Energy Storage

Aug 18 – RWE has officially launched its power-to-gas energy storage system in Ibbenbüren, North Rhine Westphalia. Test results of the PEM electrolyser system, delivered by ITM Power, measured an overall energy efficiency of 86%.

To test its smart battery energy storage system (BESS) in real conditions, the Alstom-Saft consortium has installed and commissioned it at the EDF's Concept Grid Lab. The 1 MW per 30 minutes BESS will help with frequency regulation in mainland France to stabilise the grid.

Many are questioning if the century-old model of utilities selling kilowatt-hours still makes sense. At today's opening of PowerGen-Europe, Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the IEA underlined that "the future lies in flexible backup capacity, decentralised generation and storage technologies."

Apr 30 – Tucson Electric Power has issued a request for proposals (RFP), seeking a project partner to build and own a 10 MW energy storage facility under a 10-year agreement. "We're looking for cost-effective, proven energy storage systems that will help us integrate renewable energy into our electric grid," TEP senior director Carmine Tilghman said, adding the company plans to slash its coal power capacity by 30% and step up the use of solar and gas generation.

Apr 30 - Australian power provider AusNet Services is implementing an ABB hybrid power storage, diesel generation and grid stabilisation system to enhance the management of peak electricity demand in the state of Victoria. At full power, the 1 MW pilot system will automatically provide additional power for the 22 kV distribution network during periods of peak demand.
AusNet Services provides gas and electricity to 1.3 million homes and businesses in Victoria – home to 5.8 million people.

Apr 17 – In California's central valley, Con Edison Development (CED) will install an 8 MWh battery energy storage, able to provide 2 MW of electricity over a four hour period. The GE storage solution will be utilising Mark VIe-based plant control, Brilliance MW Inverters, and packaged lithium ion batteries.

Mar 27 – Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has identified that the costs of operating, maintaining and upgrading the older withdrawal plant at its Hornsea gas story facility are not currently supported by market returns. Hence, it decided to mothball 33% of the withdrawal capacity of the site (6 mcm/d) with effect from 1 May 2015. 
SSE has an interest in two gas storage facilities in East Yorkshire, namely in Hornsea and Aldbrough, with the latter being partly owned by Norway's Statoil.

Direct Carbon Fuel Cells (DCFC) are getting into focus as new method of generating 'clean electricity' from fossil fuel sources, potentially providing effective means of power storage to help stabilise the grid.

A sharp fall in costs for battery storage systems is set to create a global market of up to 240 GW by 2030, according to the consultancy Citi Global Perspectives and Solutions (Citi GPS). Analysts suggest that costs could fall to just $150/MWh in the next fifteen years, eliminating subsidies.

The UK capacity auctions, held in December last year, have drawn criticism from energy storage developers as a missed opportunity to support new storage technologies. The government secured 49.26 GW of capacity at a clearing price of £19.40/kW but despite initial promises many energy storage plants were unable to bid.

South African authorities have approved plans by Saudi power plant developer ACWA Power and renewable consortium SolarReserve to develop a 100 MW solar thermal project in the country along with cutting edge molten salt energy storage technology.

Energy storage is out competing backup gas power to provide peaking power in some markets within California. A total of 264 MW was selected by utility Southern California Edison (SCE) in recent tenders as strict air-pollution controls make gas peaking plants more expensive than batteries in some cases.

Nov 11 – After an increase of 2,734 Bcf during the April 1 to October 31 injection season, U.S. working natural gas in storage ended October at 3,571 billion cubic feet (Bcf), according to EIA figures.
"Higher gas production means that even if this winter were as cold as last year, EIA expects that natural gas storage at the end of March 2015 will be above its March 2014 level," analysts said.

Japanese technology developer Toshiba has won a contract to supply service provider Eneres a total of 10,000 energy storage systems, each with a maximum output of 10 kW and a capacity of 9.9 kWh. The systems will be used to bolster output from independent power producers.

Oct 8 – Seeking to combine poweOct 8 – Seeking to combine power storage with rising renewable energy supply, U.S. power producer Duke Energy has added battery storage to a large wind farm in Texas. Duke's 36 MW Notrees battery storage project is America's largest battery storage project at a wind farm.r storage with rising renewable energy supply, U.S. power producer Duke Energy has added battery storage to a large wind farm in west Texas.

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News in Brief

Fuel switch could abate 1.2bn tons of CO2

July 19 – Some 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 could be abated by switching to gas using existing infrastructure, if prices and regulation are supportive. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), this would be enough to bring global CO2 emissions back down to where they were in 2013.

IEA launches methane tracker

July 18 – A new ‘methane tracker’, launched by the International Energy Agency (IEA), provides up-to-date estimates of current oil and gas methane emissions by drawing on the best available data. Analysts stressed methane emissions could be reduced by nearly half at no net cost.

Canada’s CO2 tax also affects gas power

July 17 – Change in Canada’s carbon tax regulation for new power plants has changed to also affect cleaner-burning, gas combined-cycle power stations starting from 2021. The move could cause SaskPower to reconsider its planned upcoming Moose Jaw gas power station.

MAN, Daewoo, HSD partner on engine digitalization

July 16 – MAN Energy Solutions, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and HSD Engine (HSD) have signed a strategic agreement to cooperate in the field of marine engine systems digitization. The three companies also work together on auxiliary systems and data analysis, aiming to apply part of their know-how to power generation and related sectors.

Canada launches first utility-scale smart microgid

July 15 – The Ontario-based municipal utility North Bay Hydro Services is cooperating with the smart grid solutions firm S&C Electric to launch Canada’s first utility-scale microgrid system. Among some solar power, the 789KW microgrid system will be powered by two 265kW natural gas generators.

Macquarie funds Mexican power plant

July 12 – Macquarie Capital has chosen Credit Agricole, Natixis and SMBC to co-finance a $380 million combined-cycle gas power plant. The 560 MW plant is designated to be built in San Louis Potosi, a city in central Mexico.

B&V launches distributed energy group

July 11 – Black & Veatch has launched a dedicated distributed energy group to place its conventional power business in the context of the global energy transition. The distribute energy group will look into new fuel sources such as hydrogen and aspires to “re-power the more-than-century-old power industry.”

Funding secured for Kazah CHP project

July 10 – Kazinform Erg has committed to spend $500 million on a gas cogeneration station that will provide heat and electricity to the south of Kazakhstan. Over 87% of Kazakhstan’s electricity is generated from fossil fuels, and in 2018 the country produced 107,060 billion kWh of electricity, a 3.8% increase over the previous year and enough to cover total power use of 103,228 kWh.

Bitcoin mining uses much energy

July 9 – Estimates of bitcoin’s electricity consumption are wide-ranging, on the order of 20‑80 TWh annually. According to George Kamiya, digital energy analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA), bitcoin mining consumed around 45 TWh in 2018 although this has risen significantly this year. Through the first six months of 2019, bitcoin mining has already consumed an estimated 29 TWh.

Coal exit doesn’t impact Germany's supply security

July 8 – Electricity supply security in Germany is set to stay “very high” even as the country begins to phase out coal-fired power generation, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) said in a monitoring report. “Energy supply is adequately ensured”, the ministry said, in all scenarios examined up to 2030. Thereafter, things are less clear but the German Coal Commission is adamant that its proposal to exit coal power by 2038 is feasible and won’t seriously impact reserve margins.

Hydrogen demo plant starts in Adelaide

July 5 – The Australian Gas Networks (AGN), part of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), has received A$4.9 million in government funding for an A$11.4m hydrogen electrolyser demonstration project at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide. At the test site, AGN plans to blend 5% renewable hydrogen with natural gas for supply to customers using its existing gas distribution networks. The project is based on a Siemens proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser, running based on wind and solar power.

Wärtsilä forms biogas solution

July 4 – Wärtsilä Puregas Solutions, specialists in biogas upgrading technology, has merged with Wärtsilä’s biogas liquefaction team to create a one-stop-shop service for biofuel production. Having installed the world’s largest bioLNG facility in Skogn, Norway, Wärtsilä will deliver two more bio-LNG plants to customers in Scandinavia. The company’s Puregas CA process recovers more than 99.9% of the biomethane present in raw biogas.

PNM to close San Juan Generating Station

July 3 — New Mexico's largest energy holding, PNM Resources, has filed an application to the Public Regulation Commission to close the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station. For replacement power, PNM said the preferred option was a mix of gas power plants, solar and wind farms and new battery storage facilities. The utility strives to be ‘emissions-free’ by 2040.

ADB opens office in Singapore

July 2 — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to open an office in Singapore. The lean office with twelve staff will focus on the expansion of its private sector operations, e.g. through Public-Private Partnerships. “We estimate that developing Asia will need $1.7 trillion per year in infrastructure investments until 2030 to maintain the region’s growth momentum,” commented Singapore’s finance minister Heng Swee Keat.

Testing starts at Haliade-X

July 1 – Technology testing has started at GE’s Haliade-X, the world’s biggest offshore wind turbine. The 12 MW nacelle and 107-metre long blade was shipped to the UK as part of an advanced technology testing program, focused on enhancing the platform before it enters into serial production in 2021.

Tata to build UK’s first CCUS plant

June 28 – Tata Chemicals has announced plans to build the UK’s first industrial-scale Carbon Capture, Usage and Demonstration plant at its Northwich industrial site. The CCUD unit will be built at an estimated cost of£16.7 million and is planned to start operation in 2021. It will make use of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel power plants and turn it into sodium bicarbonate, which can then be sold to pharmaceutical industries.

Gazprom seeks to partner with Fortum

June 27 – The heads of Gazprom and Forum, Alexey Miller and Pekka Lundmark, have met in St. Petersburg to discuss a potential cooperation in the field of power generation. The Finish energy company Fortum owns 29.5% of the Russian power plant TGC-1 as well as a 49.99% share in the German utility Uniper. Through the talks, Gazprom could gain Fortum’s support to expand its firm long-term deliveries of Russian gas to Finland and Germany.