation. Utilities and developers are using the Aurora solution for peak shaving, frequency response, and renewable integration.
Tesla document reveals surging energy storage market
Likely sales of Tesla batteries to just one solar company this year could be 60 percent larger than the entire U.S. "behind-the-meter" energy storage market last year, said a new report by GTM Research. Even though the analysis focused only on Tesla Motors Inc.'s sale of high-capacity batteries to SolarCity Corp., GTM Research executive Shayle Kann said results were noteworthy. He pointed to Tesla likely being the country's top stationary battery supplier and SolarCity its top customer. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is SolarCity's chairman. Kann said the research signaled ongoing growth in the U.S. behind-the-meter storage market, which refers to systems on an owner's property rather than on the electric grid or utility side.
“Reversible” Energy Storage For Better, Cheaper, Non-Toxic Batteries
Lithium-ion technology dominates today’s energy storage market, but new alternatives are beginning to bubble up from research laboratories. In the latest development, a team of researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratories has unlocked the secret behind a reversible formula that could be used for low cost grid scale energy storage. The new energy storage breakthrough is based on the familiar zinc-manganese formula. Researchers have been tinkering around with rechargeable zinc-manganese batteries for many years but they have gotten stuck on one problem: getting the manganese to stay on the positive electrode.
Energy Storage Company JuiceBox Energy Rebrands As Adara Power
JuiceBox Energy, a California-based energy storage company formed in 2013, has rebranded itself as Adara Power. The company says interest in residential energy storage has grown dramatically worldwide in order for consumers to capture self-produced solar energy, reduce their carbon footprint and reduce their reliance on utilities. “The rebranding to Adara Power signifies the growth we’ve achieved as a company, as well as an acknowledgement that building an intelligent and sustainable energy source is more than just designing a box with good batteries,” states Neil Maguire, founder and CEO of Adara Power.
AES teams up with Panasonic for India's first utility-scale storage project
Subsidiaries of AES Corp. and Panasonic have signed an agreement to build a 10-MW energy storage facility at Jhajjar, in Haryana State, that will be India’s first utility-scale storage project. The facility will provide reliability and back-up services to Panasonic’s Technopark manufacturing plant in Jhajjar. Panasonic will provide the lithium-ion batteries for the facility while the system will run on AES Energy Storage’s Advancion 4 platform.
Lockheed Martin Joins Energy Storage Fray With Lithium-Ion and Flow Batteries
Lockheed Martin's energy group is raising its profile in a bid to enter the energy storage market with an offering of lithium-ion battery systems, in addition to its new flow-battery chemistry. The energy storage market is tricky but growing. The big international conglomerates and equipment providers have taken notice of this shift in grid architectures -- and battle lines are being drawn. AES Energy Storage, Panasonic, LG Chem, Samsung, Saft, S&C Corporation, ABB and GE's Current are all in the mix, as well as loads of newcomers including Tesla, Stem, Alevo and Green Charge Networks.
Exelon Generation and RES announce 10 MW battery storage project
Exelon Generation and Renewable Energy Systems (RES) announced today the development of a 10 megawatt (MW) battery storage facility in Clinton County, Ohio. Exelon Generation is the storage facility owner and operator, and RES is the project developer and constructor. RES, a leader in the energy storage industry, will begin construction during the second quarter of 2016, with the battery storage units expected to be fully operational by the end of the year. Three semi-trailer sized units will be housed next to a substation to allow for easy interconnection to electrical lines within the PJM grid. The entire storage unit footprint is less than one-third of an acre. Construction is expected to be completed by the fall of 2016.
NY utilities, solar companies propose transition away from retail net metering
A group of six utilities and three solar companies filed a proposal with the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) on Tuesday that aims to transition the state away from the current net metering policy. The proposal would have community solar customers receive full retail net metering credits, but they would be partly paid by developers. The proposal would also have behind-the-meter solar credited at the full retail rate until 2020, with possible exceptions for specific locations. Starting in 2020, net metering credits would go down for new solar users until they are equal to their value, as determined under the REV docket.
Tesla's 2016 storage sales to SolarCity could dwarf entire US behind-meter market for 2015
Tesla Motors, in a regulatory filing, said it expects to see a nearly nine-fold increase in revenues in energy storage system sales to SolarCity this year compared with 2015. Tesla will sell 168.5 MWh of storage systems to SolarCity this year, more than six times the amount it sold to SolarCity in 2015, according to report from GTM Research based on the regulatory filing. If a 52 MWh solar+storage system for the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative in Hawaii is excluded, Tesla's expected 116.5 MWh of sales would be 60% larger than the entire 2015 U.S. behind-the-meter (BTM) market, GTM reports. The U.S. added just over 71 MWh of BTM storage last year.
UET announces deployment of a 450 kW energy storage system with Terna in Sicily, Italy
Flow battery provider UniEnergy Technologies (UET, Mukilteo, Washington, U.S.), on April 22nd, 2016 announced a 450 kW/1,440 kWh utility-scale energy storage system for a Terna utility substation in Ciminna, Italy on the island of Sicily. Terna, the owner of the Italian High Voltage National Transmission Grid, is the largest independent transmission system operator in Europe and the sixth in the world. The project awarded by Terna to UET and its partners is part of Terna's “Storage Lab” program, which in Phase 1 consists of 16 MW of energy storage systems at two sites in Sicily and Sardinia. Based on the results of Phase 1, an additional 24 MW of energy storage systems will be installed as a Phase 2 by Terna.
Green Charge Named a 2016 Smart Grid Company to Watch by Smart Grid News
Smart Grid News has named Green Charge Networks, as one of its 15 Companies to Watch in 2016. The annual award is given to leading organizations who share a commonality in a strong spirit of innovation and an unwavering commitment to positively impacting the energy industry of the future. Green Charge is the largest provider of commercial energy storage in the United States with more than 45 megawatt hours of energy storage projects in operation or under construction in school districts, retail, governments, and utilities. With its mission of using energy storage to power the world efficiently and sustainably, Green Charge has formed an ecosystem of industry partners, including Duke Energy/REC Solar, ChargePoint and Nissan, allowing customers to easily combine energy storage and other renewables.
Demand Energy anticipates ramping up its workforce
Demand Energy Networks Inc., the Liberty Lake-based energy-storage company, is expanding into new markets, both in the U.S. and abroad, and currently has $130 million worth of potential projects in its pipeline, says company President and CEO Gregg Patterson. He claims the company continues to be the first and only company certified to install energy-storage systems in New York, and says it also has secured contracts in California, Hawaii, and Costa Rica. Patterson says about $52 million worth of projects, or 40 percent of the total estimated pipeline of potential work, already has reached the engineering and negotiation stages, meaning those projects likely will see completion.
|News From Beyond New York
Grid parity for battery storage? It’s complicated
“Grid parity” has become one of those terms that has attached itself to the words “solar” and “batteries” in common parlance. I take it to mean, roughly, the market conditions in which the present value of the benefits from batteries equates to their price. The benefit is the ability to store electricity when it is less valuable and use it when it is more valuable. The term “grid parity” is often used when describing the future date at which batteries become viable to consumers and, by inference, the inflection point at which batteries becomes widespread. It is human to ponder what the future holds, but as the economist John Maynard Keynes reminded us, “in the long term we are all dead.” So, what can we say about the market as it is today?
Utility-Solar Partnership Proposes Net Metering Overhaul
New York utilities and three solar companies on Tuesday proposed a business model that they said would replace net metering and address cost-shifting concerns, a pact that could serve as a model nationally (15-E-0751). The proposal was made in a proceeding of New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative. The Solar Progress Partnership includes Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Consolidated Edison, New York State Electric and Gas, National Grid, Orange and Rockland Utilities, Rochester Gas and Electric and the solar companies SolarCity, SunEdison and SunPower.
Innovative Technique Holds Potential for Making Superior Hybrid Battery Materials
A high-precision method of producing electrodes, developed by a group of researchers, would enable hybrid batteries that charge quicker than traditional ones and have a much better electrical capacity and extended stability. This novel method, dubbed ion soft-landing, has made it possible for electrodes to store a third more energy and have twice the service life compared to electrodes prepared using the traditional technique. The research findings have been reported in Nature Communications. The novel technique is uncomplicated to set up and it could gradually lead to more economical, powerful rechargeable batteries with extended life.
Leading by Example: State and Local Governments Are Adopting Electric Vehicles
In the United States, the transportation sector is responsible for 27 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. Light duty vehicles—the cars and trucks that Americans drive every day—account for 60 percent of those emissions. As a result, making vehicles cleaner needs to be a central focus of any successful U.S. climate change mitigation strategy. One important way to cut pollution from the transportation sector is to rely less on gasoline-powered vehicles and more on vehicles that are powered by an increasingly clean electricity sector. Electric vehicles, or EVs, and hybrids accounted for less than 3 percent of U.S. vehicle sales in 2015. However, the federal and state governments are currently working together to expand EV deployment. Consumers who purchase EVs are eligible for state and federal tax incentives and other benefits.
Eaton, Samsung SDI, and Siemens join the MESA Standards Alliance
The MESA Standards Alliance (MESA) announces Eaton, Samsung SDI ,and Siemens, have joined MESA to drive the development of communication specifications for energy storage systems. The companies join over twenty equipment manufacturers, software suppliers, and public and private utilities, whose objective is to accelerate the growth of the energy storage industry through the development of an open, non-proprietary set of specifications and standards for utility-scale, grid-connected energy storage systems.
Honda Takes Bold Step with Honda Clarity Series; Fuel Cell, Battery Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Variants to Leverage Common Platform
Honda today announced that the upcoming Clarity Fuel Cell will be joined by two additional variants, the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, launching in the U.S. in 2017. The addition of two new Clarity vehicles, based on the same platform underpinning the new Clarity Fuel Cell, makes Clarity the first vehicle in the industry to offer fuel cell, electric and plug-in hybrid technology on one model platform, offering Honda customers an expanded array of electrified vehicle choices to suit their individual tastes and driving needs. Following the U.S. launch of the Clarity Fuel Cell in late 2016, the Clarity Electric will go on-sale in 2017.
FERC Staff Seeks Information from RTOs/ISOs on Energy Storage Participation in Wholesale Markets
On April 11, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Energy Policy and Innovation (OEPI) sent identical data requests to each of the nation’s six grid operators, requesting information on potential barriers to the participation of energy storage resources1 in capacity, energy and ancillary service markets operated by the Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs). To aid in OEPI’s examination, a letter requesting comments from market participants and the public was concurrently issued. If the RTO/ISO responses and public comments indicate that potential barriers exist, OEPI notes that it will further investigate “whether any tariff changes are warranted.”