Energy Storage

Japan’s largest power producer JERA will get state funding for recycling lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles (EVs) for energy storage. Researchers will demonstrate a non-roasting method for separating battery materials by utilizing JERA’s high voltage pulse technology. The cathode materials will then be recycled without returning them to metal.

Developers are advancing the Oneida energy storage project in Halimond County, Ontario. Made of several lithium-ion battery modules, the 50 MW/ 1,000 MWh unit will store excess renewable power during off-peak periods and release it at times of high demand in order to reduce the need to fire up gas peaking power plants.

Start-up Vulcan Energy will produce carbon-free lithium from geothermal power in Germany from 2024. Lithium prices soured by over 600% in less than a year, as the component is irreplaceable for e-car batteries and stationary power storage. Today, four-fifth of battery-quality lithium comes from China but Vulcan will sustainably produce it near Karlsruhe.

Rapid renewables build-out, paired with energy storage, is seen as the only way to make Europe truly energy independent. Some 420 GW of additional solar PV capacity could be deployed in the EU by 2030, balanced by flexible gas power units, with excess energy stored for later.

Jaguar Land Rover has partnered with Pramac to reuse electric vehicle batteries for stationary energy storage as the British carmaker targets Net Zero by 2039. The off-grid energy storage system is based on lithium-ion nickel-manganese-cobalt battery cells, taken from Jaguar I-PACE cars. It has a capacity of up to 125 kW, charged by solar panels.

San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), a regulated utility servicing 3.7 million people, has ordered a 10 MW/ 60 MWh energy storage from Mitsubishi Power for its Pala-Gomez Creek project. The battery, due operational in early 2023, will help SDG&E prevent outages at times of peak demand and ensure grid reliability while maximising the use of renewables.

Alternatives to lithium-based batteries – redox flow, metal-air, or sodium-ion batteries – are emerging fast. Once energy density can be de-prioritized as it can be for stationary storage, the choice of battery chemistries becomes less restrictive, IDTechEx argues, forecasting the share of non-lithium batteries will double to 10% in the stationary market by 2025.

Developers and US power plant operators expect to add 85 GW of new capacity to the grid through to 2023 with almost two-thirds, or 51 GW, to be made up of solar power and battery storage. Tax credits and falling technology costs – especially for lithium-ion batteries – prompted a surge in new projects, often hybrid ones.

Saft, a subsidiary of TotalEnergies, has been contracted to provide and install an energy storage system at Longyearbyen in Svalbard, the island group in the Norwegian Arctic. The 6 MW/ 7 MWh lithium-ion system, housed in six containers, will run on Saft’s Intensium Max High Energy technology and is due to start operations in late 2022.

Ansaldo Energia has signed a license agreement to commercialise Dome’s energy storage technology, based on compressing and expanding CO2 in a thermodynamic cycle. The first 'CO2 Battery' will be integrated into a combined cycle gas power project, due to be built from early 2023.

Sembcorp Energy UK has secured a 15-year contract for 150 MW of two-hour duration battery storage – equivalent to 300 MWh – in the latest T-4 2025/26 capacity market auction. Due operational by 2023, this tranche is part of a 360 MW battery energy storage built on Teeside to stabilize the grid in the face of fluctuating supply from renewable power sources.

Rapid renewables build-out will drive up demand for energy storage systems to an estimated 402 Gigawatt by 2028, up from currently 211 GW. The Asia Pacific region accounts for more then 45% market share which is bound to rise driven by rapid industrialisation, while growth in the US focuses on pumped hydro and lithium-ion batteries.

General Electric’s renewable energy arm has opened a new factory near Chennai, India. The 250 people employed today are manufacturing battery energy storage, power electronics and a containerized solution, called FLEXINVERTER, that delivers power conversion for utility-scale solar and storage applications. The aim is to offer dispatchable, green MWhs.

Lithium-ion batteries have hit their performance ceiling, but a shift in the anode material used to silicon or lithium-metal could improve their energy density. Start-up companies rush to develop anodes based on silicon which could double cell-level energy density, compared to commonly used graphite – expanding the range of electric vehicles and energy storage.

Spanish multinational utility Iberdrola has commissioned two of three units at its €1.5 billion ($1.7bn) Tamega/Gouvães hydroelectric power plant, meaning 220 MW of the entire project are now grid-connected. Once fully operational, the reservoirs will add 1,158 MW to the Portuguese grid and help balance fluctuating supply from wind and solar power.

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News in Brief

FlatFish drone inspects Shell fields off Brazil

May 25 – Shell and Petrobras have contracted Saipem to use its FlatFish subsea drone in pilot projects to inspect two ultra-deepwater oil and gas fields offshore Brazil in over 2,000-meter depth. Initial tests will be carried out at Saipem’s base in Trieste, Italy, with a view to deploying the drone to Brazilian waters in the third quarter of 2022.

Gazprom cuts off supplies to Finland

May 24 – Gazprom has completely suspended gas supplies to Gasum after the Finish company refused to pay in roubles, the two companies said in separate statements. Gasum is confident it will be able to supply all its customers with gas imported through the Balticconnector (2.6 Bcm/y) from Estonia.

Heisco wins tender in Kuwait

May 23 – Heavy Engineering Industries and Shipbuilding Company (Heisco) has won a KD1.8 million ($6.4 million) tender – floated by the energy ministry of Kuwait – to install, examine and test four high voltage transformers at the Doha East Power Generation and Water Distillation Station. Heisco, founded in 1974 and listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, has developed into one of the largest energy engineering groups in the emirate.

JERA issues bond to finance power plant upgrades

May 20 – Japan’s leading LNG importer and power producer JERA has issued its first energy transition bond to help finance the accelerated deployment of decarbonisation technologies like hydrogen and ammonia co-firing, as well as the decommissioning of older thermal power stations. The bond is offered in two tranches: a 12 billion yen ($83 million) for a 5-year bond with a 0.420% per annum coupon, and a 8 billion yen $62 million) for a 10-year bond with a 0.664% rate coupon.

Rolls-Royce conducts laser field tests in the US

May 18 – Rolls-Royce has successfully conducted laser field tests to demonstrate ‘deep magazine’ power capability for directed applications in connection with Lockheed Martin’s layered laser defense project. Deep magazine power can be provided by a battery-only system, but the Rolls-Royce ColdFire system includes both battery-powered and near-continuous firing modes provided by M250 gas turbine engines.

Gas vs oil ratio increases in the Bakken

May 17 – The ratio of natural gas to crude oil production has risen in North Dakota’s Bakken region since 2008, and continues to accelerate. According to the US Energy Information Administration's (EIA) Drilling Productivity Report, annual gas gross withdrawals in the Bakken increased by 9% to an annual high of 2.97 Bcf/d in 2021, even though the region’s crude oil production fell by 6%.

Middle East shifts to gas power

May 16 – The Middle East, a region vulnerable to climate change, is undergoing a major shift from petroleum-based power plants towards gas-fired generation and renewable power sources. Capacity additions of over 185.46 GW are the pipeline, according to ResearchandMarkets, as the regions electricity demand for industry and residential cooling is set to grow. In fact, cooling already accounts for 70% of residential power demand.

Carbon utilisation in strong demand

May 13 – The market for carbon utilisation is forecast to grow rapidly from the 2030s onwards to surpass $285 billion by 2042, driven by rising climate commitments and a favourable regulatory framework. In its latest report IDTechEx also highlights the role of technology advances such as thermodynamics which help sequester CO2 permanently.

MTU gensets approved for biofuels

May 12 – Rolls-Royce has gained approval to use synthetic fuels in its MTU Series 4000 and Series 1600 diesel engines for power generation application. Field testing confirmed both engines can use a range of sustainable fuels including biomass-to-liquid, hydrotreated vegetable oil and power-to-liquid fuels such as e-diesel.

E.ON tells Germans how to save gas

May 11 – A large-scale switch to heat pumps, solar power and better demand-side management could help save Germany nearly 100 TWh of natural gas per year, E.ON has said, calling on households to contribute to Europe’s efforts to reduce reliance on Russian gas imports. “If 10% of the homes in Germany are equipped with solar PV installations, 20% of gas boilers are replaced by heat pumps, and the average temperature in all households is reduced by one degree Celsius on average, this would lead to natural gas savings of 103 TWh per year," E.ON Energy CEO Filip Thon said, noting this volume would equate to about 30% of Germany’s current gas imports from Russia.

Exelon Q1 earnings lower following Constellation cave-out

May 10 – Exelon has reported lower first quarter earnings and a higher operating revenue, having completed the separation of Constellation Energy – Excelon’s former power gen business. Focussing now solely on transmission and distribution, Exelon’s net income from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2022 decreased to $0.49 per share from $0.53 a share in pre-year period. In contrast, adjusted operating earnings notched up to $0.64 per share, primarily due to due to higher electric distribution earnings at ComEd from higher rate base and higher allowed electric distribution. Rate increases at Excelon’s group companies PECO, BGE, and PHI were partially offset by higher depreciation expenses at BGE and PHI.

South Africa to add 2.6 GW of new capacity

May 9 – South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, has just announced the REIPPPP BW6 Request for Proposals (RFP).  The bid round will add 2,600 MWs of new capacity to the energy mix. The ministry seeks to procure 11,813 MW of electricity from various power sources including renewable energy, storage, gas and coal.

GE Gas Power authorized as CVE Numbering Authority

May 6 – GE Gas Power’s increased focus on cybersecurity has been recognized by the Common Vulnerability and Exposures Programm as a ‘CVE Numbering Authority (CNA).  As such, GE Gas Power can now assign CVE identification numbers to newly discovered vulnerabilities potentially related to its products and allow GE Gas Power to directly publish new CVE Records and streamline the reporting process.

Heliogen gets nearly $90m in funding

May 5 – Heliogen has moved from design into testing and implementation of its supercritical CO2 power gen system that will be deployed for Woodside in California. The system consists of a 5 MWe sCO2 power block integrated with high temperature solid media thermal energy storage. The demonstration project is being funded with up to $50 million from Woodside, along with $39 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE).

Capstone to install microturbine in the Caribbean

May 4 – E-Finity Distributed Generation, Capstone's distributor for the Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern United States and the Caribbean, has secured an order for two C1000S microturbines for a government water authority in the Caribbean. The 2 MW system will provide emergency standby power to several pumping stations throughout the remote island community and is scheduled to be commissioned towards the end of 2022.

Forecasting solar and energy storage in CAISO

May 3 – Marubeni has chosen Veritone’s AI-based distributed energy resource management solution (iDERMS) to provide price, demand and generation forecasts at their pilot project in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) SP-15 region. In addition to day-ahead and real-time generation figures, Veritone will also forecast production and demand for the overall CAISO region.

Forecasting solar and energy storage in CAISO

May 2 – Marubeni has chosen Veritone’s AI-based distributed energy resource management solution (iDERMS) to provide price, demand and generation forecasts at their pilot project in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) SP-15 region. In addition to day-ahead and real-time generation figures, Veritone will also forecast production and demand for the overall CAISO region.