NY-BEST Newsletter May 15, 2018

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May 15, 2018

Dear NY-BEST Members and Colleagues -

As many of you know, NYSERDA, in partnership with the New York Public Service Commission (PSC), is planning to release the New York Energy Storage Roadmap in the coming weeks. NY-BEST has been working hard to make sure the roadmap accurately reflects the needs of the energy storage industry and is hopeful that this effort will present major opportunities for the State’s energy storage industry. If you have any questions about the NYSERDA roadmap, please feel free to contact us at info@ny-best.org.

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 for support.

In other news, NYSERDA recently issued its second Request for Proposals under the State’s Renewable Energy Standard, part of the Clean Energy Standard that mandates 50 percent renewable electricity by 2030. Under the RFP, NYSERDA is seeking to award up to 20 projects to generate 1.5 million megawatt hours of electricity. The new RFP encourages projects that cost-effectively pair renewables with energy storage. Applicants for this RFP are permitted, and encouraged, to submit two applications, one with and one without energy storage. This allows companies to maximize their chances to be selected and allows the state to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of projects that include energy storage.

Call for Speaker Abstracts

The New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology (NY-BEST) Consortium, in partnership with the Southern Tier Incubator, is hosting its Annual Fall Technology Conference “Clean Energy and Energy Storage Technologies: Growing a Clean Energy Economy” on September 27th, 2018 8 am – 6:30 pm at the Doubletree Hotel, Binghamton, New York.

This one-day conference will showcase the very best speakers, panels and posters from the rapidly expanding clean energy field. Topics will include innovations in technology development, commercialization and market applications and will cover all varieties of clean energy, energy storage, and other enabling technologies.

We invite everyone to submit your ideas for interesting and engaging presentations.

Submission Deadline: Monday, June 11, 2018

Email us your ideas for discussions, panels, and posters. Email your 1-2 page speaker abstract to Ashley Weaver at weaver@ny-best.org

Best Regards,

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William Acker
Executive Director

Dr. William Acker

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Member Spotlight: Amber Kinetics

Amber KineticsAmber Kinetics (www.amberkinetics.com), based in Union City, California, has developed the world’s first four-hour kinetic energy storage system (KESS) powered by groundbreaking flywheel technology for grid and micro-grid applications. Founded in 2013, the Company spent its first few years...

Latest News

The Latest News From The Battery And Energy Storage Industry

NY-BEST Member News

Johnson Controls Enters Battery Agreements with Navistar, MAN
Johnson Controls’ power solutions unit announced it has been awarded contracts to supply absorbent glass mat and flooded batteries to two heavy-duty commercial truck and bus industry leaders — Navistar Inc. and MAN Truck & Bus Co., a unit of Volkswagen AG — in an effort to meet increasing electrical demands on fleets around the globe. It will supply absorbent glass mat and flooded batteries under the Fleetrite brand to Navistar’s three North American original equipment production plants and to the aftermarket through Navistar’s 700 truck and bus dealerships, according to the Milwaukee-based supplier.

Plug Power Says New Technology On Par with Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car
Plug Power is focused on driving down costs of its fuel cell technology, to increase revenues and create more potential to expand into new markets. The Latham, New York, fuel cell manufacturer said that it is focusing on improving its stack technology to be two times as powerful and 25 percent cheaper to make. Improving this technology will mean new opportunities in more markets, including ground support equipment, delivery vans, buses and trucks, as well as material handling. It will be comparable to the technology in Toyota's Mirai, one of the first commercially sold hydrogen powered cars.

MRI Simulation Technique Determines the Health Status of Batteries
One group of chemicals has developed an MRI-based technique that can quickly diagnose the remaining battery life – and even detect any internal defects – without opening the batteries. “The use of alternative energy for electric vehicles will further increase demand for better and safer batteries,” says Alexej Jerschow, a professor at the Department of Chemistry at New York University, who led the research team. “However, there is now a very limited set of tools available to diagnose the health of a battery without being destroyed – and without the need for invasive technique, and therefore offers us a faster and more expansive method for making these estimates”. This study was published in the journal Nature Communications, and NYU’s Andrew Ilott, Mohammad Mohammadi, NYU’s PhD candidate, also participated in the study. Christopher Schauerman and Matthew Ganter, researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Tesla is Leading Electric Car Batteries Away From Cobalt Mining Industry
Tesla’s improving battery technology could ultimately be a blow to the cobalt mining industry, according to advisory firm Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. According to BMI, Tesla’s consistent improvement in its battery tech has resulted in a steady decline in the company’s usage of cobalt for its electric cars. Since the days of the original Tesla Roadster and the first-generation Tesla Model S, the electric car maker has managed to reduce its cobalt consumption by an average of 59% per vehicle. The Tesla Model S, for example, consumed 11 kg of cobalt per car, while the company’s newest offering, the Model 3, only consumes 4.5 kg of cobalt per vehicle.

Tesla Will Reveal the Locations for Two New Factories in 2018
Despite some unorthodox behavior from Elon Musk during the last quarterly earnings call, good news came for both investors and fans of Tesla when the CEO made a few key remarks about the company's future. Since the automaker's sole manufacturing plant is "jammed to the gills," according to Musk, while chugging away at Model 3 production, Tesla will be announcing locations for two new Tesla factories as early as this summer.

Tesla Teases a Potential Giant New Record-Breaking 1 GWh Energy Storage Project to be Announced Soon
Tesla has recently deployed several very large energy storage projects, but a new one could apparently dwarf them all. There was an important detail that came out of Tesla’s Q1 conference call but was mostly overlooked: Elon Musk teased a potential giant 1 GWh energy storage project, which would make it the biggest in the world by a wide margin, to be announced soon. We published plenty of articles about the things that came out of the conference call, but I forgot about that particular comment until Galileo Russel reminded me of it during our podcast this week. When Russel asked Musk about the impact of bringing online the giant 129 MWh Powerpack project in South Australia, the CEO answered:

GE Appoints Leader of Energy Storage
GE Power has tapped former AES and RES Americas executive Robert Morgan to lead its new energy storage unit. One of Morgan’s principal roles as GE’s CEO of energy storage will be to grow and expand the recently launched Reservoir – a comprehensive energy storage platform that delivers customized storage solutions to help customers manage the changing power landscape, according to GE Power. “Energy storage is a key opportunity for our customers as they look for solutions with the best cost, lowest-carbon footprint, and greater reliability and resiliency,” says Russell Stokes, president and CEO of GE Power. “Rob brings the right skillset to lead GE Power’s energy storage unit as the industry shifts toward a more decentralized, decarbonized and digitized electricity infrastructure.”

Batteries Are Changing Sunrun's Approach to Solar
The solar industry is talking about battery storage almost as much as solar these days. On this week's Interchange, we're addressing the shift toward storage in residential solar. Sunrun, a top installer, is at the forefront of the trend. In California, the company is adding storage to 20 percent of rooftop PV systems — and it believes other states will soon catch up. Sunrun now thinks of itself as a grid services provider. We'll talk with Sunrun Chief Policy Officer Anne Hoskins about how this broadened focus influences the way it interacts with utilities, regulators and customers.

New York State Invests $15m in Fuel Cell Systems for Critical Facilities
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is making $15 million available for installing and operating fuel cell systems statewide. These new systems will go toward supporting critical infrastructure facilities including hospitals, police and fire stations as well as supermarkets, according to NYSERDA. “The siting of fuel cell systems at buildings where the power will be consumed avoids the traditional transmission and distribution system losses of electricity and its associated greenhouse gas emissions,” the public benefit corporation says. “As a result, fuel cells improve the efficiency of the electricity system.” The funds, available through December 31, 2019, will be limited to $1 million per project and each fuel cell module must exceed 25 kilowatts. Systems that work independent of the grid and provide backup power during outages will also receive NYSERDA incentives. Funding comes from the state’s Clean Energy Fund, which NYSERDA administrates.

Agility, Romeo Team Up to Provide Modular Battery Packs for Commercial Fleets
Agility Fuel Solutions, a provider of clean fuel solutions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, and Romeo Power Technology, an energy storage technology company founded by engineers and designers from SpaceX, Tesla, Amazon and Samsung, have formed a new partnership dedicated to high-performance, modular battery packs for commercial vehicles. Agility and Romeo have entered into an exclusive global agreement whereby Romeo will supply custom-designed battery modules to Agility for Class 4-8 vehicles. Agility will use its experience in onboard energy storage to integrate those modules into battery packs for a wide range of battery capacities and physical configurations for individual vehicles and applications in the global truck and bus markets.

Siemens Presents Energy Storage System for Offshore Use
German engineering group Siemens AG (ETR:SIE) on Tuesday introduced an energy storage solution for offshore oil and gas assets that is also applicable to offshore wind farms. The BlueVault lithium-ion battery-based solution is suited for both all-electric and hybrid energy-storage applications, the company says. It has already obtained several contracts for the new energy storage system and anticipates to deliver the first unit this summer. Siemens also mentioned it intends to open a fully robotised and digitalised facility in Norway to develop and manufacture energy storage technologies for both marine and offshore oil and gas applications.

Mercedes-Bens Shuts Down Residential Energy Storage Plans
Mercedes-Benz is shutting down its residential energy storage program saying their battery was too expensive for the market. The company hoped to compete with Tesla in the US residential solar market by delivering solar + energy storage solutions to homeowners. Last year, Mercedes partnered with leading residential solar installer Vivint to announce Mercedez Benz Energy. The company took a similar approach to the market like Tesla with this partnership deal, and also launched a robust marketing campaign with some similarities to Tesla’s. Mercedes explained a major reason why their product was too expensive for the residential energy storage market is that the batteries are “overengineered to be a vehicle battery pack and not a stationary home battery pack.” Adding that the batteries “proved too expensive to compete for the sedentary role.”

FedEx Takes Delivery of First Hydrogen Vehicle
Plug Power and American technology company Workhorse Group have delivered FedEx its first hydrogen (H2) fuel cell electric delivery van for on-road use. The class five zero emission EGEN delivery van is built by Workhorse Group, who is focussing on providing sustainable and cost-effective electric mobility solutions to the commercial electric transportation sector, and charged by a Plug Power ProGen H2 engine. The ProGen-powered electric delivery van is one of the first of its kind to operate in a standard commercial environment and is deployed on a standard delivery route for FedEx. The Workhorse EGEN class five, zero emission delivery trucks are designed to meet the needs and expectations of daily delivery duty cycles, as well as save delivery fleet buyers fuel and operational costs, dramatically reducing total cost of ownership over the lifetime of the vehicle.

DOE Awarding $19M to 12 Projects for Advanced Battery and Electrification Research to Enable Extreme Fast Charging
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $19 million in funding to 12 cost-shared research projects focused on batteries and vehicle electrification technologies to enable extreme fast charging. (DE-FOA-0001808, earlier post.) Selected research projects are focused on developing electric vehicle systems that can recharge rapidly at high power levels, decreasing typical charge times to 15 minutes or less using a connector or wireless fast charging system. The projects will help advance DOE’s research on batteries and electrification aimed at reducing battery pack cost to less than $100 per kilowatt-hour, increasing range to more than 300 miles, and charging in under 15 minutes or less by 2028. Recharging current EV batteries takes much longer than refueling the average liquid-fueled internal combustion vehicle. Slower charge rates are required to allow the lithium-ions to penetrate to the deepest portions of the active material on the electrode.

News From Beyond New York

Why We Don't Need to Wait For Long Duration Energy Storage
Is There Something Going On Between Nuclear Energy And Energy Storage? CleanTechnica called upon Mike to provide some additional insights into the Energy Department’s “DAYS” program, which is aimed at developing next-generation energy storage that can provide electricity in the 10-to-100 hour range. A main goal of the program is to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels and into wind and solar, while ensuring grid reliability and stability. In an exclusive email to CleanTechnica, Mike indicates that the agency’s $30 million in funding is needed because the need for long-duration energy storage hasn’t jogged private investment dollars into action yet (following are Mike’s remarks in full, unedited except breaks added for readability and explication): The ARPA-E initiative for long-duration energy storage (DAYS) is a welcome contribution to the RD&D stimulation of new solutions for our economy. The economic signals for private sector investment in long-duration stationary storage are weak, because the “customer” in the utility sector has separated the competitive power plant market, which has a short time horizon, from the responsibilities for reliability and over-all integration of technology types.

SolarEdge Moves Beyond Solar With Energy Storage Acquisition, Virtual Power Plant Launch
SolarEdge reported record revenues and profitability for the first quarter of 2018 on Wednesday — along with plans to move into markets beyond solar power optimization. On the energy storage front, SolarEdge announced an $11.5 million acquisition of Gamatronic Electronic Industries Ltd., an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems provider for commercial and industrial businesses around the world. CEO Guy Sella noted that the acquisition is the second major step for the company outside the solar arena, the first being last year’s launch of inverter-embedded EV charging systems. Another came last week, with SolarEdge’s launch of a cloud-based virtual power plant management system, one that could turn its fleet of solar optimizers and inverters into nodes of a distributed energy resource control platform.

Energy Storage Gains Washington's Support
When Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced US$30 million in funding for energy storage projects at the beginning of this month, he drew praise from renewable energy-focused media as the latest indication that energy storage is so important and attractive that even fossil fuel-friendly Washington is throwing its weight behind it. Indeed, the US$30 million that will be used for research into energy storage installations that can provide reliable electricity for periods of 10 to 100 hours is good news for renewables: solar and wind are the first thing that springs to mind when you hear energy storage. It is energy storage that can make them a mainstream method of generating electricity, replacing fossil fuel power plants.

As Energy Storage Costs Decline, Market Changes Needed to Increase Deployment
The benefits energy storage can provide in terms of power grid support and flexibility are becoming clear, but creating the right market mechanisms and rate designs will be critical to scaling up energy storage deployment, federal and state officials said. "As we think about storage at the ISO, really what we're thinking about is how do we make sure that storage can participate as fully as possible as an asset, as a resource," Michael DeSocio, senior manager of market design at the New York Independent System Operator said Tuesday at the Independent Power Producers of New York Spring Conference in Albany. "We see storage as vital for the grid of the future and if you think about the stresses and strains the future grid will have, it will be an asset I think any grid operator would love to have," he said.

Hawaii Electric Anounces 120 MW of Grid-Balancing, Renewables Integrating Lithium Batteries
Hawaii’s position as one of the leading US states for energy storage deployment shows no sign of weakening as Hawaiian Electric Co last week announced 120MW of new battery storage across two projects in Oahu. One will be a 20MW / 80MWh system capable of storing energy for four hours, the other a 100MW / 100MWh, one-hour system. Hawaiian Electric, the biggest electricity supplier on the islands, is commissioning the projects in order to reduce fossil fuel usage, increase the proportion of renewable energy in the local grid and increase grid reliability. Both, if plans put forward by HECO are approved by the regulator, the state’s Public Utilities Commission, will use lithium-ion battery technology. HECO would own and operate both systems.

Why The Energy Storage Problem Won't Be a Problem for Long
Why Exactly Is The Trump Administration Interested In Bulk Energy Storage? By the way, 10 hours is just for starters. The new round of funding aims at systems that can shoot electricity into the grid for up to 100 hours, which puts nuclear power on even shakier ground than it is now (that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms). The funding comes through the Energy Department’s ARPA-E (Advanced Projects Research Agency – Energy) office, which kickstarts high risk, high reward R&D. That means we taxpayers get the credit for pushing new clean tech into the market when private sector dollars lack the muscle. Group hug! For those of you new to the ARPA-E topic, Congress breathed the office into life in 2007 during the last years of the Bush Administration, but it wasn’t funded until 2009 under the Obama Administration.

Tesla Powerwalls and Other Batteries Can Now Receive Up to an $1,800 Discount in Arizona after Tesla Sued an Electric Utility
Through its acquisition of SolarCity, Tesla took over a longstanding lawsuit against Salt River Project (SRP), an electric utility in Arizona, over the company’s practice of imposing “unfair” fees on potential solar power purchasers, which has virtually killed the local solar market. They agreed on a settlement earlier this year and it includes a SRP financing program to offer significant discounts on home battery packs, like Tesla Powerwall, to its customers. The program is now in place, but homeowners will have to move quickly.

Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Battery Makers and Japan Gov't to Jointly Develop Solid-State Battery Tech
Top automakers Toyota, Nissan and Honda have teamed up with the Japanese government and battery makers in a programme to develop solid-state batteries for electric vehicles of the future. The programme is aimed at returning Japan to the forefront of automotive battery tech, as other countries have eroded its once dominant position in the field. Starting this month, the programme marries the Consortium for Lithium Ion Battery Technology and Evaluation Center (Libtec) – a research body whose members include Asahi Kasei, Toray Industries and Kuraray – with the automotive players and battery makers Panasonic and GS Yuasa. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will provide 1.6 billion yen in funding to Libtec, Nikkei Asian Review reports. Solid-state batteries use a solid form of the liquid electrolytes found in lithium-ion batteries, making them easier to manufacture and safer, as there’s no chance of leakage. Compared to today’s Li-ion batteries, the next-gen batteries also have fewer components, cost less, and provide higher energy.

Tesla Lockout, Hyundai Battery Shortage, TDI Update, Elio Lives, Credit Disagreement: Today's Car News
Volkswagen is returning recalled TDIs for sale at its dealerships, and we drive one that has had a software update to address emissions violations. Is it as good as we remember? Tesla makes good on a promise to reduce the number of its contractors by locking them out of facilities this morning. That was fast! Most big conservative donors oppose spending tax money to provide incentives for people to buy electric cars. A recent political conference, however, showed that stance may be changing. A battery shortage is limiting supplies of 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric cars, and may spill over into the company's upcoming Kona electric. And tiny Elio motors, which is planning to make a three-wheeled, car that gets 80 mpg for $8,000, plans to stay afloat with an investment from Overstock.com—and by selling virtual stock tokens. All this and more on Green Car Reports.

VW Doubles its Electric Vehicle Battery Contracts to $48 billion
Volkswagen is not starting its electric vehicle push in a big way until next year, but it is already securing its battery supplies in order to be able to build those new EVs in volume. After announcing that it already awarded $25 billion in battery cell contracts, the German automaker announced this week that it has now doubled the amount to about $48 billion. They made the announcement at their Annual General Meeting 2018 for shareholders yesterday. It’s building on the production plan called “Roadmap E” announced last year.

California University Gets Country's First Electric Bus Fleet
BYD is a Chinese electric car company that was founded to "Build Your Dreams." Now it claims to be the biggest electric vehicle company in the world—and it's building buses. We're not sure who dreams about buses, but the company is now building the first battery-powered, all-electric bus fleet at the University of California, Irvine. Students at the university voted in a referendum in 2013 to fund the conversion to electric buses with a new $40-per-quarter fee, and the fees fully fund the service.

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