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.
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.
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.