August 23, 2018
Dear NY-BEST Members and Colleagues,
On Tuesday August 21st the final technical conference for the energy storage roadmap was held in Albany, NY. The attendance for this event and the two others in Long Island and NYC, by NY-BEST members and non-members alike, was encouraging and displays the excitement surrounding New York’s energy storage industry. The State has a number of important decisions to make regarding the implementation of the roadmap and is likely to rely heavily of stakeholder input in the form of comments that are due on September 10, 2018. We encourage all members to submit comments regarding the energy storage roadmap and to share these comments with NY-BEST. It is vital that NYSERDA and the Public Service Commission receive as many comments as possible to ensure that all points of view are included as they draft the commission order. NY-BEST will be submitting comments and we ask that interested members give their input as we prepare these comments for submission.
We expect that the commission order stemming from the roadmap, technical conferences, and comment process will shape the future of New York’s energy industry and open up opportunities that to date have been inaccessible in New York’s energy storage markets.
On September 27th, NY-BEST will host our Annual Energy Storage Technology Conference at the Doubletree by Hilton in Binghamton, NY. NY-BEST welcomes all energy storage industry leaders, technology developers, grid and transportation experts, researchers, entrepreneurs, policy makers, engineers, academics and interested investors to attend and meet our many speakers and exhibitors as we discuss the technological advancements in energy storage. You can see a conference agenda, register to attend and sign to exhibit or sponsor on our website. This year we will welcome keynote speakers including Dr. Stan Whittingham (Binghamton University), Janet Joseph (NYSERDA), and Howard Zemsky (Empire State Development). There are still a handful of sponsorship opportunities remaining and interested parties should reach out to Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The day before, on September 26th, NY-BEST, in partnership with NYSERDA and NYSEG, will host a workshop for solar and energy storage developers to improve their understanding of solar+storage opportunities and the upcoming NY SUN energy storage adder. Interested parties should reach out to the NY-BEST team for more information about this workshop.
We look forward to seeing you in Binghamton!
NY-BEST would like to welcome the following members:
Virtual Peaker (Louisville, KY) – a distributed energy platform provider focused on behind-the-meter residential devices. Virtual Peaker has made significant headway in east coast energy markets, and is the behind the scenes provider of the software that powers Green Mountain Power’s Bring Your Own Battery (BYOB) residential storage program.
SimpliPhi Power (Ojai, California) - designs and manufactures efficient, non-toxic and enduring energy storage and management systems that utilize non-toxic lithium ferro phosphate (LFP). SimpliPhi combines the non-hazardous LFP energy storage chemistry with its proprietary cell and battery architecture, manufacturing processes and materials, power electronics and Battery Management System (BMS) to create safe, reliable, durable and highly scalable on-demand power solutions for the residential, commercial, military, emergency response and film industries.
Sep 27 8:00 am - 6:30 pm
Clean Energy and Energy Storage Technologies: Growing a Clean Energy Economy
Mar 13 8:00 am - Mar 14 1:00 pm
NY-BEST is hosting its 9th annual “Capture the Energy” Conference on March 13-14, 2019 in Albany, NY at the Albany Capital Center. The two day conference is taking place just steps from the New York State Capitol building and will bring together leaders from throughout the energy industry to discuss the important role that advanced batteries and energy storage technologies are playing to make the electric grid and transportation system cleaner and more efficient.
|Member Spotlight: Battery Nano Tech
Battery Nano Technologies (BNT), based out of Macomb County, MI, is an early-stage lithium-ion battery (LIB) company focused on making materials innovations in the cathode. At the core of their technology, BNT is replacing the traditional carbon conductor in the LIB cathode with alternative salt(s)...
The Latest News From The Battery And Energy Storage Industry
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Lockheed Martin Earns Military Stripes With 8.5 MWh Cost-Saving Fort Carson Project
A battery energy storage system (BESS) has been selected as a proven and resilient solution to help power a mainland US military facility, saving money on electricity costs and being delivered on a commercial basis. US Army Fort Carson in Colorado will be the latest beneficiary of the energy savings performance contract (ESPC) scheme for federal agencies. Recently agreeing to pay out US$40 million to develop a solar-plus-storage microgrid on an island missile test base, ESPC essentially provides energy efficiency or similar projects with upfront capital for their development, if the capital can be successfully shown to be repayable through savings on energy costs delivered by initiatives. The Fort Carson project will require no capital investment from the military.
Clarkson University Professor, Alumnus Secure Funding to Continue Partnership on Hemp Based Carbon Battery Materials
Clarkson University’s GE Chair in Oil and Gas Systems, David Mitlin and CEO of Enermat Technologies, David Hessler ’67, have secured grant funding in the amount of $225,000 through the National Science Foundation to continue their partnership on commercializing energy storage technology invented by Mitlin. As a result of the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program award, Mitlin’s lab will receive $127,000 while Enermat will benefit from $98,000 worth of grant funding. In the NSF grant structure, this is a one year Phase One grant, with potential follow-on funding. Mitlin said the funding will be used to jointly develop and commercialize the materials he has invented and patented. Mitlin has developed hemp-based carbon battery materials that are inexpensive and charge much faster.
C4V Delivers Lithium-Ion Battery for Smart Grid Project
Magnis Resources (ASX:MNS) (“Magnis” or the “Company”) is pleased to advise that exclusive battery manufacturing partner and investee company, Charge CCCV (C4V), has achieved a major milestone in delivering its first battery towards a demonstration project that was approved under a New York State Government entity. As detailed in the C4V press release overleaf, the project relates to the development of a software system that combines renewable energy sources with lithium-ion batteries and demand management to create a low cost Distributed Energy Resource (DER) System. This system essentially assists in the integration of renewables into the power grid by mitigating instabilities arising from short-term fluctuations in renewable energy generation. This is of particular relevance to the New York State region, due to the large number of cloudy or overcast days that cause such short-term fluctuations.
Region's Largest Battery on Line in the Hamptons
Talk about a Hamptons power trip. Starting this month, the South Fork becomes home to Long Island’s first and largest utility-scale battery storage unit as part of an effort by PSEG Long Island and LIPA to boost power to the energy-starved Hamptons—from the Shinnecock Canal to Montauk Point. PSEG and the battery’s owners at National Grid and NextEra Energy Resources flipped the switch on the barrack-sized unit Aug. 1. The 5-megawatt battery storage unit, located at a LIPA substation in East Hampton, is one of two set for the South Fork as a way to deal with what the utility says is soaring electric demand. At peak summer times, the South Fork draws some 300 megawatts of power, PSEG officials said. One megawatt powers 800-1,000 homes, but South Fork customers use more than most, PSEG has said, particularly during the summer.
Sonoma Clean Power to Offer AI Driven Energy Storage in Partnership with Stem, Inc.
Sonoma Clean Power has selected Stem, Inc., the global leader in artificial intelligence (AI)-powered energy storage, as a preferred vendor for energy storage services in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. The partnership will offer increased energy savings and control for local, commercial, and industrial customers while enabling community sustainability planning. Sonoma Clean Power serves as the public electricity provider for approximately 223,000 accounts in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, with the exception of the cities of Healdsburg and Ukiah. The two-year partnership will be particularly attractive to large commercial and public customers who face high demand charges from unexpected energy spikes, which can account for more than fifty percent of a monthly bill. Distributed energy storage enables communities like Sonoma County to manage the variability of renewable energy on the grid.
Modernizing Renewables Mandates is No Longer About the Megawatts
Mandate innovations should no longer be limited to megawatts of wind and solar. State mandates, called renewable portfolio standards (RPS), set a standard for the renewable MWs that state load serving entities (LSE) must have in their portfolios by a specified date. RPSs, mandated in D.C. and 29 states, are at least partially responsible for 56% of the 120 GW of renewables built since 2000, according to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). RPSs were conceived as a means to drive the market for renewables to achieve policy goals like reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and increasing power system reliability through resource diversity. As the supply of renewables has expanded, states like Massachusetts and Arizona are experimenting with new policies to achieve the same goals in new ways.
NY Energy Market Summit Tackles DERs
New York is charting its own course for integrating distributed energy resources into its grid, different from the path trod by states with already high rates of penetration, industry experts said this week. “California and Hawaii had to be reactive to distributed generation, but New York is taking a more proactive approach in trying to incent greater penetration of clean energy resources,” ScottMadden’s Chris Sturgill said at the New York Energy Market Summit held Aug. 6-8. Sturgill noted the New York Public Service Commission this spring approved new DER measures as part of the state’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative, which has enabled market participation for non-wires alternatives and the expansion of energy efficiency, demand response programs and demonstration projects. (See NYPSC OKs Con Ed EV Charging Program, REV Initiatives.)
Battery Manufacturers Fight for a Foothold in Europe
Battery manufacturers are jostling for a leadership position in Europe as electric vehicle sales gather momentum. Last month, it emerged that Tesla was in conversations with authorities in the Netherlands and two German states over a site for a European Gigafactory. Germany is the front-runner for the facility, with the southwestern states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland vying for attention from the Silicon Valley carmaker, according to a report in the The Wall Street Journal. The news followed the announcement earlier last month of another factory, by China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL), in Thuringia, central Germany.
EV Batteries Repurposed for Energy Storage
Daimler, the German automotive company best-known for the Mercedes-Benz line of vehicles, obviously knows a bit about cars. So perhaps it’s no surprise its subsidiary, Mercedes-Benz Energy, is using vehicle technology to repurpose a retired coal plant, as it takes its knowledge of electric vehicles (EVs) and moves into energy storage. Daimler, along with GETEC ENERGIE AG and technology company The Mobility House AG, is turning the old Mark-E coal-fired plant in Elverlingsen, Germany, into an energy storage facility, using nearly 2,000 modules from EV battery packs made by Daimler’s Accumotive subsidiary (Figure 1).
The Death-Defying Reinvention of Advanced Microgrid Solutions
On paper it looked like a triumph. Advanced Microgrid Solutions closed a $34 million Series B last summer with a “who’s who of strategic investors” — folks like DBL Partners, GE Ventures and utility-backed VC firm Energy Impact Partners. That was a hefty sum for an energy storage startup. What hadn’t been reported previously is that AMS almost ran out of money before that funding came through. Founder and CEO Susan Kennedy saved her company by cashing out her retirement fund to invest $1 million in a bridge round. That commitment helped her assemble a total of $5 million, which kept the company alive until the Series B closed. Securing that round also required an overhaul of the strategic vision Kennedy was pitching to investors.
The Big Chill: Highview's Solution to the Challenge of Long-Duration Energy Storage
In early June, Highview Power announced that it had officially launched its first grid-scale liquid air energy storage (LAES) plant at the Viridor Pilsworth site in Bury, United Kingdom (just outside of Manchester). This five megawatt (MW)/15 megawatt-hour (MWh) facility is on the small side to truly earn the title of grid-scale, but that may be beside the point. The critical issue to consider here is that this new technology may ultimately prove to be a cost-effective long-duration energy storage resource that is – unlike compressed air energy or pumped hydro – geographically independent.
Top 10 Utility Regulation Trends of 2018 - So Far
In December, we published a list of the top 10 utility regulation trends of 2017. With half of 2018 already in the rearview mirror, we check in on the top public utility commission (PUC) actions and trends so far this year. Not surprisingly, the challenges PUCs are grappling with are diverse: moving toward a cleaner grid, adopting foundational electric vehicle policies, investigating utility business model reforms, exploring the integration of new technologies such as energy storage, and increasing customer choice when it comes to sourcing their energy, just to name a few. Without further ado, here is a status check on the top 10 matters before PUCs in 2018 so far.
Sunnova Returns to the Arizona Solar Market, This Time with Batteries
Residential solar provider Sunnova is returning to Arizona after a period of regulatory tumult, and this time, it's bringing batteries. The privately held company fast-tracked its SunSafe solar-plus-storage offering in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which left thousands of Sunnova customers in Puerto Rico without power even if their solar panels survived undamaged. Since then, the company has expanded its hybrid product to California, Massachusetts and now Arizona. That puts Sunnova into competition with Sunrun’s growing BrightBox product, and whatever is left of the company that used to be SolarCity.
Con Edison and National Grid Want to Help You Buy an Electric Car
New York utility Consolidated Edison this week launched an online marketplace to make it easier for customers to purchase electric cars. That follows a June decision by National Grid to add electric vehicles to its own online marketplace. As utilities stare down a future of flat or declining electricity consumption, electric vehicles offer a glimmer of hope. If customers suddenly need to buy electricity to fuel their cars, that means new load for utilities to fulfill, plus charging infrastructure and distribution upgrades that need to be built. (New York utilities don't earn money on the volume of electricity sold, but do on capital investments to deliver it). Hence Con Ed’s new creation: Cars.coned.com. The new addition compares electric cars to their cheaper gasoline-powered foils in a way that compares lifecycle costs.
|News From Beyond New York
Revolutionary Battery System Saves Sarnia Plant Millions
A new battery system is helping an unnamed Sarnia area petrochemical plant save up to $5-million on its annual hydro bill. The largest “behind-the-meter” energy storage system in North America consists of six large lithium ion batteries, with a 20′ by 70′ footprint. Convergent Energy and Power Vice President of Project Development, Toby Tiktinsky, says the system can store up to 20 megawatts of power during off-peak times. “It stores power at night when costs are low and there is plenty of excess energy,” says Tiktinsky. “Then we use it to discharge during peak grid times, the hottest days of the year for example when air conditioners are on high, driving up electricity consumption in Ontario. We charge the system at night and then discharge the power at peak times. That helps lower the costs for our customers while also lowering the impact on the grid.”
CellCube's 'Highly Vertical' Ambitions for Long Duration Redox Flow Batteries
The fortunes of Gildemeister’s redox flow battery energy storage have been an interesting mirror to those of the technology class overall in some ways. One of the most talked-about flow energy storage providers during the 2010s before a wave of consolidation shook out the industry, the assets developed by DMG Mori that became Gildemeister Energy Storage were almost sold in 2016 to American Vanadium, an upstart company with ambitions to vertically integrate with mining operations in the Nevada Desert. It was then taken over by junior mining entity Stina Resources, putting it in the hands of subsidiary Enerox and rebranded as CellCube – the name Gildemeister had given the vanadium redox flow storage units – the dream of vertical integration is once again alive, as Energy-Storage.news heard from CellCube Energy Storage company president, Stefan Schauss.
Storage Bringing Change to Energy Markets
Energy industry experts speaking at the MEGA Symposium in Baltimore, Maryland, on August 21 agreed that storage is becoming more important to the overall mix of U.S. power sources. They also said utility-scale storage solutions remain “years away,” even as technology advancements in battery systems occur more rapidly. Panelists at the session entitled “The Transformation of the Power Industry and the Role of Energy Storage,” representing utility, finance, research, and coal industry interests, said storage has proved its mettle when it comes to energy, but there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution when it comes to deploying storage assets across the power grid.
Energy Vault Proposes An Energy Storage System Using Concrete Blocks
Energy storage is the key to renewables. A decade ago, solar panels could make electricity during the day, which was great. But in most parts of the world, the highest demand for electricity occurs in the late afternoon and early evening — times when solar panels produce little electricity. Wind turbines are wonders of modern engineering but of little use if there is no wind to turn their blades. Being able to store electricity now for use later is what makes renewable energy capable of providing reliable baseload power at all times of day or night. How long that storage ability lasts is one of the primary ways that energy storage systems are classified. Cost, of course, is another.
North America's Largest Customer-Sited Battery to Date Deployed in Ontario
Usually, as a definitional matter, utility-scale energy storage facilities are larger than commercial and industrial projects, which in turn exceed the size of residential batteries. The battery system that developer and owner Convergent commissioned for a commercial customer in Sarnia, Ontario last week upends that hierarchy by matching two utility-scale storage projects for the largest power capacity built in North America this year. The 10-megawatt/20-megawatt-hour system, supplied by IHI Energy Storage, sits behind the meter at a large petrochemical facility in order to reduce its Global Adjustment charge, which the Ontario government assesses based on consumption during the five hours of peak system demand in a year.
Electric Cars Could Use Another Big Battery Breakthrough - This CEO Says He's Got it
Elon Musk is well known for trying to disrupt old industries. He builds spacefaring rockets in-house and makes them reusable, dramatically lowering the cost to leave Earth. He showed electric vehicles can be made and sold in large quantities, because if they’re fun to drive, people will want to buy them. But when the question of batteries was raised on a Tesla earnings call in the summer of 2017, Musk asked for help: “Can someone please come up with a battery breakthrough? We’d love it.” Musk was being a little facetious — he and Tesla CTO JB Straubel had just been asked about then-recent news that Toyota was reportedly in the “production engineering phase” of an electric car powered by a still relatively unproven technology: solid-state batteries.
Battery Tech May be Next 'Stranded Assets' in Green Revolution
Some of the latest battery technologies may become obsolete before reaching the market because of the breakneck pace of advances in the industry. Teams of scientists from San Francisco to Shenzhen are experimenting with new chemical processes to improve the traditional lithium ion cell and find new ways to bottle up electricity for use at another time. Investors in those projects are starting to worry that they might have picked the wrong technology. That's turning the debate about "stranded assets" on its head. To date, the term has been deployed to refer to fossil fuel projects that may turn unprofitable as pollution regulations tighten. In the future, upheaval in the way energy storage devices are made mean that investments in batteries may turn unprofitable even though they're at the heart of transforming the way the energy system works.
A Battery of Choices: Embracing R&D and Investment in Storage
Imagine a world where we depend on sunlight and the wind for most of our energy needs. Then imagine nighttime and our main source of electricity literally falls asleep. Unless our future electricity system represents a giant “super-grid” with tons of wires connecting everywhere from San Francisco to Beijing, we will need somewhere to put that electricity when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Along comes battery storage, one of the emerging technology advancements of the 21st century that could revolutionize the way we produce and consume electricity. Traditionally, battery storage has been hailed as too expensive to make sense for grid utilities and customers. However, the economics are quickly changing. With the advent of electric cars going mainstream and countries like France, China and the UK phasing out gas and diesel vehicles, there is a surge in demand for lithium-ion batteries. At the same time, in places like California, where solar PV now powers nearly five million rooftops, grid-scale storage options both in people’s houses and sited by utility operators are lowering the cost of energy.
Mass. Lawmakers Set Storage Target, Raise RPS, Overturn Rooftop Solar Demand Charge
The Massachusetts legislature passed a compromise energy bill Tuesday evening with several wins for the clean energy industry. The bill raises the renewable portfolio standard, such that the state’s renewable energy supply will need to increase by 2 percent annually from 2020 through 2029, before reverting back to 1 percent. The language also authorizes the study of an additional 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind. In a rare move, lawmakers stepped in to overturn a demand charge for residential solar customers that utility Eversource had gotten approved by regulators. The bill also imposed a minimum share of clean energy required to serve peak hours and set an energy storage deployment target of 1,000 megawatt-hours by 2025.
Electric Vehicle and Stationary Storage Batteries Begin to Diverge as Performance Priorities Evolve
For the past 10 to 15 years, electric vehicles (EV) have been the driving force behind the falling costs of lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries. But the markets for EV and stationary storage batteries are beginning to diverge, which could result in separate cost trajectories and changes in their respective supply chains. Analysts say that about 90% of the market for stationary energy storage is served by li-ion batteries. Most of those batteries have been the same as those used in EVs because the performance metrics required for both applications are compatible, but that is changing.
Energy Storage Should be an Urgent National Priority
Imagine if the US had these three things: access to unlimited electricity from clean sources everywhere in the country, an electricity grid impervious to outages and electricity prices that were even cheaper than they are today. These aspirations can become reality with advancements in energy storage. This technology was developed right here in the good ole’ US of A, but unfortunately, the US is now falling behind other countries in this increasingly lucrative global market, and our outdated electric grid is growing more vulnerable to increasing threats like cyber-attacks and extreme weather. So how do we regain our leadership in this critical technology, and how can we increase the development and deployment of energy storage here at home? The answer is innovation.