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Energy Storage

Modelling from the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) suggests large scale power storage utilising gas may soon be a reality. ”First prototypes will be available in 12 months from now with industrial implementation in 24 to 26 months,” Gas to Power Journal was told.

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.

July 30 - Samsung Electronics Co and S&C Electric Co have joined forces to develop an energy storage project that could save Britain up to £300 million annually once 2 GW of storage is installed by 2020.

The project comes at a cost of £28.5 million and will be capable of storing up to 10 MW-hours of electricity.

As part of a 'smart grid' feasibility study, energy storage company ITM Power has launched an upgrade to its hydrogen-producing HGas electrolyser on the Isle of Wight, UK to allow more solar and wind power to come on the grid safely. Sponsored by the UK government, the study examines how HGas electrolyser units produce hydrogen gas from surplus renewable power that utilities can sell as fuel to natural gas consumers and power plants.

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News in Brief

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.

DNV GL streamlines energy businesses

Feb 3 –Norwegian-German classification society DNV GL has combined its current Oil & Gas and Power & Renewables business. The new ‘Energy Systems’ unit employs over 4,000 experts as of February 1, 2021, providing certification, advisory and digital monitoring services across the entire energy value chain. By combining its expertise, DNV GL said it is “better equipped to support clients in tackling the energy transition.”

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