NY-BEST Newsletter June 15, 2018

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June 15, 2018

Dear NY-BEST Members and Colleagues,

As many of you know, NYSERDA, in partnership with the New York State Department of Public Service, has been hard at work on the New York State Energy Storage Roadmap. The Roadmap, expected to be released before the end of June, will chart the course to realizing Governor Cuomo’s 1,500 MW storage deployment target by 2025. NY-BEST has been facilitating stakeholder input into the Roadmap recommendations and we look forward to continuing to work with the industry and the State to harness the benefits of storage for New York’s electric grid and building a strong energy storage sector in New York. NY-BEST will send a Policy Alert to members as soon as the Roadmap is released.

Beyond the Roadmap, NY-BEST has been focused on providing technical assistance to companies deploying—or planning to deploy—energy storage projects in the state. If you are planning an energy storage project in New York State, and have questions about compensation, regulatory challenges, siting, or any other related issues please do not hesitate to reach out to the NY-BEST Team at info@ny-best.org for support.

The City University of New York's 12th annual Solar + Storage Summit will take place next week on June 19th at John Jay College. This event will feature speakers from FDNY, DOB, City and State government, and a number of solar and energy storage companies. There will be extensive roundtable discussions focused on various aspects of the energy storage industry and all interested parties are encouraged to attend. One of the important areas of discussion will surround battery system testing and representatives of UL (Underwriters Laboratories) will be participating in the discussions. More information can be found here.

In other news, NY-BEST congratulates Plug Power on their acquisition of another NY-BEST member, American Fuel Cell. The combined talents of these homegrown, New York State, companies position them well to take advantage of growing opportunities in the fuel cell industry.

The NY-BEST Consortium membership continues to grow and I’d like to welcome the newest members of NY-BEST:

Cummins, Inc. (Columbus, Indiana) – is a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from diesel and natural gas engines to hybrid and electric platforms, as well as related technologies, including battery systems, fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. Recently, they have formed an Electrified Power Segment which is working to develop battery and hybrid plug in systems for urban busses. They expect these systems to launch by 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Best Regards,

William Acker Signature

William Acker
Executive Director

Dr. William Acker

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Member Spotlight: voltWALL

voltWALLvoltWALL, based in Sydney, Australia designs, manufactures and supplies energy storage systems and related software. The company was founded in the fall of 2016 by Aldo Grech, who was inspired to start the company based on his hands-on experience converting his 1974 Citroen DS to an electric...

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NY-BEST Member News

Enel Coal Plant Battery Projects Taking Shape
Enel's Spanish subsidiary Endesa's 20 MW battery storage project, which is sited within the Carboneras coal plant in Spain, is due to start commissioning this month, with Enel intending to roll out the new battery storage technology to other coal-fired plants. Carboneras project to start commissioning this month Company's first Italian project at Torrevaldaliga under way Technology will give greater flexibility to thermal plants The experience the company is gaining from this initial project will aid the development, design, procurement and construction phases, as well as operation of subsequent projects, the company said Monday. Enel, which operates 6.3 GW of coal-fired plants in Italy and 5.2 GW in Spain, is already making strides, with a similar project at its 2 GW Torrevaldaliga Nord, Civitavecchia plant in Italy, where it is installing a 10 MW battery unit.

Plug Power Acquires American Fuel Cell for MEA Tech
Plug Power (PLUG) has announced the acquisition of American Fuel Cell (AFC) for an undisclosed amount. American Fuel Cell has developed as a leading supplier of fuel cell and flexible liquid storage equipment for defense and commercial industries. PLUG has made a strategic acquisition that will likely take some time to add to the firm’s growth opportunities as it gears up for increased demand in the electric/fuel cell truck markets. Target Company The Rochester, New York-based company was founded in 2014 to provide customers with individually tailored Membrane Electrode Assemblies [MEA], thus allowing them to generate clean, efficient electricity coupled with high power density, extended range, and market-leading uptime due to rapid refueling.

$100/kWh Tesla Battery Cells This Year, $100/kWh Tesla Battery Packs in 2020
One of the more interesting revelations to come out of the 2018 Tesla Shareholder Meeting was updated information about Tesla’s current battery costs and projected reductions over the next 2 years. Battery costs, coming through cutting-edge cell chemistry as well as more efficient production processes, are a key differentiator in the race to enable EVs that achieve overall price competitiveness with combustion engine vehicles — at the cash register, not just over the ownership lifetimes of the vehicles. Batteries are equivalent in importance to the historical importance of having efficient and cost-competitive combustion engine technology. It is well known that Tesla has the highest production volume and lowest cost of lithium-ion batteries in the world, but more detailed figures on these costs only emerge occasionally. This past week included some such figures.

Cuomo's Energy Storage Target Goals Now Include Li-ion Supercell Technology Demonstration Project
New York State has awarded Cadenza Innovation funding for a demonstration project featuring Li-ion supercell technology, a standalone system that includes a rack-mounted 200kWh, 50kW battery storage unit. The project is part of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) drive to pursue nation-leading clean energy goals, including Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s energy storage target of 1500 megawatts in New York State by 2025. As the pioneering provider of energy storage solutions for license to lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery manufacturers, Cadenza Innovation offers unique cell design that combines the best properties from wound jelly rolls and large prismatic cells. That allows for high energy density at low cost for EV, PHEV, and grid markets.

5 Reasons Car Companies Are Betting Big on Energy Storage
An increasing number of major car manufacturers are developing solutions in a space that at first glance may seem like a strange choice: energy storage. BMW recently signed a contract that adds 500 of its i3 battery packs to the UK national energy grid. Audi is running a pilot project. Renault is turning some of its Zoe batteries into a home energy storage solution, and in Japan, both Toyota and Nissan have announced that they will offer battery energy storage. A closer look reveals many good reasons for car companies to pursue energy storage. Here are five of the biggest.

More Four-Hour Battery Projects Approved in SDG&E's California Territory
California investor-owned utility (IOU) San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has contracted companies including RES, AMS and Enel Green Power to execute five energy storage projects totalling 85MW / 334MWh in its service area. One of the state’s three IOUs, SDG&E is bound by AB2514, California’s mandate for the utilities to deploy 1.35GW of energy storage by 2020. SDG&E said it is aiming to deploy 330MW itself by 2030, while utilities in California are now expected to consider energy storage as a competing resource for providing capacity to the grid. This has left them pitted directly against natural gas peaker plants, in many instances. AB2514 and other policies have put California's utilities in a leading position for energy storage deployment, as found by trade group SEPA recently.

Tesla's Energy Storage Business is Surging
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk's update on the electric-car maker's business on Tuesday afternoon at the company's annual shareholder meeting obviously impressed investors. The stock surged higher on Wednesday, finishing the trading day up nearly 10%. For the most part, headlines after the meeting seemed focused on Musk confirming that the automaker is on track with its production and profitability plans. Of course, there's good reason to believe the news that Tesla is on track to achieve a production rate for its Model 3 of 5,000 units per week by the end of June and GAAP profitability in both Q3 and Q4. Production delays have previously plagued the Model 3 as Tesla attempts to transform into a mass-market auto company, which has weighed on profitability. But another narrative discussed during the shareholder meeting is worth examining: Tesla's surging energy storage business.

Imperium3 Consortium Signs Agreement to Develop a New Battery Plant in Queensland
Magnis Resources has announced the signing of an agreement to fast-track the Townsville lithium-ion battery plant project in Queensland, Australia, as part of the Imperium3 consortium. Siemens, Celgard, Probuild Norman Young & Disney, Ausenco and WT Partnership have now joined the consortium and Queensland State Government has committed $3.1 million in funding towards the feasibility study, which has already commenced and will be completed by the project partners before the end of the year. The agreement was signed by representatives of Imperium3 and Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill, witnessed by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, at a signing ceremony at the BIO Conference in Boston, USA on 3rd June. Senior representatives of Siemens and Celgard were also present. Siemens intends to play a major role in digitalisation and automation of the next generation of lithium-ion battery plants by using its Siemens digital enterprise portfolio.

A New Startup is Showing How to Make Batteries Cheaper - and Safer
Christina Lampe-Önnerud has been called the “Queen of Batteries.” She’s a Swedish chemist and entrepreneur who built one battery company (called Boston Power), sold it, and then founded another, Cadenza Innovation. She is now focused on making batteries cheaper and safer. The core of Cadenza’s technology is not the battery itself, but all the peripherals that make a battery usable in practical applications. These peripherals are a major part of any battery that you might find in, say, a car, or on a power grid. For example, the current price of commercial battery packs used in electric cars range between $200/kWh and $400/kWh. But only about 75% of that cost is for the battery cells themselves, says Ravi Manghani of Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. The remainder is the cost of putting those small battery cells together in modules and then putting many modules in battery packs.

This Factory Was Ready to Expand. Then Came the Trump Trade Wars.
Andy Marsh’s New York factory is trapped in the Trump trade wars. As Mr. Trump threatens tariffs on America’s economic allies and its adversaries, many of the domestic businesses that the president says his policies are meant to protect are finding themselves victims of his aggressive approach. Prices are rising for imported goods, other nations are erecting retaliatory trade barriers, and companies like Plug Power, the manufacturing business that Mr. Marsh runs outside Albany, are facing crippling uncertainty from Mr. Trump’s fickle approach.

News From Beyond New York

German Utilities Putting Batteries on Both Sides of the Meter
In the past week, developer RES Group has just got a front-of-meter battery project underway for a utility company in northern Germany, while storage system provider Tesvolt has just signed a deal with another utility in the European country to distribute energy storage behind-the-meter for commercial customers. The award of RES Deutschland’s 10MW project was announced following a competitive solicitation process from energy supplier Versorgungsbetriebe Bordesholm (VBB) in January. The project in the Schleswig-Holstein municipality of Bordesholm is funded by the EU and supported by the local state. One of the main aims of the system’s deployment is to provide backup to the local grid in the event of power outages. At the time of the project’s award, RES Group said it will be “demanding” from a technical perspective to provide a closed network infrastructure, as well as the need to add features including synchronous coupling switches and a fibre-optic comms network. The system also joins Germany’s primary control power market. Traditionally and most commonly provided by gas turbines, the grid’s frequency is stabilised by matching generation and consumption on a network within seconds of a signal being received from the grid.

Bill Gates-Led Breakthrough Energy Ventures Has Its Sights on 2 Energy Storage Startups
Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), the fund launched by the likes of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, and George Soros in 2016, announced at the end of last year that one of its focus areas would be energy storage. And now the fund is moving on two startups for investment in just that: Form Energy and Quidnet Energy. The startups, revealed by Quartz, were confirmed by a BEV spokesperson who said the company is also actively looking for other companies in which to invest. This investment is noteworthy, as energy storage has been a costly, and largely ineffective venture thus far. However, BEV has set out to be both patient and risk tolerant, willing to invest in companies “even if they may not provide returns on investment for up to 20 years.”

Cobalt Battery Boom Wavers as Prices Slide in Top User China
Cobalt is facing its first major test since an impending demand boom from electric vehicles triggered a two-year surge, with prices retreating in top consumer China amid signs there’s still enough material to go around. The price for cobalt sulfate -- the chemical form used in car batteries and consumer electronics -- fell last week to its lowest since January, and is down more than 20 percent from an April peak, according to researcher Asian Metal Inc. Meanwhile, benchmark cobalt metal is also softening after reaching the highest level in a decade earlier this year, Metal Bulletin data show.

MAN Diesel & Turbo and ABB Offer Energy-Storage System
MAN Diesel & Turbo Schweiz AG has signed a cooperation agreement with ABB Switzerland for the development, production and commercialisation of a three-way energy-storage system. The new Electro-Thermal Energy Storage system (ETES) stores large-scale electricity, heat and cold for distribution to consumers. ETES uses surplus renewable-electricity to generate heat and cold for storage in insulated reservoirs during a so-called ‘charging cycle’. The heat and cold can be converted back into electrical energy on demand. Moreover, it is possible to distribute the stored cold and heat to different types of consumers.

Northvolt Gets OK for Li-Ion Battery Factory
Battery cell maker Northvolt has received the environmental permit for what will be Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery cell factory, with the initial phase of construction to begin on Friday June 8. The permit was issued for the first section of the factory, in Skellefteå in the north of Sweden, which will be completed in 2020 and produce eight gigawatt cell capacity per year. The full factory will be ready in 2023 and produce at least 32 GWh annually when it reaches full capacity. “Today marks another major milestone for Northvolt and the battery value chain that is starting to take shape in Europe. We will start construction in Skellefteå tomorrow, which means that we are well-positioned to keep our timeline,” Northvolt chief executive officer and co-founder Peter Carlsson said.

Honda Partners on General Motors' Next Gen Battery Development
General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and Honda (NYSE: HMC) announced an agreement for new advanced chemistry battery components, including the cell and module, to accelerate both companies’ plans for all-electric vehicles. The next-generation battery will deliver higher energy density, smaller packaging and faster charging capabilities for both companies’ future products, mainly for the North American market. Under the agreement, the companies will collaborate based on GM’s next generation battery system with the intent for Honda to source the battery modules from GM. The collaboration will support each company’s respective and distinct vehicles. The combined scale and global manufacturing efficiencies will ultimately provide greater value to customers.

Startup Unveils Ammonia-Based Fuel Cell to Power Off-Grid Communities
More than one billion people around the world lack access to an electric grid. For cooking, lighting, and powering their mobile phones, many in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa rely on diesel generators and kerosene lamps, which are costly, have health and safety risks and pollute the air. In recent years, alternative energy companies have looked at these off-grid communities as a potential market. Dozens of companies, for example, that sell do-it-yourself solar power kits for installation on rooftops of homes have gained traction in countries like India, Nigeria and Kenya. A different type of solution—based on fuel cell technology—is now being proposed by Gencell Ltd., a seven-year-old startup based in Israel. Fuel cells produce electricity emission-free from a chemical reaction involving hydrogen fuel and oxygen. Proponents of the technology say it could power the electric cars of the future, and Toyota has invested heavily in that direction.

PJM Region and California Dominate US Storage Via Different Paths
While much of the U.S. activity surrounding energy storage has been focused on California and the PJM region, the locus of activity is expected to expand as states like New York and Massachusetts implement ambitious storage goals. A new report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) that gives a snapshot of the energy storage landscape shows how differing policy drivers have led to the proliferation of large capacity and short duration storage projects in the PJM region while California leads in terms of MWh of capacity. The report also notes that California’s policy mandates mean that energy storage deployments in the state tend to serve a wider array of applications than those in PJM. The output of many California storage projects is procured by regulated utilities to serve multiple applications without necessarily being directly compensated for each application through market mechanisms.

Colorado Integrates Storage into Utility Planning Process
Less than three months after signing a law aimed at growing the residential storage market, Hickenlooper has now done the same for utility-owned systems, reflecting growing interest in the resource on both sides of the meter. The measure drew praise from storage stakeholders, particularly because it will make the technology a part of utilities' planning processes Colorado's legislature "has made it clear that storage must be considered as an option for cost-effective electric service," the Energy Storage Association (ESA) said in a statement. Energy storage is a "central catalyst to modernize and create a more reliable, resilient, efficient and affordable grid," ESA said. The law also directs the PUC to "create conditions" where the procurement of energy storage would help address peak demand issues, improve reliability and stave off other investments. It requires the commission to create rules that ensure "any storage system project added to the electric grid will not compromise the security, safety, or reliability of the electric grid or any part of the grid."

Vattenfall's Formula for Low-Cost Energy Storage Deployment
Swedish energy giant Vattenfall has found a way to further cut the cost of grid-scale energy storage: share the infrastructure with a wind farm. The company has announced the commissioning of what it said was “the largest co-located battery installed in the United Kingdom” — a 22-megawatt plant, which shares electrical plans with the Pen y CyMoedd wind farm in Wales. Developers of many current and upcoming wind projects are studying energy storage as a way of earning extra revenue from arbitrage, by storing power until it can be sold for a higher price. But in Vattenfall’s case, the wind and battery plants will operate independently. The 76-turbine wind farm, which is Vattenfall’s largest onshore project and also the biggest in England and Wales, delivers up to 228 megawatts of power direct to the U.K. grid.

Energy Storage Could be Residential Solar's Next Growth Product
Residential solar installers are quietly starting to expand their offerings to include energy storage, which could be a much-needed revenue boost for the industry. Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) Powerwall is the best-known energy storage device, but Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN), SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), and Vivint Solar (NYSE:VSLR) are entering the market as well, and they're seeing some signs of success early in 2018. What's great about energy storage for solar installers is that it's incremental revenue that leverages existing marketing and sales expenses. And it could help make solar more attractive to customers in states that have made it more difficult to justify solar economically.

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