Aug 14 – GE Renewable Energy has booked a turnkey contract with Star Pumped Storage Ltd for the 344 MW Kokhav Hayarden hydro pumped storage station, the second to be installed in Israel. GE Renewable Energy is responsible for the design, manufacture, supply and installation of all electro-mechanical and hydro-mechanical equipment as well as complete balance of plant for the two 172 MW pumped-storage units. The project will be executed by a consortium led by Chinese EPC SinoHydro.
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.
Aug 1 – Aliso Canyon, California’s largest underground natural gas storage facility, has been cleared by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources to increase injections above earlier imposed limits. The facility has been undergoing extensive testing since a leak was detected in October 2015 and stopped in February 2016
June 29 – Following this week’s working meeting in Belgrade between Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Dusan Bajatovic, director general of Srbijagas, the Gazprom head has signed a roadmap with Serbia’s Minister of Mining and Energy, Aleksandar Antic on how to jointly expand the Serbian gas transmission system. The expansion of the Banatski Dvor underground gas storage facility in Northern Serbia was also discussed. A memorandum, signed early June 2017, stipulates that the UGS facility's capacities will be increased from 450 to 750 million cubic meters. Serbia is a transit country for Russian pipeline gas exports which first reach Turkey and then get transported onwards to Austria and Western Europe.
Though Centrica CEO Ian Conn told the BBC this morning that closure of its 3.4 Bcm Rough gas storage facility will not destabilize Britain’s gas supply – given the possibility to import LNG and source gas from Norway and the EU through several interconnectors – some analysts see it differently. Commenting on Centrica’s move, Wood Mackenzie analyst Graham Freedman said the decision not reopen Rough storage comes as “no surprise” and makes “good commercial sense” for Centrica. However, he believes the implications on the UK's future security of gas supply “will no doubt lead to a UK Government review of its position, particularly in light of current Brexit negotiations.”
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.”
Utility-scale capacity provided by various energy storage technologies and renewables beyond wind, solar and hydro, collectively accounted for 4% of the electricity generating capacity in the United States in 2016. Latest EIA figures shows a small, but growing trend towards demand-side response – vital tools for balancing electricity markets the United States, and elsewhere.
Britain’s dominant energy supplier Centrica sees a “trend of less value being generated by centralized power,” meaning large combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) units, “so we have converted a number of these into more flexible open-cycle (OCGT) units,” says Merchant Power Director, Mark Futyan. In addition, Centrica is building 100-MW of decentralized capacity, based on Wartsila gas engines and 50-MW energy storage.
The International Energy Agency’s Tracking Clean Energy Progress (TCEP) has examined the progress of a variety of clean energy technologies towards interim 2°C scenario targets in 2025. Just three out of a total of 26 tracked technologies were classified as “advancing towards a sustainable energy transition”: onshore wind and solar, electric vehicles, and energy storage.
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.