Energy Storage

Conventional gas- and coal-fired power generators are seen to be the biggest losers from an upcoming energy storage boom, as both consumers and grid operators look to employ battery and other storage technologies to preserve intermittent renewable energy supply, a new HSBC report finds.

Sept 8 – ABB and China's BYD have entered a strategic collaboration to develop new solutions for energy storage, used to backstop the fast ramp up of renewables with energy storage in off-grid and on-grid solutions.

ABB's products and technology for grid storage, electric vehicle charging and integrated marine systems, combined with BYD's knowledge in battery technology, "can broadly address worldwide energy storage requirements," the companies said.

Modelling from the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) suggests that large scale power storage systems utilising gas may be a reality in the next 3 years. ”First prototypes for new products will be 12 months from now with industrial implementation in 24 to 26 months,” Pasi Vainikka, principal scientists at VTT told Gas to Power Journal.

Operator WEMAG plans to start operations of a 5-megawatt battery-based energy storage in Schwerin, northeast Germany, this autumn with a view to earning money with the balancing of grid fluctuations.

New electrolysis stack technology from Canadian developer Hydrogenics offers a megawatt conversion capacity of 85%, paving the way for advanced gas power energy storage. "Creating a highly efficient link between the electrical grid and the natural gas system power to gas unlocks the massive energy storage capacity which we have already built and paid for," Daryl Wilson, chief executive at Hydrogenics told Gas to Power Journal.

UK-based research firm Highview Power Storage and GE Oil & Gas have announced a licencing and technology collaboration agreement to develop large-scale liquid air energy storage (LAES) systems. The technology is “ideally suited” for gas-fired peaker power plants, according to GE who struck the partnership to explore opportunities to improve operations of existing plants through the addition of energy storage.

Feb 19 – The German government has awarded €6.5 billion for E.ON's 5-megawatt energy storage project, named M5BAT (modular multi-megawatt multi-technology medium-voltage battery storage).

Works on the power storage will start in the autumn and E.ON said it expects the facility to start operation in 2015.

The project is a unique battery storage system, E.ON said and will focus on "renewables integration, testing of distributed regulating energy provision to promote grid stability, and power price arbitrage."

Renewable gas – in the form of biogas, syngas or hydrogen – is intended to cover a 5% of Denmark's gas demand by 2020. To achieve this goal, the character of the gas pipelines transmission system needs to change from being a carrier of natural gas to becoming an energy storage system.

A 500 kilowatt-hour peak load shifting unit is to be installed at the Discovery Science Center in Southern California by GE as part of efforts to reduce peak demand on the grid. The GE storage and Princeton Power Systems (PPS) inverter control system is expected to shift 10-20% of daily electrical load to off-peak time periods, freeing up peakload power supply for other users.

The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has voted in legislation to mandate 1,325 megawatts of energy storage in the state in a move set fast-track expansion of the power-to-gas sector. The PUC vote mandates Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric to install extra storage capacity by 2020.

Oct 1 - The Spanish government has halted work on the Castor offshore submarine gas storage plant following more than 200 minor earthquakes nearby, off the eastern coast of Valencia.

The Castor facility is one of the country's biggest investments in gas infrastructure and is meant to cover 30 percent of Spain's daily gas consumption. It was the first European project to issue so-called "project bonds".

Variation in US electricity demand is creating a need for at least 258 gigawatthours (GWh) in storage capacity, according to the latest figures from the US Energy Information Authority (EIA). Availability of greater storage capacity would help decouple power supply from fluctuating demand.

Underground gas storage has emerged as a "supporting tool to gas trading". It is vital to cover variability in gas demand when peaking gas-fired generation is used to balance intermittent renewable power supply, Cedigaz finds.

 

SoCalGas, a gas grid operator in California, is spending £1 million on the cleantech fund LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI) to develop 'renewable natural gas.' "Biogas is one source but, in the future, we expect other pathways such as 'water splitting' through solar chemical conversion and hydrogen electrolysis to provide renewable natural gas," said Jeff Reed, SoCalGas director of business strategy and development.

Italian marine classification society RINA has approved a design for a compressed natural gas (CNG) storage system aboard vessles, which is being used as gas feed at a fuel oil peaking power plant retrofitted to run on gas in Grati, Indonesia. The 300MW unit is "the world's largest CNG storage system," according to RINA.

Page 9 of 11

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.