NY-BEST Newsletter July 12, 2018

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July 12, 2018

Dear NY-BEST Members and Colleagues,

NY-BEST hopes you had a great July 4th and were able to get outside and enjoy the sun. The heat may have been good for a day by the lake or at the beach, but it also illustrated the need for energy storage deployment throughout the state and across the northeast. Power use on the U.S. East Coast reached its highest levels in many years in the past week as a heat wave has swept across the Northeast, including in New York City. Electricity demand in New York reached its highest levels since 2013, as temperatures reached above 90 degrees Fahrenheit for several consecutive days. State Air Quality Health advisories were issued for several counties in the state. It is times like these that bring into greater focus our efforts to reduce our reliance on high emitting fossil-fuel generation and promote clean energy resources while also ensuring grid reliability and meeting our growing energy needs. NY-BEST and our members understand that energy storage is essential to accomplishing these goals and we invite members interested in engaging more closely with us on public policy matters to contact us at info@ny-best.org.

We are anticipating a very busy summer for our energy storage policy work in New York. NYSERDA and the Department of Public Service will be announcing the dates of the Energy Storage Roadmap Technical Conferences in the coming days. We will be sending out a e-blast with the dates once they are announced. We encourage all interested parties to participate and ensure that the industry’s perspectives are well represented.

NY-BEST is proud to announce that we are launching our Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Working Group. This group is open only to NY-BEST Members and will include National Leaders in deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell products and services. The working group will focus on: expanding economic opportunities for the State’s hydrogen and fuel cell industry by supporting and encouraging specific Federal and State initiatives; and increasing the deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies to meet the State’s clean energy, emissions and vehicle goals. Any members who are interested in joining the working group should reach out to us at info@ny-best.org for more information.


NY-BEST has created a Facebook group for NY-BEST members to communicate with one another. The group is a closed group, so those who wish to be included must request access or be invited to the group. To request access please contact Ashley at weaver@ny-best.org or click here.


Opportunity to Present Technical Posters

NY-BEST invites researchers, academics, students, and clean energy companies to submit a poster presenting your work on technological advances in energy storage and clean energy technologies to display at our Annual Fall Technology conference on September 27, 2018, in Binghamton, New York. Student posters are eligible for prizes.

The Conference will include a dedicated exhibit area for the Technical Poster session and conference attendees will visit posters during networking breaks, lunch and the reception. Poster summaries will be included in the online and print version of the event program. Students are invited to present verbal one-minute summaries of their posters during a special “lightning round” session of the Conference. Click here to learn more.

Clean Energy Start-Up Company Showcase posters:

The Conference will feature an exhibit area of “The NY Clean Energy Start-Up Company Showcase” where conference attendees can meet and visit with New York’s leading clean energy start-ups during the Conference’s many networking breaks, extended lunch and reception.

If you are interested in presenting a poster of your New York Clean Energy Start-Up Company at this conference, please visit our website here.

Best Regards,

William Acker Signature

William Acker
Executive Director

Dr. William Acker

Upcoming Events

Annual Fall Technology Conference

Sep 27 8:00 am - 6:30 pm

Clean Energy and Energy Storage Technologies: Growing a Clean Energy Economy

NY-BEST Annual Meeting and Conference: Capture the Energy 2019

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: Chroma Systems Solutions, Inc.

Chroma Systems Solutions, Inc.Chroma Systems Solutions, based out of Foothill Ranch, CA, is the self-described “world’s largest manufacturer of power conversion, electrical safety, and passive component test instrumentation.” With over 2,700 employees worldwide, it has the capability to provide complete turnkey test...

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Funding Opportunities

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NY-BEST Member News

New York's Energy Storage Target Could End Up at 3 GW by 2030
New York could go the extra mile under the energy storage roadmap released at the end of June. The plan supports Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's energy storage target of 1,500 MW by 2025, but several sources say the final plan could call for an even more ambitious target. Reaching that target, though, could involve challenges that are largely outside of the scope of New York energy agencies. The roadmap identifies near?term policies, regulations, and initiatives needed to realize the governor's 2025 target in anticipation of a 2030 target to be established later this year by the state's Public Service Commission.

California Schools Use Stem, Inc. for Solar+Storage Projects
Stem, Inc., the global leader in artificial intelligence (AI)-powered energy storage, welcomes ForeFront Power, a leading C&I solar developer, to the Athena™ platform and Stem’s solar partner program. ForeFront Power and Stem will develop solar+storage energy systems for schools and municipalities throughout California. With the addition of ForeFront Power, Stem adds another best-in-class solar developer looking to maximize sales and customer savings by leveraging Stem’s artificial intelligence platform for energy storage. ForeFront Power and Stem were selected as the best renewable energy solutions provider by the School Project for Utility Rate Reduction (SPURR), a California-based joint powers authority that aggregates the buying power of over 240 member schools, colleges, and other public agencies. Over 20 public agencies have used SPURR's Renewable Energy Aggregated Procurement Program to secure preferential pricing and terms for solar and storage solutions with less sourcing expense and effort. ForeFront Power's solar solutions and financing, paired with Stem’s energy storage, enable public schools and agencies to reduce substantial energy expenses, hedge rising utility costs, and conserve bond funds for other needs, with no need for capital outlay or bond money.

BMW Agrees to $4.7 Bn Contract with China's CATL for Battery Cells
BMW plans to source 4 billion euros' ($4.7 billion) worth of battery cells from Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) over the next few years, the carmaker's purchasing boss said on Monday. The long-term contract sees 1.5 billion euros' worth of battery cells coming from a new CATL plant in Erfurt, in the eastern German state of Thuringia, Markus Duesmann said in Munich. The rest will come from China. A contract for the construction of the new plant is due to be signed on Monday during a visit to Germany by China's Premier Li Keqiang.

Key Capture Energy Plans Battery Energy Storage Plant in Saratoga County, New York
Key Capture Energy will build a 20 megawatt, utility-scale battery energy storage facility at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, New York. As an incentive, the Mechanicville-Stillwater Industrial Development Agency approved tax incentives of nearly $650,000 to advance the Key Capture Energy project, which will interconnect to the adjacent NYSEG substation. The board also approved a PILOT agreement sought by Key Capture Energy, though the company could have used a provision in the state tax code to avoid property taxes altogether. This PILOT agreement will provide more than $160,000 to local taxing jurisdictions.

11 Lithium-Ion Battery Makers that Don't Need Cobalt
If you’ve been paying attention to the debate about lithium-ion battery materials, then you will know there is a price problem with lithium, but the real market danger is with cobalt. While experts doubt that cobalt scarcity will halt the growth of the lithium-ion battery business, demand for the metal is affecting battery markets and increasing the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s stranglehold on supplies. To the uninitiated, this might seem like a major threat to the lithium-ion energy storage business. But it’s not, for the simple reason that not all lithium-ion batteries need cobalt. Lithium iron phosphate (LFP), lithium manganese oxide (LMO) and lithium titanate (LTO) batteries are cobalt-free.

alpha-Encorp and Cornell University Commence a Sponsored Research Agreement
alpha-Encorp and Cornell University have entered into a cooperative agreement to conduct sponsored research at the Baker Laboratory, under the direction of Héctor D. Abruña. Professor Abruña is a renowned electrochemist and member of the National Academy of Sciences. His research group focuses on the development of new materials using a wide variety of characterization techniques of great relevance to battery research. Cornell's agreement is for conducting essential analysis related to quantifying capacity and ion transport for the process of lithium thin film production patented by alpha-Encorp. It is anticipated that the collaboration will take advantage of the hi-tech facilities available at Cornell, especially the ability to study thin films of lithium "in operando", meaning – making movies, at the microscopic scale, of lithium film growth, as it happens in real time.

Cadenza Innovation Powering Up With Unique Battery Tech
Cadenza Innovation is, if you’ll pardon the expression, surging. The Wilton-based startup, which provides energy storage solutions for license to lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery manufacturers, was selected in June from hundreds of international candidates as one of the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Technology Pioneers — the second time since 2010 that the same founding team has earned that award. Also last month, the firm was awarded funding for a demonstration project to further New York state’s clean energy goals and support Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s energy storage target of 1500 megawatts in New York State by 2025.

Tesla May Revisit Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Bi-Directional Charging Solution
Tesla could soon revisit the idea of using its electric cars as a battery power source, likely as part of the company’s Vehicle-To-Grid (V2G) bi-directional solutions. Musk’s update came as a response to a Twitter request from Cody Walker, a Tesla enthusiast, who inquired if the electric car maker would eventually introduce a feature where one car can provide battery power to another vehicle. Responding to the inquiry, Musk noted that previous Tesla vehicles had the capability to use its battery for outputting power.

Tesla Powerwalls Save the Day During Heat Wave in Vermont
Vermont is starting to get a significant number of Tesla Powerwalls installed through the company’s partnership with Green Mountain Power (GMP), an important electric utility in Vermont. This latest heat wave in the northeast has hit Vermont pretty hard and GMP says that the energy storage capacity of its network of Powerwalls is making the difference during the peak demand. Josh Castonguay, Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer at GMP, commented (via Vermont Biz): “We know our customers are environmentally conscious and make smart choices about their energy use every day. In this heat wave, our customers’ safety and comfort is key. We are so glad to be able to leverage innovation like battery storage to bring down costs for customers and keep them comfortable and safe. Our growing network of stored energy is allowing us to use technology, in partnership with our customers, to deliver innovative solutions today.

RIT Lab Works to Keep Your Cell Phone Battery From Exploding
We've all heard of faulty cell phone batteries that fail at the crucial times, or worse, burn out and cause injury. Well, a lab at RIT is working on a fix. "A lot of the work that we've done has enabled improvements for these devises," says Matt Ganter, co-director at the RIT Battery Prototyping Center. Ganter says they've helped companies make phones safer, so we don't get failures like the one with Samsung - an error that passed other labs. "It's not always easy to tell early on whether or not that battery will perform well in the future," explains Ganter.

Tesla/Panasonic Investments in Cobalt-Free Batteries Not the Only Game in Town
Cobalt-free materials for lithium-ion batteries are in the sights of many investors these days. A new startup is making the news, having acquired a capital raise of several million dollars. At a time when Panasonic is considering additional investment in Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory, others are increasingly seeing the benefit of research support to find alternatives to politically, structurally, and geographically problematic cobalt. Next Generation Electrode Material for Cobalt-Free Lithium Ion Batteries Conamix, a little-known startup based in Ithaca, New York, has raised several million dollars to accelerate its development of cobalt-free materials for lithium-ion batteries. The company has developed a new material and process for creating low-cost, high-energy, and cobalt-free electrode materials. Conamix’s technology has the potential to decrease the cost of lithium-based batteries for use in many applications, including electric vehicles, grid storage, and — the next big thing in transportation — electric flight.

Tesla's Next California Energy Storage Project May be Its Largest Yet
Tesla's giant Australian energy storage facility may seem small in the near future. Pacific Gas and Electric has submitted proposals for four new energy storage projects to the California Public Utilities Commission, one of which is for a facility at its Moss Landing substation that could output 182.5MW over the course of four hours -- that's more than 3,000 of Tesla's Powerpack 2 units. For context, the Australian location outputs 'just' 129MW. The project would have a total 1.1GWh capacity, which fits with Elon Musk's recent hints that Tesla could have a "gigawatt-hour scale" deal within months. The batteries would, as elsewhere, help keep up with "local capacity requirements" by supplying electricity at moments when power plants aren't enough to meet demand. Provided the CPUC approves the projects, they'd be ready between late 2019 and late 2020.

Voltabox Takes Over Navitas Systems
The German battery manufacturer Voltabox is continuing their expansion, and has purchased the US battery manufacturer Navitas Systems, a specialist for battery systems in the intralogistic area. The supervisory board still has to confirm the decision, however. The acquisition presents the first forage into battery cell technology for the Germans, even if only in the sector of specialty manufacturing. The company maintains their resource supply from a number of manufacturers from China, the USA, Korea and Japan, but has acquired some manufacturing competency with the acquisition, particularly in specialist areas.

The 'New' New General Electric: Renewables Are In, Distributed Gas Generators Are Out
General Electric is unveiling a leaner version of its former self, with a focus on core businesses and a plan to strengthen its balance sheet. The unanimously approved reorganization is the result of a strategic review. Moving forward, GE will focus on power, renewables and aviation. Last year, those areas brought in $35 billion, $9 billion and $27 billion in revenue, respectively. While those domains will remain core to its business, other segments will be spun off as separate GE businesses (such as GE Healthcare) or merged with other companies. The industrial giant is looking to slash its debt by $25 billion. Renewables are still an important part of the plan. According to a presentation to investors, 67 percent of GE’s power capacity additions last year came from renewable sources. The company expects the sector to account for 70 percent of annual capacity additions through 2021.

Vacant American Axle Plant Gets New Life Making Green Construction Equipment
A company specializing in making lithium-ion battery packs and electric drive systems for heavy construction machinery is bringing manufacturing back to the vacant American Axle & Manufacturing facility on Buffalo's East Side with more than $7 million in public and private financing. Viridi Parente Inc., which calls itself a "fuel and engine company for the new century," announced Wednesday it has begun operating at the former auto parts manufacturing facility at 1001 E. Delavan Ave. The power systems it will produce are driven by industrial-grade lithium-ion batteries that last longer than standard diesel engines, according to the company. The company is occupying 25,000 square feet of the overall 850,000-square-foot complex for office, lab and production space.

News From Beyond New York

Amsterdam's Johan Cruijff Arena Installs Electric Vehicle Battery Energy Storage
The home of Dutch soccer powerhouse Ajax, the Johan Cruijff Arena, has now become a powerhouse in its own right. The venue is now the site of Europe’s largest commercial energy storage system based on electric vehicle batteries. The arena hosts a three-megawatt storage system, the equivalent of 148 new or secondhand Nissan LEAF batteries. There are also 4,200 solar panels installed at the Johan Cruijff Arena, and much of the energy they collect can be stored as back-up power or supplementary power, making the stadium as sustainable as possible. The World Economic Forum notes that together the batteries can now store enough energy to charge 500,000 iPhones or supply 7,000 households in Amsterdam for one hour. When the stadium’s energy needs are low, its power system can even add to the area grid. (Johan Cruijff Arena is also known as Amsterdam Arena and is the largest stadium in the Netherlands.)

Utility Companies Head Into a Cloudy Future
The world’s publicly listed utilities employed 3.7 million people, had a third of a trillion dollars in capital expenditures, and brought in $2.2 trillion in revenue in 2017. Power supply is an enormous industry. It’s also an industry that would still be recognizable to utility executives from a century ago. Delivery of electricity, natural gas and water will remain part of the future — but what changes will that future entail for utility companies themselves? It involves a lot more talking about “the utility of the future”:

Massachusetts Faces Make-or-Break Decision on Landmark Storage Incentive
Massachusetts wants to use a forthcoming solar program to kick-start its energy storage industry. The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) will deploy 1,600 megawatts of new solar capacity in the coming years, pending regulatory approval. The incentive contains an adder that pays more for solar generation tied to energy storage. The storage industry has barely gotten started in Massachusetts, but it will play an increasingly valuable role by balancing out the gigawatts of new wind and solar the state has planned. Those intermittent resources are already reshaping the region’s electricity consumption.

China's Top EV Maker Starts Battery-Swap Service to Lure Users
ELECTRIC Vehicle Co, the Chinese electric-car maker preparing for a stock market listing, is starting a battery-swap service to reduce customers' range anxiety and keep up with similar offerings from rivals. The company will sell a version of its EV300 compact car for 79,800 yuan (S$16,368) that allows users to change battery as often as they want for a monthly fee of 432 yuan, Zheng Gang, general manager of BJEV, as the unit of BAIC Group is known, said in the outskirts of Beijing on Thursday. BJEV, China's biggest maker of pure electric cars, and rivals such as BYD Co and NIO are bringing out new models and services at an accelerating pace to lure buyers in the world's biggest and most competitive market for alternative-energy vehicles.

Grid Neutrality is a Prerequisite for Energy Storage to Flourish
Without energy storage, the EU target for renewable energy cannot be reached. And that can only succeed if the incentives for investment are set correctly and if “ownership unbundling” rules in the EU energy market are strictly enforced, writes Dr. Hans Wolf von Koeller. Dr. Hans Wolf von Koeller is Head of Energy Policy at STEAG GmbH, a German company which plans, constructs, and operates power plants and distributed energy facilities using fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. Did you know that The Landlord’s Game is the predecessor of the popular board game Monopoly? In 1903, Elizabeth Magie developed the Landlord’s game, and created two sets of rules for her game: an anti-monopolistic set in which all were rewarded when wealth was created, and a monopolistic set in which the goal was to create monopolies and crush opponents.

A World First - Battery Storage on Offshore Floating Wind Farm
A battery designed to store energy generated by the Hywind floating wind farm off the coast of Scotland was successfully installed on June 27 and is being hailed as a "world first" by developers Masdar and Equinor (formerly Statoil). Norway-based Equinor and renewable firm Masdar in Abu Dhabi have unveiled the world’s first battery attached to the floating Hywind windfarm in Scotland. The battery system was designed and developed by German-American battery storage integrator Younicos. Known as Batwind, the 1.2MW battery storage system is the first in the world to be connected to an offshore wind farm. The battery project was constructed on land about 15 miles from where the five floating turbines are generating clean electricity.

Innovation is Making Lithium-Ion Batteries Harder to Recycle
As manufacturers make lithium-ion batteries as cheap as they can, they're removing valuable elements that make them worthwhile to recycle, according to the Electric Power Research Institute. EPRI assesses the end-of-life cost of batteries in a report it published at the end of last year. Last week, Ben Kaun, the program manager for EPRI's Energy Storage Program, told members of the Illinois Commerce Commission that the lack of recycling adds an end-of-life cost to lithium-ion batteries.

New Controls, New Values, and New Layers of Functionality
Home storage systems have been considered an ‘early adopter’ market in many parts of the world, perhaps more important as a way that individuals can control their own green energy use and save energy than as a means of generating big money returns. However, the addition of smart control and monitoring systems and the ability to aggregate large numbers of connected solar-plus-storage systems means that for solutions and equipment providers like Israel-headquartered SolarEdge, prolific supplier to markets including the US, UK and Australia, there is a new economic paradigm emerging.

Commenters Divided on DER Aggregation, State, LDC Roles
Solar power and storage providers differed sharply with local distribution companies and state officials in comments filed this week in FERC’s rulemaking on distributed energy resources. More than 50 commenters submitted answers to questions FERC posed, differing on whether aggregation should be limited to single nodes and on the roles of RTOs, state regulators and LDCs (RM18-9, AD18-10). The commission initiated the rulemaking in February, deciding to separate DER issues from its Order 841 on energy storage. The comments supplement testimony from a technical conference in April. (See Gatekeeper or Facilitator? FERC Panels Debate EDCs’ DER Role and RTOs, Regulators Set Course for DER Market Participation.) Below is a summary of the major issues and the range of recommendations FERC received, based on RTO Insider’s review of 40 comments.

Three Ways Energy Storage Can Generate Revenue in America's Organized Power Markets
Energy storage is surging across America. Total installed capacity passed 1,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) during a record-setting 2017, and the U.S. market is forecast to nearly double by adding more than 1,000 MWh new capacity in 2018 - adding as much capacity in one year as it did in the previous four. However, this exponential growth has mainly been limited to vertically integrated utilities operating outside of the country’s organized power markets, which serve two-thirds of all U.S. electricity consumers. So how can energy storage plug into these markets?

What Happens to Used Electric-Car Batteries? You May be Surprised
The first batches of batteries from electric and hybrid vehicles are hitting retirement age, yet they aren't bound for landfills. Instead, they'll spend their golden years chilling beer at 7-Elevens in Japan, powering car-charging stations in California and storing energy for homes and grids in Europe. Lithium-ion car and bus batteries can collect and discharge electricity for a further seven to 10 years after being taken off the roads and stripped from chassis - a shelf life with significant ramifications for global carmakers, electricity providers and raw-materials suppliers. Finding ways to reuse the technology is becoming more urgent as the global stockpile of EV batteries is forecast to exceed the equivalent of about 3.4 million packs by 2025, compared with about 55,000 this year, according to calculations based on Bloomberg NEF data.

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