Energy Storage

US natural gas producers have asked McDermott to carry out a study into how to best expand current liquid hydrogen storage capacity limits. CB&I, part of McDermott, specialises in cryogenic storage and is currently building the world's largest liquid hydrogen sphere for NASA.

AGL Energy, one of Australia’s largest integrated utilities, has selected Wärtsilä as one of two suppliers for energy storage with up to 1,000 MW capacity. AGL is developing grid-scale energy storage installations near to four power stations in New South Wales and one in South Australia.

South Korea’s conglomerate SK Group has decided to invest $1.5 billion in the hydrogen fuel cell provider Plug Power as the two South Korean companies enter a strategic partnership. The aim is to provide full cells, hydrogen fueling stations, and electrolysers to the Korean and broader Asian markets.

Costa Rica’s textile firm Proquinal is producing climate-friendly with a hybrid solar and battery storage system at its San Jose site. The system contains MTU batteries with a storage capacity of 4,275 kWh and an output of 1,500 kVA as well as photovoltaic panels with 255 kWp capacity.

Energy certification body DNV GL has been selected by Gore Street Capital to undertake technical due diligence on an 81 MW operational battery storage portfolio in the UK. Gore Street acquired the portfolio from infrastructure developer Anesco in a deal worth £28.2 million ($37.3 million).

US utility Duke Energy and Siemens Energy will launch the H2-Orange pilot project in March 2021, evaluating the use of hydrogen fuel at Clemson University’s cogeneration plant as well as for energy storage. The research is backed by a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Energy storage deployments in the United States have risen 240% over the previous high, set last quarter, to 476 MW new capacity. Large-scale utility procurements for solar-paired energy storage will see the US battery market grow from 1.2 GW in 2020 to nearly 7.5 GW (and 26.5 GWh) in 2025.

Japan’s largest power producer JERA is testing the data platform linked to its Battery Energy Storage System’s (BESS) until March 2021. Batteries are mostly installed for back-up energy, so they have surplus capacity at normal times which could be used for peakload-shifting.

Toshiba has developed an aqueous rechargeable lithium-ion battery in a bid to realise the world’s first large-scale battery that can operate at -30°C. The high durability battery has over 2,000 charge- and discharge-cycles and by using water as aqueous electrolyte, it is safe even if exposed to fire.

Energy capacity cost of utility-scale battery storage in the United States has rapidly decreased from $2,152 per kilowatthour (kWh) on average in 2015 to below $625/kWh in 2018, falling further since. Long-duration batteries are cheaper and costs vary by region, coming in at just $947/kWh in Hawaii.

Singapore has awarded a grant to an Envison-led consortium to pilot lithium-ion battery energy storage on a ‘floating living lab’, using seawater for cooling. The 7.5 MW/7.5MWh storage is part of a $10 million partnership between the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and Keppel O&M.

Sunseap Energy Ventures has contracted Wärtsilä to supply energy storage as a test-bed, supported by Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) and SP Group. The 2.4 MW/2.4 MWh system will be the first utility-scale energy storage installed in the Asian city state.

Finish technology group Wärtsilä has won an energy storage system order, totalling 90 MW/ 90 MWh, from an Asian customer. GridSolv Max will integrate intermittent wind and solar power sources, helping the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) meet is 23% renewable energy target by 2025.

Eos Energy Storage has agreed to supply Znyth zinc hybrid cathodes, the core of its Aurora batteries, to Verdant’s California-based microgrids. Materials of the Znyth battery are derived from non-rare earth and feature a 100% depth of discharge as well as wide operating temperature range.

Intermittency issues of wind and solar power supply are feared to jeopardize the stability of the U.S. power grid. To remedy this issue scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed an “air-breathing” battery storage that, at the cheapest, run about $100/kWh and functions only in certain locations.

Page 1 of 16

News in Brief

Low-carbon batteries

Jan 26 – Geyser Batteries, a Finnish cleantech startup, has calculated the emissions of its electrochemical recuperators (ECR) to be significantly below industry averages. The ECR is an energy storage used for heavy-duty applications in the power grid and industrial machinery. The calculation, validated by the research institution VTT, shows the carbon footprint of ECR production is up to 74% lower when compared to its closest competitor, supercapacitors based on li-ion batteries.

Green hydrogen production surges

Jan 25 – Global green hydrogen production is seen skyrocket at a rate of 57% between 2019 and 2020, according to Frost & Sullivan, rising from 40,000 tons to 5.7 million tons. The hydrogen surge comes as industry and power generators increase investment  in alternative low carbon technologies and more countries set binding targets to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Italy’s power exports Montenegro surge

Jan 22 – Italian electric power exports increased by 28% in 2020, largely driven by flows to Montenegro which surged 26% to 8.6 TWh. In contrast, domestic power demand fell 6% last year to 271.6 TWh with electricity sales from conventional plants down nearly 9% to 140.5 TWh, figures by the Italian energy exchange GME show.

US considers new nuclear

Jan 21 – The new US President Joe Biden has said his country could construct new nuclear power plants and reiterated plans to “swiftly rejoin” the Paris Climate Agreement swiftly. Germany’s environment minister, Svenja Schulze, called it illusionary to believe that newer, smaller reactors will be a technology of the future.

Mitsubishi produces methanol in Trinidad

Jan 20 – Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company has launched commercial operations of a methanol and dimethyl ether plant in Trinidad and Tobago. The plant has an annual production capacity of one million tons of methanol and 20,000 tons of dimethyl ether, which can be used as an alternative fuel for cars and power generation.

First 8-cylinder B36:45 engine delivered

Jan 19 – Rolls-Royce has delivered the first 8-cylinder variant of its Bergen B36:45 gas engine to a tomato producer in Belgium. The medium speed genset is planned for delivery this spring and will drive an onsite power plant that generates 4700 kW electricity and 5520 kW heat. The new engine offers a 20% increase in power per cylinder and will replace an existing Bergen 12-cylinder B35:40 genset.

Moody’s upgrades Enel to Baa1

Jan 18 – Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Enel’s long-term rating to Baa1, with a stable outlook. The upgrade reflects Enel’s progress in reducing its risk profile, analysts said, pointing at the Italian utilities ongoing investment in networks and renewables, growing geographical diversification and focus on centralised financing.

GE sues Siemens Energy

Jan 15 – General Electric has sued its German rival Siemens Energy over the alleged use of stolen trade secrets to win gas turbine contracts worth several billion dollars. GE told the US district court in Virginia that Siemens received the secret information from a Dominion Energy employee.

Orbital Energy launches Eclipse

Jan 14 – Nasdaq-listed Orbital Energy Group has launched a new subsidiary, Eclipse Foundation, a drilled shaft construction company. The new company specialises in providing services for power transmission and substations, communication tower and a disaster restoration through emergency power.

S’Korean coal and LNG imports slide

Jan 13 – South Korea’s imports of thermal coal and LNG have fallen 12% and 11%, respectively, as the government cracks down on fossil fuel usage to curb air pollution. Customs data shows that coal imports amounted to 10.2 million tons in December, down 1.4 million tons from the same month last year but up from November’s imports of 9.5 million tons.

SMC builds 1.7 GW CCGT in Batangas

Jan 13 – Excellent Energy Resources, part of SMC Global Power Holdings, is building a 1,700 MW combined cycle gas power plant in Barangay Dela Paz and Ilijan in Batangas City with investments of about 67.863 billion Philippine Pesos ($1.41bn). The project is estimated to be completed in 36 to 40 months.

UK’s National Grid issues supply warning

Jan 12 – Natural gas prices in the UK surged as National Grid issued warnings on supply deficit as LNG cargoes are being diverted to North Asia. Prices at the British NBP gas trading hub soared to the equivalent of $8.95 per MMBtu, while the JKM price for North Asian spot LNG cargoes for February 2021 was last at $19.700 per MMBt.

Fortistar invests in hydrogen

Jan 11 – Fortistar, a privately-held fund, has joined an equity investment of up to $157 million in hydrogen producer BayoTech. Cottonwood Technology Funds and the New Mexico State Investment Council also participated in the latest financing round. BayoTech’s systems produce local hydrogen close to the application, serving end users in the industrial gas and petrochemical segment as well as those who use of hydrogen to power fuel cells.

Ashtead appoints new CFO

Jan 5 - Ashtead Technology has appointed a chief financial officer (CFO) and five managers for newly created roles across its international team. The appointments are meant to cement the company’s position in the offshore energy market, including offshore wind and decommissioning of thermal power plants

NFE secures LNG for Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua

Dec 23 – New Fortress Energy (NFE) has agreed to purchase Henry-Hub-indexed LNG for its integrated gas and power businesses in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua. The New York-based project developer said it now has covered 80% of its expected needs throughout Latin America, thus reducing its need for spot purchases and its exposure to changes in the market price for LNG.

China and Korea mandate coal-to-gas switch

Dec 22 – The Chinese government has launched a coal-to-gas boiler switching programme, targeting 7.1 million homes, which makes gas demand more weather-sensitive this winter. Similarly, South Korea mandated the closure of 15 coal-fired plants since the start of December in an effort to reduce air pollution. Analysts expect this will accelerate the drawdown of LNG terminal inventories going into Q1-2021.

GE repowers oil field in Brazil

Dec 21 – GE Power Conversion has been awarded a contract by Sulzer Pumps UK to supply motors for four water injection pumps of a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. The 8,000 kW, two pole motors will run at 3,600 rpm with a limitation of the starting current at 300%, enabling the oil and gas field operator to optimise the generator which supplies electricity on the FPSO.