Energy Storage

Wärtsilä has been contracted to supply a 25 MW / 48 MWh energy storage system to GIGA Storage to help stabilise the electric grid. Dubbed ‘GIGA Buffalo battery’ – the unit will be the first large-scale energy storage project based on lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry in Europe and is due operational in October 2022.

Sembcorp Energy UK plans to build Europe’s largest battery – a 360 MW energy storage system – at Wilton International on Teesside. The project will help the UK reach its Net Zero emission targets while increasing the resilience and response rate of the electricity network in the face of a growing renewables build-out.

Seoul-based LG Energy Solution (LGES) and Siemens have agreed to work together to digitalise the battery production process. CO2-neutral mobility hinges on high-end batteries, and LGES has won a contract to produce such batteries for the US carmaker General Motors (GM) in Tennessee from 2023.

Growth rates of 5.9% through 2030 could help push the global market for lithium-ion phosphate batteries beyond US$9.9 billion by 2030, up from US$5.6 billion in 2020. Tesla’s Models 3 and Y, for instance, use such batteries but the high cost of lithium-iron phosphate remains “a restraining factor,” – as is the “high presence of alternatives [technologies]," ResearchandMarkets cautioned.

Wärtsilä has been contracted to supply an 8 MW/32MWh energy storage to Colbun who will co-locate the system with its 230 MW Diego de Almargo solar PV facility in Chile’s Atacama region – well-known for its solar radiation. The energy storage unit will be provided on an engineering and equipment delivery (EEQ) basis, due operational in Q4-2022.

London-based sustainable energy specialist Gresham House Energy Storage Fund (GRID) has secured a £380 million bespoke funding package from NatWest to support its UK energy storage pipeline. The funds will help ensure seven newly announced BESS projects can be completed in 2022.

With over 124 GW of coal, gas and nuclear capacity to be displaced in Europe by 2030, investment in new solar combined with energy storage is set to surge. The rising diversification of asset ownership in distributed energy storage could unlock a 40-GWh market, with some analysts anticipating 12x market growth in this decade. 

Boston-based SES, formerly known as SolidEnergy Systems, has introduced Apollo – a 107 Amp-hours (Ah) lithium-metal battery, the largest commercially-ready battery in the world and a breakthrough for the automotive industry. The Li-Metal batteries will be manufactured at Shanghai Giga, a 300,000 square-foot factory due to be built by 2023.

Bahamas Power and Light Company (BPL) has turned to Wärtsilä to deliver and install an 25 MW / 27 MWh energy storage in combination with a 132 MW power plant to enhance grid stability. The fast-ramp power unit will be operating on seven 50DF dual-fuel engines, supplied to BPL earlier.

Wärtsilä has been contracted to supply an energy storage system to Zenith Energy, an Independent Power Producer (IPP) in Australia. Zenith sells most of its electricity to large mining companies, so the 9.2 MW / 8.7MWh energy storage will address cyclical load demand in an underground mine, operating in parallel with an engine-driven power plant.

Researchers have measured the effect of microbes eating away some of the hydrogen stored in subsurface porous rocks. Though the majority of sites – 37 out of the 42 examined – are at risk of microbial effects, the actual hydrogen consumption is likely to be “negligible to small.”

Finish technology group Wärtsilä will supply a 250 MW / 250 MWh battery energy storage system to AGL Energy for installation at the 1,280 MW Torrens Island Power Station in South Australia by early 2023. AGL plans up to 1 GW of grid-scale energy storage across Australia, mostly to back up renewables.

Investment in solid state batteries is surging with technologies close to mass production and IDTechEx forecasts the overall market may well grow to over $8 billion by 2031. Replacing liquid electrolytes with solid-state counterparts pushes the energy density beyond 1,000 Watt-hours per litre (Wh/L), while enhancing operational safety and durability.

Britain’s latest ‘Innovation Strategy’ incentivises power generators and distributor to invest into analysing consumers’ demand patterns. If billions of meter level interval data produced daily by UK smart meters remains untapped, it will be hard to integrate electric vehicles, offshore wind and energy storage, Innowatts CTO David Boundy warned.

Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, has contracted Wärtsilä to supply 100MW / 200MWh of energy storage systems on the outskirts of Birmingham to support the city’s network of electric vehicle chargers. Construction at the Sandwell site is due to start in the fourth quarter of this year, and at Coventry in the first quarter of 2022.

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News in Brief

Decarbonising UK homes

Jan 19 – Just 9 million hot water cylinders are currently installed in British homes, leaving a gap of 18 million homes whose heating would need to be decarbonised for the UK to meet Net Zero. According to the trade body HWA, the political focus of decarbonising heating has been solely on the heat source; such as boilers and heat pumps – while little to no focus has been on hot water cylinder. This gap in in government policy, which could result in unnecessary costs to consumers.

Cresta to fund Lapis Energy’s CCS projects

Jan 18 – Texas-based Cresta Fund Management has agreed to finance Lapis Energy’s CCS and clean hydrogen projects. The two partners are now looking to identify, design and develop projects for the permanent sequestration of CO2, targeting customers within the heavy industry and petrochemical companies.

GE to repower Long Lake plant

Jan 17 – GE will modernize four generors at the Long Lake hydropower plant in northwest US, operated by Avista Utilities. Once refurbished, the plant will have an installed capacity of more than 100 MW. The first modernized Long Lake unit is scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2024 and the last one in 2029

mtu to power Romania’s largest data center

Jan 14 – mtu Series 4000 gas generators will provide electricity heat and cooling for Romania’s largest data center. ClusterPower is building a 273,000-squaremetre technology campus near Craiova by 2025, where it will host five data centers with a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.1

Green hydrogen from Quebec

Jan 13 – Charbone has agreed to provide the US propane distributer Superior with green hydrogen from its Sorel-Tracy facility in Quebec, Canada, starting from the third quarter of 2022. The hydrogen will be delivered directly from Charbone’s H2 plant to Superior’s customers which include mining, power generation, transportation and industrial energy users. 

Cresta to fund Lapis Energy’s CCS projects

Jan 12 – Texas-based Cresta Fund Management has agreed to finance Lapis Energy’s CCS and clean hydrogen projects. The two partners are now looking to identify, design and develop project for the permanent sequestration of CO2, targeting customers within the heavy industry and petrochemical companies.

US rivals Australia as world’s largest LNG exporter

Jan 11 – Analysts at the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) are confident that the growth in US LNG exports could see America’s liquefaction and send-out capacity exceed that of Australia and Qatar – the world’s two largest LNG exporters. Looking ahead, the EIA expects US exports of the super-chilled gas will rise 17% from 2021 levels to average 11.1 Bcf/d from December through March.

Africa’s first FLNG plant arrives in Mozambique

Jan 10 – Coral Sul FLNG, Africa’s first-ever floating LNG facility has arrived in Mozambican waters. The plant is critical to develop the US$7 billion Coral South project, led by the Italian oil and gas company Eni. Some of the produced gas will be used for power generation in Mozambique, though most will be liquefied and sold to global markets.

GE snaps up Opus One Solutions

Dec 23 – GE Digital has agreed to acquire Opus One Solutions Energy Corp, a Californian software company that helps utilities integrate renewables and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) at scale across the electric grid. The transaction is expected to close within 30 days, GE stated without disclosing what price was paid for the takeover.

Qatar invests in Rolls-Royce’s nuclear power business

Dec 22 – Qatar Investment Authority, the state’s sovereign wealth fund, has agreed to invest £85 million in Rolls-Royce SMR, the company’s new technology for small-scale, low carbon nuclear power. UK business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng called the investment a “clear vote of confidence” in the UK’s nuclear innovation. It follows £210 million Qatari investment in the development in Small Modular Reactors. Now fully funded, Rolls-Royce SMR business also received £490 million through commercial equity and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) grant funding. 

JERA helps Japanese film producer curb emissions

Dec 20 – Toho, a Japanese film producer and entertainment company, will get support from the country’s largest power producer JERA to reduce CO2 emission from film production. To that end, JERA will supply zero-emissions energy to Toho and draw up a roadmap to decarbonise the media company as a whole.

Tractebel develop concept to store H2 offshore

Dec 17 – Tractebel Overdick and partners have developed an offshore infrastructure and processing facilities concept that relies on the storage of hydrogen (H2) in offshore caverns. The design study outlines a scalable offshore platform for the compression and storage of up to 1.2 million cubic meters of hydrogen.

Ethatec uses CO2-free power to produce ethanol

Dec 15 – ESG Clean Energy has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Ethatec to use ESG’s patented CO2-free gensets to its ethanol production. Ethatec uses waste from bakeries and pizza factories which is being crushed and then mixed with water and enzymes and heated in a multi-stage mashing process to saccharify the starch. It is then cooled and fed into fermentation tanks, where yeast is added. for alcoholic fermentation of the sugar. After 72 hours, the mixture is fed to a distillation system where ethanol is obtained.

Anax helps Magellan mine bitcoin under US$12m deal

Dec 16 – Ohio-based Magellan Scientific has entered a long-term accord, worth US$12 million, with Anax Power to generate zero-emission electricity from natural gas flows for Magellan’s distributed data centres, using 500 kW Anax turboexpanders. This green power will be used to lower the carbon-intensity of bitcoin mining and help US interstate pipeline operators and utilities accelerate their net-zero emission goals.

Cryogenic insulation market to top $4.6m by 2026

Dec 14 – The global market for cryogenic insulation is forecast to reach $4,659.85 million by 2026, expanding at an annual rate of 8.76% over the next five years. According to ResearchandMarkets, companies need to keep investing in R&D to deliver more efficient products at a lower cost and improve product durability.

Industry wary about new German energy policy

 Dec 13 – The German industry is closely watching how the new coalition government will implement its clean energy policies.  Security of supply is a major issue given that the coal exit date has been pushed forward by eight years to 2030, while electrification of transport and hard to abate industries is set to push up demand substantially. To decarbonise traffic, over 15 million electric cars are meant to be on the roads by the end of this decade.

ADNOC awards FEED contract to Technip

Dec 10 – Technip Energies has been awarded a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) contract to integrate carbon capture technology to ADNOC’s Ghasha mega project in Abu Dhabi. The Ghasha Concession is the world’s largest offshore sour gas development, where ADNOC together with Eni, Wintershall Dea, OMV and Lukoil aim to develop up to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) of natural gas, as well as condensate and oil.