Falling costs for renewables and energy storage will squeeze out gas-fired generation in South Australia as early as 2025, Wood Mackenzie and GTM Research find. By then, wind, solar and battery costs are seen decline by 15%, 25% and 50% respectively – hence they offer a “lower cost alternative” to CCGTs, which cover the bulk of South Australia’s base load power today.
June 9 – Car manufacturer Renault-Nissan is finalising plans to build a 100-MW power storage plant in Europe, based on disused and recycled car batteries. Similar to rival Tesla’s electricity storage arm, the latest move of Renault-Nissan indicates the company’s aspiration to cultivate a second-hand battery market. The projected power storage facility, if built, would have enough capacity to meet the electricity needs of 120,000 homes. The carmaker confirmed the news, stating “We're working with The Mobility House on several programs including a major energy storage project that is currently still in the study phase.”
Italy’s state-owned utility Enel has bought the Tynemouth stand-alone battery storage project in the North East of England from Element Power for approximately 20 million euros. The construction-ready project is an “investment opportunity,” according to Enel said, as it is supported by a 4-year Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) contract to provide grid balancing services.
Worldwide markets for battery energy storage systems (BESS) are expected to grow exponentially due to its grid, generation, and consumer-side applications – reaching more than 14 GW by 2020, up from about 1.5 GW in 2015, according to GlobalData analysis. The United States is leading the BESS market followed by Japan, Germany and China.
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.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is working with GE on a pilot project on effective Distributed Energy Resource Management (DERM) in California. The aim is to maintain reliable operation of the distribution network with the increase in distributed energy through solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage.
Aug 8 – Eager to be less exposed to volatile electricity prices in South Australia, the city of Adelaide is rolling out 1,000 battery systems to home and business. Hooked up to a virtual power plant (VPP) the battery units will help to optimise solar power. AGL Energy said its $20 million project, backed with $5 million from Arena, will basically operate like a 5 MW peaking power plant.
Aug 5 – ExxonMobil has committed to invest $15 million as a leadership member of the University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute. Research projects will cover a range of emerging technologies, including renewable energy, battery technologies and power grid modelling.
Toshiba Corp has struck a deal with Tepco and the Japanese city of Yokohama to launch a trial for the control of multiple, grouped storage batteries attached to Virtual Power Plants (VPPs). The pilot projects test the waters as Toshiba seeks to build up a battery service business.
The water-cooled 2,000 MW AES Alamitos combined-cycle gas power plant on Long Beach will no longer be simply replaced by an air-cooled CCGT of equal size – the operator AES California is now opting for just 1,100 MW of gas-fired capacity, backed up with 100 MW of battery storage, initially. Energy storage is seen as an alternative to fast-ramping peak power units.