Energy Storage

ITM Power and Northern Gas Networks (NGN) have announced the outcome of a feasibility study, evaluating the potential of deployment and cost-effective operation of 50MW energy storage capacity within the boundaries of the NGN gas distribution network. Low Thornley in Gateshead is being recommended as the most suitable site for a power-to-gas demonstration plant in the size range 50-100MW.

April 17 – Enel X, the energy services division of Enel Group through its US subsidiary EnerNOC, has struck an agreement with Algoma Orchards of Ontario, Canada to deploy a 1 MWh lithium-ion battery storage system under a contract spanning 11 years. The storage system will be deployed in the first half of 2018.

GE Reservoir, a new power storage platform for AC or DC coupled systems, condenses 4MWh of energy capacity into a 20’ box. The system improves battery the lifecycle by about 15%, delivers 5% higher efficiency and reduces installation time and costs, GE said, adding it already has a 20 MW, 80 MWh pre-launch commitment.

About two-thirds of the utility-scale battery storage capacity installed in the United States is located in two electricity markets: the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and the PJM Interconnection which covers all or parts of 13 eastern states.

Greensmith Energy, a part of Wärtsilä group, has completed two grid-scale energy storage systems in Texas. Called ‘Texas Waves’, the two 9.9-MW short-duration storage facilities are fed by E.ON’s 249-MW Pyron and the 197-MW Inadale wind farms, both near Roscoe, delivering energy on short notice to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

Arenko Group, a leading energy storage systems operator, has selected GE to deliver a 41-MW battery – one of the largest in the UK – to supply power on demand to approximately 100,000 homes. The grid-scale energy storage is designed to enhance efficiency of power transmission, balance renewable energy supply and help reduce customers’ energy bills. To be sited at a strategic location in the Midlands, the battery storage will commence operations in 2018.

Jan 17 – California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has ruled that Calpine needs to replace three gas-fired peaking power plants with energy storage facilities by 2019, “if feasible and at a reasonable cost to ratepayers.” Calpine had initially sought regulatory permission to maintain “must-run status” for the two 47-MW peaking plants in Feather River and Yuba and a 605-MW gas power plant in Metcalf.

Fluence, the new joint venture by Siemens and AES Energy Storage, has started operations at the start of this year, backed by a dedicated financing programme from Siemens Financial Services, and a substantial contract to supply a 400MWh battery system in California.

Jan 11 – Kilkenny County Council is processing an application Greener Ideas, a joint venture set up in 2009 between Bord Gáis Energy and Mountside Properties,for the construction of a 100MW battery energy storage system. Initially the project partners intended to develop an open-cycle gas turbines power plant on the site which is now listed for the battery project.

Commenting on the UK Government’s decision to de-rate battery storage ahead of the Capacity Market auction in February next year, UK Power Reserve (UKPR) said it “accepts and understands” this move while remaining confident about the future of battery storage in Britain. UKPR also underlined its goal to bring 120MW of battery storage online before 2020.

Controversy is mounting in Australia over whether the lifetime of AGL Energy’s 2,051-MW Liddell power plant should be extended – as proposed by the Turnbull government – even though the operator wants to shut down the “costly and unreliable” unit in 2022. A new report finds the government’s stipulated lifetime extension would cost around $3.6 billion over five years, compared to $2.2 billion for a combination of wind power, demand side-response and energy efficiency measures.

ITM Power has secured funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to deploy large scale Power-to-Gas energy storage on the Northern Gas Networks’ (NGN) distribution grid. In a subsequent study, both partners will examine the potential and cost-effectiveness of such storage solutions, starting from the 50 MWh range.

GEMS software from Greensmith Energy, a Wärtsilä company, will be utilized to help realise 2.4 MW/2.4MWh energy storage system test bed that CW Group is realising on behalf of Singapore's Energy Market Authority (EMA) and SP Group, a leading energy utility in Asia Pacific. The facility is due to be fully operational during the latter part of 2018.

Seeking to complement fossil power plants, South Australia has invited bids from investors in energy storage and bioenergy to share a $150 million fund. The tender is part of the government's wider $550 million energy plan that will see the world’s largest battery being built, and additional flexible gas power capacity. Applications for the $150 million fund close on September 28.

Aug 14 – GE Renewable Energy has booked a turnkey contract with Star Pumped Storage Ltd for the 344 MW Kokhav Hayarden hydro pumped storage station, the second to be installed in Israel. GE Renewable Energy is responsible for the design, manufacture, supply and installation of all electro-mechanical and hydro-mechanical equipment as well as complete balance of plant for the two 172 MW pumped-storage units. The project will be executed by a consortium led by Chinese EPC SinoHydro.

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News in Brief

Central Hudson links solar farms to VPP

July 9 – Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp has established its distributed generation program within the broader context of New York State’s energy plan. Together with Sensus and their Remote Telemetry Module (RTM-III), the Central Hudson will monitor decentralized solar PV backed up by flexible gas gensets.

Siemens and GREEN Solar turn German town CO2-free

July 8 – GREEN Solar and Siemens Energy are jointly developing a concept for making Herzogenrath CO2-free. The plan is to provide an energy-efficient and economical combination of solar power plants, wind turbines, batteries, CHP and combined cycle power plants, as well as heat and hydrogen storage. The hybrid system will be built on the grounds of Nivelsteiner Sandwerke and will be large enough to cover the city’s entire energy demand with zero CO2 emissions by 2030.

Denmark paves the way for Nord Stream 2

July 7– Denmark on late Monday gave the Nord Stream 2 consortium permission to utilize pipe-laying vessels with anchors in Danish waters, paving the way for the Gazprom-led consortium to complete the interconnector. Construction of the 1,230-kilometre pipeline is nearly complete, except for a final stretch of about 120-kilometers in Danish waters. The project was halted in December when the Swiss-Dutch pipe-laying company Allseas suspended works over threats of U.S. sanctions.

EPRI tests early warning system

July 6– The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is conducting trial tests with multiple utilities across the United States of an early warning system. It can detect an off-gassing event as a precursor to thermal runaway up to 30 minutes prior to a cascading failure. This gives plant operators time to mitigate the problem or shut down the system.

KKR buys stake in First Gen

July 3 – Valorous Asia Holdings, owned by KKR investment funds, has bought a 11.9% stake in First Gen through a voluntary tender offer. First Gen, one of the Philippines’ largest independent power producers with 3,492 MW installed capacity, is owned by First Philippine Holdings which is controlled by the Lopez family. KKR’s acquisition of the First Gen stake is worth nearly $192.3 million.

Gazprom’s ‘BBB’ rating affirmed

July 2 – S&P Global Ratings, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings have affirmed Gazprom's long-term credit ratings as part of their annual reviews. The ‘BBB’ ratings for Gazprom from S&P and Fitch are in line with the sovereign credit rating of the Russian Federation, while Moody's ‘Baa2’ rating is a notch higher.

MHIEC to refurbish WtE plant in Kushiro

July 1 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Environmental & Chemical Engineering Co (MHIEC) has received an order from the Kushiro Wide-Area Federation to repair and improve the core equipment at the local Waste-to-Energy plant in Takayama. The WtE plant has a capacity of 240 tonnes per day (tpd). Renovation will increase the energy efficiency of the fluidized bed type gasification and ash melting furnace facility, reducing emissions by around 15% annually. Works are due completed in September 2023.

Nigeria: Only two of six power projects on target

June 30 – Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises has disclosed that only two out of six privatized power plants were delivered on target. Only Transcorp Power Ltd and Geregu Power Ltd out of the six privatised electricity generation companies (GENCOs) were said to have met their performance targets since taking over.

German investors prefer solar over wind

June 29 – Energy infrastructure investors are keen to build solar power projects in Germany, but shun wind parks. In the latest solar power auction, investors offered to build almost 450 MW of capacity – more than four times the 96 MW of volume on offer– with the average successful bid at 5.27 cents per kilowatt-hour (ct/kWh). The wind auction, in contrast, was undersubscribed: The German network agency  (BNetzA) tendered around 826 MW, but successful bids only totalled 464 MW, at an average price of 6.14 ct/KWh.

MAN ventures into synthetic fuels

June 26 – MAN Energy Solutions has entered the hydrogen economy with the recent pro rata acquisition of H-TEC SYSTEMS, an electrolysis tech firm. The German OEM also committed itself to upgrading its gas turbines to run on 100% hydrogen by 2030.

Varegro starts using Cummins gas genset

June 25 – Belgian-based horticultural company Varegro, has started to use a Cummins HSK78G gas generator to power its greenhouses in Oostrozebeke, West Flanders. Varegro said it selected the Cummins HSK78G genset to produce combined heat and power (CHP) on its premises at a competitive cost for use in energy-intensive greenhouse facilities.

GE names Deloitte as independent auditor

June 24 – GE’s audit committee has selected Deloitte as the company’s independent auditor for the 2021 fiscal year, replacing KPMG. The selection of Deloitte concludes GE’s latest audit tender process.

Northern German states push for hydrogen pilot cluster

June 23 – Northern German states are pushing for greater hydrogen use with a pilot project cluster. Some 12 large demonstration plants for the production and use of green hydrogen are meant to be realised in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The aim is to demonstrate how 75% of CO2 emissions can be saved in the region by 2035.

Wärtsilä to design and equip battery-powered ferries

June 22– The Finish engine maker Wärtsilä has been awarded a contract to design and equip two new zero-emissions ferries on behalf of the Norwegian operator Boreal Sjö. For each ferry Wärtsilä will supply the thruster motors, batteries, onboard and shore-based battery charging equipment, the back-up generators, and various electrical systems. The equipment is scheduled for delivery to the yard in early 2021 for the ships to start commercial operations in autumn 2021.

Subsidy cut slashes Chinese wind turbine margins

June 19 – China’s wind turbine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) could have their gross profit margins halved due to subsidy cuts, Wood Mackenzie forecasts. Commissioned onshore wind power capacity is expected to drop by more than 16% to 19 gigawatts (GW) from 2020 to 2021 as government subsidies were terminated. This could also lead to a 27% drop in turbine prices over the next five years, slashing OEMs’ gross profit margins by half.

PowerPHASE converts gas peakers into storage engine

June 18 – U.S. emergency power provider PowerPHASE has developed an upgrade to convert 7F gas turbine-based peaking plants (350 MW each) to a so-called Storage Engine (400 MW). The unit would be able to store 3500 MWh daily and discharge 4800 MWh daily. CEO Bob Kraft claims utility customers could dispatch the Storage Engine, despite its lower heat rate (4000), ahead of higher heat rate options (9000 for gas peakers) in a competitive market like ERCOT in Texas.

Cummins names Davis head of New Power unit

June 17 – Cummins has appointed Amy Davis as Vice President and President of the company’s New Power Segment, effective July 1. The new unit includes Cummins’ electrified powertrains, battery design and assembly, battery management, fuel cell and hydrogen generation.