July 30, 2018
Dear NY-BEST Members and Colleagues,
It is an exciting time for energy storage in the state, as the State’s Energy Storage Roadmap Technical Conferences begin tomorrow in New York City. NY-BEST encourages all members to attend at least one of the technical conferences. The agenda and remote participation information for the technical conferences is available here. These technical conferences will be vital to the growth of New York’s Energy Storage industry and will continue throughout the month of August.
In other news, NY-BEST’s Annual Technology Conference is coming up on September 27th in Binghamton, NY. Registration for the conference is now open and the agenda is available here. We are pleased to announce that NYSERDA’s President, Alicia Barton and Empire State Development’s President, Howard Zemsky will be delivering the keynote addresses. There are several ways to participate in the conference including sponsorship opportunities, poster sessions and attending. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to explore the options.
On an unrelated note, we have heard from some members that they have been mistakenly receiving the non-member version of the newsletter. If you are a NY-BEST member is good standing and not receiving the member version of the newsletter, please reach out to the team at email@example.com and we will add you to the correct list. If your colleagues are interested in receiving the newsletter and our e-communications, please direct them to subscribe through the website.
FOR NY-BEST MEMBERS ONLY:
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 reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.
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.
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 be National Leaders in deployment of products and services that contribute to the portfolio of required solutions for enabling widespread zero emission transportation and carbon-free energy. By demonstrating how hydrogen and fuel cell technology can help meet the State’s clean energy, emissions and vehicle goals and commitments, both the State, and its energy storage and clean transportation Industry, will benefit. Any members who are interested in joining the working group should reach out to the NY-BEST team for more information.
The NY-BEST Consortium membership continues to grow and I’d like to welcome the newest members of NY-BEST:
Coreshell Technologies (Berkeley, CA) - is dedicated to the improvement of Li-lon batteries through novel protective coatings. Our mission is to improve upon LIB capacity, lifetime, and safety with an eye towards the burgeoning EV and grid storage markets.
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: 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...
The Latest News From The Battery And Energy Storage Industry
NY-BEST members received information in this newsletter about upcoming funding opportunities. Becoming a member is easy and economical. Visit http://www.ny-best.org/Join for more information.
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Siemens Outlines Designs for Mini-Grids to Power Puerto Rico
Siemens Corp., a global electrification, automation and digitalization conglomerate that is devising the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (Prepa) blueprint for the future, released a white paper on Monday, titled “Resilient by Design: Enhanced Reliability and Resiliency for Puerto Rico’s Electric Grid.” Introducing its recommendations for a new energy infrastructure framework for the island, the energy giant said that since its last integrated resource plan (IRP) in 2015, Puerto Rico’s electric power system “has experienced significant upheaval” after having been severely struck by hurricanes Irma and Maria – “combined with the steep drop in the cost of renewables and battery-based energy storage.” The developments, Siemens said, “offer Puerto Rico a rare and powerful opportunity to redesign its power system, producing a significantly more resilient grid by design that will ensure a steady flow of cleaner and higher quality power for its residents and businesses. ”
NYISO Announces Distributed Energy Resource Pilot Projects
The New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (NYISO) today announced the selection of three pilot projects to demonstrate the capabilities of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) and options for their integration into its wholesale markets. These pilot projects support the NYISO’s DER Roadmap, which establishes a clear path for integrating DERs and, in so doing, will help the state of New York achieve its goals for Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). “The grid of the future will increasingly be supported by a diverse mix of distributed resources,” said NYISO President & CEO Brad Jones. “These pilot projects will support our efforts at the NYISO to integrate distributed resources into our markets and operations in ways that improve system efficiency, resilience, and resource diversity. The lessons we learn from these pilots will build on our record of delivering value to New Yorkers by expanding competitive opportunities for distributed energy resources to meet system needs and help improve New York’s existing energy infrastructure.”
Stony Brook Wins $22M to Fund Energy Research
Stony Brook University researchers have been approved for nearly $22 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop and expand Energy Frontier Research Centers. The grants, designed to accelerate scientific breakthroughs needed to strengthen U.S. economic leadership and energy security, go to one existing and one new center. The Center for Mesoscale Transport Properties or m2M, led by Esther Takeuchi, will receive a four-year $12 million grant.
Imperium3 New York to Bring Lithium-Ion Battery Factory, Jobs to Endicott
Endicott Proud had an exciting update at their latest meeting. Shailesh Upreti, the President of Charge CCCV, was there to talk about the progress of his company. It has the intellectual property that serves as the core for the Imperium3 consortium that will create a lithium-ion battery factory at Endicott's Huron Campus. Upreti says that current battery manufacturing practices are outdated and his company will bring a more sustainable process and product going forward.
Energy-Storage Company Stem Gets Funding for Projects in Canada
Stem Inc., a U.S. provider of energy-storage systems, arranged C$200 million ($152 million) in commitments from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan to finance projects in the province. The pension plan also contributed to Stem’s $80 million Series D financing announced in January. Stem said in a statement Tuesday that it has raised an additional $26 million for the round from investors including BNP Paribas SA and Magnesium Capital. Stem’s systems store electricity when it’s cheap and help customers save money by using the stored energy when grid power is expensive. The Millbrae, California-based company manages 860 installations in the U.S., Japan and Canada, and entered the Canadian market in January.
Local Battery Company Looks to Electrify Business World
One of the rare constants in the seemingly constant modern technological evolution era is the battery as the need to store and transport power efficiently and reliably has arguably never been greater. With such a great reliance placed on batteries, and particularly alongside the popularization of lithium ion batteries, local start-up Conamix has spent the last four years of its existence researching and developing ways to modify lithium ion batteries to improve their performance and quality, all without inflating the cost. While hesitant to discuss the actual technological work involved, it’s clear they’re on to something that has tech-types excited: the company, helped by clean energy accelerator Nexus-NY, recently received an $8 million boost in funding via an investment from Volta Energy Technologies and Hegemon Group International.
E-Scooter Craze Poised To Lift Tesla, Other Battery Makers
Lithium-ion batteries, or at least some form of them, have been around for decades, born out of research grant from, of all places, Exxon. Early on, they mostly powered cellular phones and other household gadgets. More recently, as electric vehicles (EVs) have become more prevalent, production has ramped up, and over time that has brought new players into the market, which created efficiencies and made the lithium-ion batteries cheaper. EVs, of course, still have a long way to go in the United States, representing just 1.4% of the overall car market. There was speculation that in the aftermath of the financial crisis—which, combined with high oil prices, devastated many American car companies—that consumers here would begin to lose their appetite for gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs and embrace EVs with more enthusiasm.
LG Chem Expects Record Q2 Profit in Battery Unit
Driven by the continued healthy demand for rechargeable batteries used in electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage systems, LG Chem's battery business is expected to report a record operating profit for the three months which ended June 30, analysts said Sunday. Its battery division, which LG Chem identified as the group's emerging cash-cow, is seen to generate an operating profit up to 40 billion won during the latest quarter. The division posted an operating profit of 2.1 billion won on sales of 1.24 trillion won in the previous quarter. LG Chem is a key battery supplier to leading carmakers including General Motors, Volvo, Renault, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors. Given LG Chem's backlog of orders stood at 4.2 trillion won as of last year, analysts expect the division's operating profits will keep rising throughout this year.
Fuel Cell Developer Bloom Energy Finally Debuts
Timing is everything. Bloom Energy, the developer and seller of solid fuel cell systems using natural gas, has been a long anticipated public offering. Backed with $1.7 billion of VC funding, Bloom Energy ( BE ) produces an innovative product that has been adopted by large blue chip commercial and industrial customers due to its superior efficiency and low cost compared to electricity off the grid.
EVgo Adds Used BMW i3 Battery Packs to Charging Stations in California
Charging network EVgo has installed second-life batteries from two BMW i3s to its charging station in Union City, California, the company announced last week. The two batteries each store 22 kwh of electricity to help balance the load on the power grid when electric cars are charging at peak times, according to a report in Charged EVs. EVgo says they also store solar power produced during peak daylight hours to provide clean electricity for charging at night.
Panasonic Pledges to Decrease Cobalt Content of Tesla EV Batteries
Panasonic, the exclusive battery cell supplier for Tesla, is making good on its promise to move toward cobalt-free batteries. According to Reuters, a Panasonic executive stated on July 12, 2018, that the company plans to halve the cobalt content of its mass-produced automotive batteries “in 2 to 3 years.” Not knowing the extent of global cobalt supply is a genuine point of concern and a potential bottleneck for much greater mass production of electric vehicle (EV) batteries. For this and other reasons, Panasonic has already significantly reduced cobalt content to about 10% in its nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) cathode chemistry.
Binghamton University to Use $3M Federal Award for Battery and Energy-Storage Research
A Binghamton University professor will use $3 million in federal funding to continue research on battery systems and energy storage. Professor Stanley Whittingham and his colleagues will utilize the funding to research and “better understand” the fundamental chemical reactions in energy-storage materials, according to a joint news release from U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.) and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.). Whittingham is one of the inventors of the lithium-ion battery. The researchers will use the information to make energy-storage materials work better and to develop new materials that are “cheaper, environmentally friendly, and able to store more energy than current materials can,” per the release.
This Apartment's Microgrid Stands Out for Urban Resilience
The electrical grids in Brooklyn and Queens have started to struggle to keep up with the amount of energy the city demands. So, the energy company, Consolidated Edison (ConEd), put out a call for smaller-scale energy projects that could alleviate some of the demand from the struggling Brooklyn-Queens grid. A microgrid project at the Marcus Garvey Village apartments, an affordable housing complex in Brownsville, Brooklyn, stood out for it's innovative system, which contains 400 kilowatts of rooftop solar, a 400 kilowatt natural-gas fuel cell, and a battery system that can store up to 1,200 kilowatt-hours of energy.
|News From Beyond New York
Using Gold Stars to Improve Solar Energy Storage
People have been harnessing sunlight to create energy since the dawn of time—and thanks to a new study by scientists at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, we could be a big step closer to maximizing our ability to harvest the sun’s energy. The scientists discovered that star-shaped gold nanoparticles coated with a titanium semiconductor can produce hydrogen from water more efficiently using ultraviolet light and other conventional methods. The engineers focused on photocatalysis: using light as a catalyst to accelerate chemical reactions. The established method of extracting hydrogen from water involves shining ultraviolet light on titanium oxide to achieve photocatalysis. But using ultraviolet light is inefficient.
Europeans Stake Out Huge Claim in U.S. Energy Start-Ups While American Giants Sit on Sidelines
Over recent years, it seems that European companies have generally been much more aggressive than the North American actors in investing in or purchasing renewable and smart energy start-ups outright. I wrote about this phenomenon in a recent monthly newsletter, seeking input and insight from readers as to why the Europeans are so proactive and the Americans so seemingly relaxed to date with respect to these strategic investments and outright acquisitions. (One notable exception has been Itron’s buy-out of Silver Spring Networks.)
NFPA Updates Energy Storage and Solar Training
The National Fire Protection Association has updated and expanded its Energy Storage and Solar Safety Training for the fire service, with funding from FEMA. NFPA announced this July 18, noting that the number of residential battery energy storage system installs during the first quarter of 2018 increased ninefold over 2017 Q1 figures. The updated training addressed potential fire and life safety hazards that may occur with solar and ESS technology in both housing and business settings. Because of strong commercial and consumer interest, as well as government incentives, first responders are more likely to encounter emergency calls involving ESS or photovoltaics (PV). To help the fire service handle the unique challenges associated with these rapidly growing energy systems, FEMA funded NFPA's efforts in 2015 to develop the world's first ESS training program for first responders, and NFPA last year received another FEMA grant to update and expand its program to include solar safety and the latest in energy storage research findings.
The $3 Billion Plan to Turn Hoover Dam Into a Giant Battery
Hoover Dam helped transform the American West, harnessing the force of the Colorado River — along with millions of cubic feet of concrete and tens of millions of pounds of steel — to power millions of homes and businesses. It was one of the great engineering feats of the 20th century. Now it is the focus of a distinctly 21st-century challenge: turning the dam into a vast reservoir of excess electricity, fed by the solar farms and wind turbines that represent the power sources of the future. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, an original operator of the dam when it was erected in the 1930s, wants to equip it with a $3 billion pipeline and a pump station powered by solar and wind energy. The pump station, downstream, would help regulate the water flow through the dam’s generators, sending water back to the top to help manage electricity at times of peak demand.
Massachusetts Power Players Scramble for Deal in Critical Storage, DER Docket
As a Massachusetts proceeding that could determine the future of energy storage and distributed resources in the state neared the eleventh hour, stakeholders switched gears and headed to the negotiating table. Rather than wait for the state's Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to hand down a decision on capacity rights for storage and DERs, utilities, clean energy companies and the state's Department of Energy Resources are instead trying to work out a mutually acceptable agreement, sources close to the discussions told Utility Dive.
Vermont Utility Says Program Saved $500K During Heat Wave
An innovative program in Vermont that uses batteries in customers’ homes as a “virtual power plant” paid off to the tune of almost half a million dollars during the recent heat wave, according to the utility running the project. “During that peak usage, peak hour, every megawatt that we can knock off is a real savings. That one hour is a very significant cost,” said Josh Castonguay, vice president and lead innovation officer for Green Mountain Power, which has a quarter-million customers in Vermont. At times during the heat wave that covered much of the first week of July, the utility – often known as GMP – drew electricity out of about 500 Tesla Powerwall batteries installed in the home of about 400 customers and fed it into the grid. This meant GMP had to buy less electricity from power plants when the wholesale price of power in New England, which changes every five minutes depending on demand and supply, was particularly high.
The Coming Hydrogen Fuel Cell Evolution: Hydrogen Cars Are Here. Now How Long Until You Can Actually Fuel One Near You?
Hydrogen is not only the most common element in the universe but also the most common element here on Earth. Yet the limited availability of pure hydrogen in gaseous form has held back hydrogen fuel cells for decades. Out in the cosmos, stars are mostly made of hydrogen. Here at home, our hydrogen is mostly bonded with oxygen to make water. To get hydrogen to use in a fuel cell to make electricity, you have to either break down a water molecule or break down a complex hydrocarbon like natural gas. When you break the natural gas molecule, you get hydrogen — but you also get carbon dioxide, which leads to global warming. Plus, you’re using a non-renewable resource. That leaves water, which is a great source except that you have to put more energy into breaking the molecule than you’ll get back out when you use the hydrogen to generate electricity.
What Should Energy Storage Ask From Congress?
Say what you will about Congress — at least they are now aware of advanced energy storage. The legislators of the House Energy and Commerce Committee brought in a panel of five storage experts Wednesday to educate them on the latest thinking on how energy storage might benefit the grid. The all-male panel included envoys from the California Independent System Operator, Duke Energy, E.ON, Energy and Environmental Economics and Fluence. Collectively, they painted a picture of storage as a resource that already makes sense in certain circumstances for multiple vital grid tasks, and which will get more attractive with time as costs come down.
Ontario's GAC Policy Inspires Another 42 MWh of C&I Energy Storage
Currently attracting developers and investment alike, the opportunity to reduce energy costs for businesses in Ontario has led to an agreement for another 42MWh of energy storage from project developer NRStor and solutions provider IHI Inc. Ontario’s commercial and industrial (C&I) energy storage space has been found to offer one of the best policy-driven economic opportunities for reducing peak demand and therefore electricity bills in the Global Adjustment Charge. The policy is a means by which to pay for the Canadian province’s grid upgrades and maintenance as well as for the development and promotion of clean energy and energy efficiency. Energy-Storage.news has reported on numerous multi-megawatt projects from the region in recent months, including last week, when multinational utility Enel said its second megawatt-scale C&I project in Ontario would save the customer, food packaging company Amhil North America, around 20% on current energy costs at the facility where the installation is being made.
Nominations Open for Energy Storage North America Innovation Awards
Energy Storage North America (ESNA) today issued a call for nominations for the 2018 ESNA Innovation Awards, which are presented annually for innovation, excellence and impact in energy storage. Key evaluation criteria include project innovation, impact on transforming the storage ecosystem, opening new markets, tapping into multiple value streams, overcoming operational challenges, and increasing reliability, efficiency and resilience across the power grid. Eligible projects must be sited in North America, as well as installed and fully operational on or before September 1, 2018. Nominations will be accepted in three categories: In-Front-of-the-Meter Storage Behind-the-Meter Storage Mobility and Storage
States Should Play Role in Determining Future of Energy Storage Market, Panel Says
Panelists at a session held here Monday at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) conference agreed that states should have active roles in determining the future of their energy storage markets but had differing opinions on the impacts of a recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) order. In February, FERC issued Order 841, which aimed to remove barriers to energy storage resource participation in the capacity, energy and ancillary services markets. The order directs Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs) to revise their market rules so that they recognize the physical and operational characteristics of energy storage resources.
Energy Storage: A Critical Player in a Cleaner Grid
When it comes to truly transformative energy technologies, energy storage should be on the short list. While it feels like there is never any good news these days, energy storage is shattering records, meeting milestones, and writing its own good-news story. Because of its many benefits, states, utilities, and even big corporations are increasingly interested in investing in energy storage. Lawmakers are also interested in the opportunities energy storage presents. The U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce committee has announced the latest installment in their “Powering America” hearing series: the Role of Energy Storage in the Nation’s Electricity System for Wednesday July 18. Members of Congress will examine the growth of large-scale energy storage in the United States, the unique reliability attributes energy storage provides for the electric grid, and the use and impacts of energy storage within wholesale electricity markets.
Home Energy Storage System Installations Hit Record High in US
US home energy storage systems installations hit a record high in the first quarter of 2018. 36 megawatt-hours of grid-connected home energy storage systems were installed during this period, which was the same amount for the first three quarters of the year. Nearly three quarters of the Q1 installations were in California and Hawaii. “Changing net-metering rules and increasing customer interest in backup and solar self-consumption drove the residential energy storage market’s record quarter,” said Brett Simon, senior analyst at GTM Research. US energy storage market growth was 26% from Q4 2017 to Q1 2018.