Energy Storage

Roll-out of smart grids to help integrate decentralized power sources and energy storage is accelerating across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). ResearchAndMarkets anticipates the market will grow at a rate of 18.76% to reach $2,950 million by 2024.

Texas-based Vistra is stepping up the size of its battery energy storage unit at its Oakland Power Plant. The capacity of the battery will be boosted to 36 MW/145 MWh, up from initially 20 MW/80 MWh, and it is due to enter commercial operation by January 2022.

Large tech players – Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft – are migrating hyperscale data centres to renewable energy. Some 10% of new solar and wind power projects in the U.S. are now underpinned by corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and often backed up by onsite energy storage units.

German storage company Tesvolt has kicked off production in Europe's first Gigafactory for commercial battery storage systems." Situated in Wittenberg, the factory can currently produce storage systems of 1 MWh per day and 255 MWh per year. Tevolt aspires to ramp up output to 1 GWh.

New technologies to produce green hydrogen will allow for 34% of global emissions to be cut “at manageable cost,” Bloomberg New Energy Finance finds. Excess renewable energy can be turned into hydrogen at $0.8 to $1.6/kg in most parts of the world before 2050, which would make it competitive with gas prices in Brazil, China, India and Germany.

Five Singaporean and two Japanese companies have joint forces to utilize hydrogen as a green energy source in Singapore. Sembcorb, Chiyoda and Mitsubishi, among others, committed to develop novel technologies related to the import, transportation and storage of hydrogen.

Travel bans, imposed in the United States to contain the coronavirus, have halted commissioning works on energy storage facilities, delayed grid connections and threatens to undermine project economics. Wood Mackenzie expects 31% less behind-the-meter energy storage units will be installed in the U.S. this year.

Shutdowns are lifted in China and South Korea, allowing battery supply chains to ramp back up while rivals in Europe and North America are in lockdown. Electric vehicle sales stayed strong through February, according to Wood Mackenzie, and China’s labour force is returning, expected to be at 70% in March and over 90% in April.

Nearly all of Hawaii’s utility-scale energy storage is installed adjacent to onshore wind turbines or solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Pairing battery storage with wind and solar helps mitigate some operational challenges of non-dispatchable renewables, as Hawaii aspires to boost its green energy share from 30% at present to 100% by 2045.

Global battery manufacturing capacity is seen surge as energy storage is increasingly installed in conjunction with fast-start gas engine gensets and renewables. By 2021, battery making is forecast to more than double to 278 Gigawatt-hours (GWh), up from 103 GWh at present.

Demand from Asia has pushed up shipments of hydrogen fuel cells beyond 1.1 GW and E4tech sees 2020 characterized by "rapid commercialization and infrastructure build out." Fuel cell vehicles and energy storage remain the largest demand drivers, with Japan’s Toyota and South Korea’s Hyundai accounting for two thirds of total shipped capacity.

The French power grid operator RTE has chosen Nidec to deploy an electricity storage system to optimize the management of electricity flows on the transmission grid in Vingeanne, near Dijon. The pilot project, dubbed Ringo, aims to prevent grid congestion at times of peak demand.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Tesla have been given regulatory approval to build a 182.5 MW/730 MWh clean energy storage system that could eventually be boosted to 1.1 GWh at Moss Landing, California. Construction of the facility, based on 268 Tesla Megapack lithium-ion batteries, is due for completion by the end of 2020.

Falling technology costs, policy incentives and clean energy targets are poised to propel up energy storage deployment from currently about 4 GW annually to more than 15 GW in 2024, Wood Mackenzie forecasts. Manufacturers, developers and investors are consolidating as they compete for their slice of this burgeoning industry.

Global market for battery energy storage is seen surge at a dazzling rate of 46.7 percent to reach $111.34 million by 2026. Data Bridge market research sees growing demand for grid-connected lithium-ion batteries to back up intermittent electricity supply from wind and solar power sources.

Page 2 of 14

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.