Energy Storage

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.

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.

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News in Brief

JERA on recruiting spree

Feb 26 – Japan’s largest electric utility and LNG buyer JERA is looking to hire 20 administrative and 60 technical staff. Recruitment activities will begin on 1 March 2021.

B&W wins $13m new contracts in North America

Feb 25 – The thermal segment of Babcock & Wilcox has been awarded several energy-related projects in North America, worth approximately $13 million, as the market strengthens and projects continue to restart following delays in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis.” We’re seeing customers now moving forward with necessary work that had been previously put on hold. The recent inclement weather also has forced higher loads within the utility sector and we anticipate stronger demand for parts and services going forward,” said B&W Chief Operating Officer Jimmy Morgan.

PIC Group to service 1.1 GW Hummel Power Station

Feb 24 – Atlanta-based PIC Group has been awarded an Operation and Maintenance (O&M) contract for the Hummel Power Station, a 1,124 MW combined-cycle plant operated by LS Power Group. Situated in Shamokin Dam, Pennsylvania, the CCGT is equipped with three SGT6-5000F gas turbines, one SST6-5000 steam turbine, three SGen6-1000A air-cooled generators and one hydrogen-cooled SGen6-2000H generator.

Duke Energy claims natural gas is cheaper than energy storage

Feb 23 – Duke Energy Progress and Duke Energy Carolinas have both indicated in their latest integrated resource plans (IRPs) they view battery storage as potentially more costly than proven gas-fired generating technology. Market observers noted, however, that Duke’s estimates peg the capital costs of a 50 MW/200 MWh energy storage plant at $347 per kWh —far higher than the cost of units that entered commercial service in 2020, as per Lazard data.

EU emission rules could herald end of combustion engine

Feb 22 – Future EU emission rules for cars could mean the abrupt end of combustion engines and put many jobs at risk, the German engineering federation VDMA has warned in a position paper. The use of efficient combustion engines is “still important” – both for vehicles and small generators –VDMA President Karl Haeusgen stressed, especially since these engines can be operated in a climate-neutral manner with synthetic fuels or hydrogen.

Saudi cement producer renews Wärtsilä O&M deal

Feb 19 – The Saudi Arabian cement producer Umm AlQura Cement has signed a five year Operation and Maintenance (O&M) agreement with Wärtsilä for the customer’s captive power plant in Taif City. The 47 MW plant operates with five Wärtsilä 32TS engines. The initial three year maintenance agreement was signed in 2015, and thereafter renewed once.

Gazprom expands Sakhalin–Vladivostok gas pipeline

Feb 18 – The Russian major Gazprom is expanding the Sakhalin – Khabarovsk – Vladivostok gas trunkline at the section between Komsomolsk-on-Amur and Khabarovsk. More than 315 kilometers, or three quarters of its overall length, has been welded to date. Gazprom’s 2021-2025 investment programme will total RUB 5.49 billion ($70 million) – more than three times he money spent in 2016–2020. Planned projects include 14 inter-settlement gas pipelines, 9.3 kilometers of gas pipeline branches, and six gas distribution stations.

Enstor closes sale of Waha gas storage

Feb 17 – Houston-based Enestor Gas has completed the sale of its Waha Gas Storage assets in northwest Texas to WhiteWater Midstream. Waha Gas Storage assets have the capacity, when fully developed, to store approximately 10 Bcf of natural gas and include six underground caverns and permits for five additional caverns.

Technip Energies listed in Paris

Feb 16 – Today, Technip Energy has been listed at Euronext’s regulated market in Paris. CEO Arnaud Pieton said the company’s mission is to “serve the energy transition” through its leading position in LNG, hydrogen and ethylene. As growth areas, he singled out sustainable chemistry and CO2 management.

US renewable energy share to double by 2050

Feb 15 – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that the share of renewables in the U.S. electricity generation mix will increase from 21% in 2020 to 42% in 2050. Wind and solar generation are responsible for most of that growth, while nuclear and coal-fired generation decrease. The share of gas-fired generation will remain stable even though gas prices remain low at an estimated $3.50 per MMBtu, according to EIA projections.

Nikkiso to build electric-mechanical actuators

Feb 12 – The clean energy arm of Nikkiso Cryogenic Industries has bought the intellectual property to manufacture electric-mechanical actuators (EMA) and control panels. Coupled to a cryogenic pump, the system works without gearbox which reduces the size of these vertical pumps frequently used in the oil and gas industry.

Europe’s hydrogen projects outnumber current plants

Feb 11 – The number of hydrogen projects across Europe is almost double that of operational electrolysers as demand for the clean fuel is rising fast. According to research by DLA Piper and inspirata, there are 192 planned or announced hydrogen projects in Europe compared to 107 currently operational ones.

NTE to develop 5 GW clean energy projects

Feb 10 – Florida-based NTE Energy is working with investment partners to develop 1.2 GW of solar and 3.9 GW of battery energy storage systems (BESS) next to thermal power plants. “By co-locating renewable projects with thermal generation, we can offer customers access to affordable solar power options backed up by reliable natural gas,” said Steve Remen, NTE managing director. The company aims to bring 4 GW of its proposed clean energy projects into commercial operation by 2026.

Oil price bounces back

Feb 9 – The price of crude oil has recovered to pre-pandemic levels, after plunging to an all-time low last year. Brent crude oil prices for the front-month April were last seen trading at nearly $61 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the benchmark for US oil, has risen above the $58 a barrel mark for the first time in over a year.

Equinor VP named co-chair of OGUK board

Feb 8 – Arne Gürtner, Senior Vice President UK & Ireland Offshore at Equinor has been appointed to co-chair the Oil & Gas UK board, as the sector strive to recover while meeting its net-zero targets for 2021. He will be working with Phil Simons, VP North Sea & Canada, Subsea 7.

Enagás to tap wind power for hydrogen

Feb 5 – The Spanish utilities Enagás and Naturgy are evaluating the potential of producing hydrogen from a 250 MW floating off-shore wind farm and a 100 MW on-shore wind farm in Asturias. The project is hoped to generate more than 1500 jobs during construction and operation, with developers applying for funding under the IPCEI scheme.

Turboden wins contract in the Philippines

Feb 4 – Italy-based Turboden, part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, has been awarded a contract by the Philippine utility EDC to supply a 20 MW geothermal power plant at Bacon-Manito, on the island of Luzon. The zero-emissions power unit is scheduled to start operations before the end of 2022, and will help lower the local grid’s dependence on fossil energy source.

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