Energy Storage

Jan 25 - Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy's Commercial Businesses announced the completion of North America's largest battery storage project at its Notrees Windpower Project in west Texas.

The 36 MW energy storage and power management system completed testing and commenced operations in December.

Sept 21 - Going into the winter withdrawal season, gas storage volumes in the UK are on healthy levels on soft European demand for UK gas through the Interconnector, Deutsche Bank analysts said today.

Month-to-date Interconnector flows have averaged 9mcm/d this year versus 52mcm/d last year in early September (excluding the maintenance period), the bank said in a weekly commodity report.

Volumes in the UK are nearly equal to that seen last year, even with the large withdrawal in September, compared with a net injection last September into medium-range storage.

Sept 12 - Installed thermal energy storage capacity in the U.S. is forecast to rise to 7.2 GW by 2020, up from 2.7 GW in 2011, according to Pike Research.

The annual U.S. market for incremental thermal energy storage capacity totals $268 million, with 246 MW of new capacity installed in 2011, Pike Research, a part of Navigant's Energy Practice, said in a report published on Wednesday.

The strongest growth for thermal energy storage is expected to occur in Europe, as market development is supported by the European Commission's efficiency initiatives and the rise in volatile renewable electricity generation.

„Under a conservative estimate of 2020 market activity, there will be about 19 GW of cumulative thermal energy storage installations in Europe by the end of the decade, equaling 2 GW of new capacity per year by 2020," analysts at Pike Research said in the report.

Thermal energy storage is used to better utilise surplus electricity generatated at solar plant projects by storing heat for later power generation.

August 28 – ABB has been commissioned to launch the largest battery energy storage project of its kind in Switzerland together with EKZ, a power distribution utility.

ABB supplied EKZ with battery energy storage solution using Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries that can provide one megawatt of power during 15 minutes.

The storage facility is integrated into EKZ's power distribution network and is being used to evaluate
performance in key areas such as balancing peak loads and intermittent power supply, and the viability of the solution for grid optimization.

August 17 - Germany's municipal utility Stadtwerke Neustadt solar power developer IBC Solar have inaugurated a pilot project to store up to 200 kWh of electricity within a local grid area.

If the utility's solar plants produce more power than is required, the energy can be stored and supplied to the grid at a later point, online media solarserver.de reported on Friday.

The power storage unit helps to stabilises the local grid and reduced the need for further regional grid expansion.

Decentralised energy storage can play an important role within the context of tomorrow's smart grid, next to demand response by means of flexible power generation, an Eurelectric report finds.

Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has published a document entitled "MHI Environmental Vision 2030", setting out how to reach its economic targets while developing sustainable technology. One key objective is to strengthen efforts on developing technology for energy storage, MHI said.

Users of electricity storage facilities can take advantage of daily variations of the electricity prices to reduce their overall energy costs. The EIA is supporting the use of electricity storage technology as a step towards a more efficient utilisation of electricity.

March 19 - Siemens has installed a Siestorage energy storage solution at an Enel-operated pilot plant in Italy.

The plant has an output of one megavolt ampere and a capacity of 500 kilowatt-hours, Siemens' Infrastructure & Cities division said today.

The Siestorage energy storage solution was installed in Enel's the medium voltage electricity distribution network. Enel, Italy's biggest electricity producer, utilises Siestorage to a Smart Grid solutions for voltage regulation with the aim of integrating renewable energy sources into the medium voltage network.

A combination of flexible combined cycle gas turbines (CCGT) and Shallow Salt storage is "best placed" to balance electricity supply and demand in the U.K. amid a rise of intermittent renewable energy production, John Baldwin, managing director, CNG Services Ltd told Gas-to-Power Journal today.

E.ON UK has begun commercial operations at its Holford gas storage plant in Cheshire in the north-west of England. Once completed, the projected gas withdrawal rate at the facility will be 16 MMcm/day – sufficient to qualify the Holford gas storage plant as vital backup infrastructure for supplying fuel to gas-fired power plants.

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News in Brief

Statkraft, GE enhance GB grid stability

July 10 – Statkraft and GE Power Conversion are working together to stabilise Britain’s power grid. To that end, GE will manufacture and install two Rotating Stabiliser synchronous machines at Statkraft’s site in Keith, Moray. Statkraft was awarded four stability contracts (two at Keith and two at Lister Drive) by National Grid ESO (NGESO) earlier this year.

Siemens Energy spin-off approved

July 9 – A large majority of Siemens shareholders have voted to approve the spin-off of the company’s energy business. The spin-off was approved by 99.36 percent of capital stock represented at today’s extraordinary shareholders’ meeting.

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.