Energy Storage

The UK Government has given approval for the development of a major new gas storage and balancing facility in Cheshire.

Centrica has won approval to reduce the minimum capacity of the UK’s biggest gas storage facility to zero.

Warmer than normal weather throughout much of the United States resulted in the first recorded net natural gas injection during a week in February since weekly storage data has been collected. For the week ending February 24th, the amount of natural gas in storage in the Lower 48 states increased by 7 Bcf.

ABB has successfully commissioned Denmark’s first urban energy storage system. The Lithion-ion based battery energy storage system (BESS) will be integrated with the local electricity grid in the new harbour district of Nordhavn, Copenhagen.

Feb 8 - Italy's Enel has partnered with storage systems provider Aton Storage in order to expand its portfolio in the sector.

The deal follows agreements reached by Enel in recent months with Tesla, BYD and LG Chem.

Enel has also incorporated the Aton storage system in its commercial offering of photovoltaic panels combined with energy storage systems “which will launch shortly” it said.

ABB is to provide an “innovative” microgrid, combining battery and flywheel based storage technologies, designed to test scalability and improve power stability for around 300,000 people in Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

Italy's industry ministry has ruled strategic gas storage volumes in the country for storage year 2017-2018 should remain unchanged year on year at 4.62 billion cubic meters, or around 48,846 GWh.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has successfully completed a technology demonstration project to explore the performance of battery storage systems participating in California's electricity markets.

One of the key factors that will determine the amount of gas used in power generation over future years is the cost and effectiveness of energy storage. The cheaper the storage, the more intermittent renewables will be able to be introduced to grids, and the less gas that will be required; especially in higher latitudes where solar is not available part of the year.

France's Engie has signed an agreement with Ukraine's gas transmission system operator UkrTransGaz aimed at further developing the company's presence in Ukraine's wholesale gas market.

Russia's Gazprom is ready to face the heightened natural gas demand of the winter period, starting the season with some 72.1 billion cubic meters of gas reserves in storage, according to the head of Gazprom, Alexei Miller.

Responding to California’s Aliso Canyon gas supply constraints, the key power provider Southern California Edison (SCE) has decided to install a battery energy storage system from Current, powered by GE’s LM6000 Hybrid EGT package.

Oct 5 – Working with the utility Hamburg Energie the Technical University Hamburg Harburg (TUHH), Siemens is developing a thermal storage solution to be paired with wind energy, which it hopes “will set a future standard in efficiency.” Excess wind energy is used to heat rock-fill, protected by an insulated cover – when stored electricity is needed a steam turbine converts the heat energy back to electricity. Tests in spring 2017 will evaluate the energy conversion of a 36 MWh test bed based on a container holding approximately 2,000 cubic meters of rock-fill. 

The world’s largest lithium-ion battery power storage – a 20 MW/80 MWh Tesla Powerpack – will be put in place at SoCal Edison’s Mira Loma substation in an effort to better harness renewable energy sources. California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) had mandated an accelerated procurement of power storage to counteract energy shortages following the Aliso Canyon gas leak.

Aug 30 – EDF Energy Renewables, the UK renewables arm of the French utility, will install a 49 MW battery power storage at its West Burton CCGT in Nottinghamshire. The final decision was made after EDF won a contract as part of a 200-MW Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) tender by the UK's National Grid.
A total of eight projects secured contracts in the EFR tender; other winners include Vattenfall, Low Carbon, RES, Element Power, E.on UK and Belectric.

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News in Brief

Fuel switch could abate 1.2bn tons of CO2

July 19 – Some 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 could be abated by switching to gas using existing infrastructure, if prices and regulation are supportive. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), this would be enough to bring global CO2 emissions back down to where they were in 2013.

IEA launches methane tracker

July 18 – A new ‘methane tracker’, launched by the International Energy Agency (IEA), provides up-to-date estimates of current oil and gas methane emissions by drawing on the best available data. Analysts stressed methane emissions could be reduced by nearly half at no net cost.

Canada’s CO2 tax also affects gas power

July 17 – Change in Canada’s carbon tax regulation for new power plants has changed to also affect cleaner-burning, gas combined-cycle power stations starting from 2021. The move could cause SaskPower to reconsider its planned upcoming Moose Jaw gas power station.

MAN, Daewoo, HSD partner on engine digitalization

July 16 – MAN Energy Solutions, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and HSD Engine (HSD) have signed a strategic agreement to cooperate in the field of marine engine systems digitization. The three companies also work together on auxiliary systems and data analysis, aiming to apply part of their know-how to power generation and related sectors.

Canada launches first utility-scale smart microgid

July 15 – The Ontario-based municipal utility North Bay Hydro Services is cooperating with the smart grid solutions firm S&C Electric to launch Canada’s first utility-scale microgrid system. Among some solar power, the 789KW microgrid system will be powered by two 265kW natural gas generators.

Macquarie funds Mexican power plant

July 12 – Macquarie Capital has chosen Credit Agricole, Natixis and SMBC to co-finance a $380 million combined-cycle gas power plant. The 560 MW plant is designated to be built in San Louis Potosi, a city in central Mexico.

B&V launches distributed energy group

July 11 – Black & Veatch has launched a dedicated distributed energy group to place its conventional power business in the context of the global energy transition. The distribute energy group will look into new fuel sources such as hydrogen and aspires to “re-power the more-than-century-old power industry.”

Funding secured for Kazah CHP project

July 10 – Kazinform Erg has committed to spend $500 million on a gas cogeneration station that will provide heat and electricity to the south of Kazakhstan. Over 87% of Kazakhstan’s electricity is generated from fossil fuels, and in 2018 the country produced 107,060 billion kWh of electricity, a 3.8% increase over the previous year and enough to cover total power use of 103,228 kWh.

Bitcoin mining uses much energy

July 9 – Estimates of bitcoin’s electricity consumption are wide-ranging, on the order of 20‑80 TWh annually. According to George Kamiya, digital energy analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA), bitcoin mining consumed around 45 TWh in 2018 although this has risen significantly this year. Through the first six months of 2019, bitcoin mining has already consumed an estimated 29 TWh.

Coal exit doesn’t impact Germany's supply security

July 8 – Electricity supply security in Germany is set to stay “very high” even as the country begins to phase out coal-fired power generation, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) said in a monitoring report. “Energy supply is adequately ensured”, the ministry said, in all scenarios examined up to 2030. Thereafter, things are less clear but the German Coal Commission is adamant that its proposal to exit coal power by 2038 is feasible and won’t seriously impact reserve margins.

Hydrogen demo plant starts in Adelaide

July 5 – The Australian Gas Networks (AGN), part of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), has received A$4.9 million in government funding for an A$11.4m hydrogen electrolyser demonstration project at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide. At the test site, AGN plans to blend 5% renewable hydrogen with natural gas for supply to customers using its existing gas distribution networks. The project is based on a Siemens proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser, running based on wind and solar power.

Wärtsilä forms biogas solution

July 4 – Wärtsilä Puregas Solutions, specialists in biogas upgrading technology, has merged with Wärtsilä’s biogas liquefaction team to create a one-stop-shop service for biofuel production. Having installed the world’s largest bioLNG facility in Skogn, Norway, Wärtsilä will deliver two more bio-LNG plants to customers in Scandinavia. The company’s Puregas CA process recovers more than 99.9% of the biomethane present in raw biogas.

PNM to close San Juan Generating Station

July 3 — New Mexico's largest energy holding, PNM Resources, has filed an application to the Public Regulation Commission to close the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station. For replacement power, PNM said the preferred option was a mix of gas power plants, solar and wind farms and new battery storage facilities. The utility strives to be ‘emissions-free’ by 2040.

ADB opens office in Singapore

July 2 — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to open an office in Singapore. The lean office with twelve staff will focus on the expansion of its private sector operations, e.g. through Public-Private Partnerships. “We estimate that developing Asia will need $1.7 trillion per year in infrastructure investments until 2030 to maintain the region’s growth momentum,” commented Singapore’s finance minister Heng Swee Keat.

Testing starts at Haliade-X

July 1 – Technology testing has started at GE’s Haliade-X, the world’s biggest offshore wind turbine. The 12 MW nacelle and 107-metre long blade was shipped to the UK as part of an advanced technology testing program, focused on enhancing the platform before it enters into serial production in 2021.

Tata to build UK’s first CCUS plant

June 28 – Tata Chemicals has announced plans to build the UK’s first industrial-scale Carbon Capture, Usage and Demonstration plant at its Northwich industrial site. The CCUD unit will be built at an estimated cost of£16.7 million and is planned to start operation in 2021. It will make use of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel power plants and turn it into sodium bicarbonate, which can then be sold to pharmaceutical industries.

Gazprom seeks to partner with Fortum

June 27 – The heads of Gazprom and Forum, Alexey Miller and Pekka Lundmark, have met in St. Petersburg to discuss a potential cooperation in the field of power generation. The Finish energy company Fortum owns 29.5% of the Russian power plant TGC-1 as well as a 49.99% share in the German utility Uniper. Through the talks, Gazprom could gain Fortum’s support to expand its firm long-term deliveries of Russian gas to Finland and Germany.