Energy 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

Low-carbon batteries

Jan 26 – Geyser Batteries, a Finnish cleantech startup, has calculated the emissions of its electrochemical recuperators (ECR) to be significantly below industry averages. The ECR is an energy storage used for heavy-duty applications in the power grid and industrial machinery. The calculation, validated by the research institution VTT, shows the carbon footprint of ECR production is up to 74% lower when compared to its closest competitor, supercapacitors based on li-ion batteries.

Green hydrogen production surges

Jan 25 – Global green hydrogen production is seen skyrocket at a rate of 57% between 2019 and 2020, according to Frost & Sullivan, rising from 40,000 tons to 5.7 million tons. The hydrogen surge comes as industry and power generators increase investment  in alternative low carbon technologies and more countries set binding targets to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Italy’s power exports Montenegro surge

Jan 22 – Italian electric power exports increased by 28% in 2020, largely driven by flows to Montenegro which surged 26% to 8.6 TWh. In contrast, domestic power demand fell 6% last year to 271.6 TWh with electricity sales from conventional plants down nearly 9% to 140.5 TWh, figures by the Italian energy exchange GME show.

US considers new nuclear

Jan 21 – The new US President Joe Biden has said his country could construct new nuclear power plants and reiterated plans to “swiftly rejoin” the Paris Climate Agreement swiftly. Germany’s environment minister, Svenja Schulze, called it illusionary to believe that newer, smaller reactors will be a technology of the future.

Mitsubishi produces methanol in Trinidad

Jan 20 – Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company has launched commercial operations of a methanol and dimethyl ether plant in Trinidad and Tobago. The plant has an annual production capacity of one million tons of methanol and 20,000 tons of dimethyl ether, which can be used as an alternative fuel for cars and power generation.

First 8-cylinder B36:45 engine delivered

Jan 19 – Rolls-Royce has delivered the first 8-cylinder variant of its Bergen B36:45 gas engine to a tomato producer in Belgium. The medium speed genset is planned for delivery this spring and will drive an onsite power plant that generates 4700 kW electricity and 5520 kW heat. The new engine offers a 20% increase in power per cylinder and will replace an existing Bergen 12-cylinder B35:40 genset.

Moody’s upgrades Enel to Baa1

Jan 18 – Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Enel’s long-term rating to Baa1, with a stable outlook. The upgrade reflects Enel’s progress in reducing its risk profile, analysts said, pointing at the Italian utilities ongoing investment in networks and renewables, growing geographical diversification and focus on centralised financing.

GE sues Siemens Energy

Jan 15 – General Electric has sued its German rival Siemens Energy over the alleged use of stolen trade secrets to win gas turbine contracts worth several billion dollars. GE told the US district court in Virginia that Siemens received the secret information from a Dominion Energy employee.

Orbital Energy launches Eclipse

Jan 14 – Nasdaq-listed Orbital Energy Group has launched a new subsidiary, Eclipse Foundation, a drilled shaft construction company. The new company specialises in providing services for power transmission and substations, communication tower and a disaster restoration through emergency power.

S’Korean coal and LNG imports slide

Jan 13 – South Korea’s imports of thermal coal and LNG have fallen 12% and 11%, respectively, as the government cracks down on fossil fuel usage to curb air pollution. Customs data shows that coal imports amounted to 10.2 million tons in December, down 1.4 million tons from the same month last year but up from November’s imports of 9.5 million tons.

SMC builds 1.7 GW CCGT in Batangas

Jan 13 – Excellent Energy Resources, part of SMC Global Power Holdings, is building a 1,700 MW combined cycle gas power plant in Barangay Dela Paz and Ilijan in Batangas City with investments of about 67.863 billion Philippine Pesos ($1.41bn). The project is estimated to be completed in 36 to 40 months.

UK’s National Grid issues supply warning

Jan 12 – Natural gas prices in the UK surged as National Grid issued warnings on supply deficit as LNG cargoes are being diverted to North Asia. Prices at the British NBP gas trading hub soared to the equivalent of $8.95 per MMBtu, while the JKM price for North Asian spot LNG cargoes for February 2021 was last at $19.700 per MMBt.

Fortistar invests in hydrogen

Jan 11 – Fortistar, a privately-held fund, has joined an equity investment of up to $157 million in hydrogen producer BayoTech. Cottonwood Technology Funds and the New Mexico State Investment Council also participated in the latest financing round. BayoTech’s systems produce local hydrogen close to the application, serving end users in the industrial gas and petrochemical segment as well as those who use of hydrogen to power fuel cells.

Ashtead appoints new CFO

Jan 5 - Ashtead Technology has appointed a chief financial officer (CFO) and five managers for newly created roles across its international team. The appointments are meant to cement the company’s position in the offshore energy market, including offshore wind and decommissioning of thermal power plants

NFE secures LNG for Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua

Dec 23 – New Fortress Energy (NFE) has agreed to purchase Henry-Hub-indexed LNG for its integrated gas and power businesses in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua. The New York-based project developer said it now has covered 80% of its expected needs throughout Latin America, thus reducing its need for spot purchases and its exposure to changes in the market price for LNG.

China and Korea mandate coal-to-gas switch

Dec 22 – The Chinese government has launched a coal-to-gas boiler switching programme, targeting 7.1 million homes, which makes gas demand more weather-sensitive this winter. Similarly, South Korea mandated the closure of 15 coal-fired plants since the start of December in an effort to reduce air pollution. Analysts expect this will accelerate the drawdown of LNG terminal inventories going into Q1-2021.

GE repowers oil field in Brazil

Dec 21 – GE Power Conversion has been awarded a contract by Sulzer Pumps UK to supply motors for four water injection pumps of a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. The 8,000 kW, two pole motors will run at 3,600 rpm with a limitation of the starting current at 300%, enabling the oil and gas field operator to optimise the generator which supplies electricity on the FPSO.