1. Recent Articles

      1. Industry study: Microgrids to Become ‘Fundamental Building Block’

        Industry study: Microgrids to Become ‘Fundamental Building Block’

        A new study suggests that microgrids – a rarity in today’s power sector – will evolve to become a “fundamental building block” of the 21st-century grid. Used primarily to ensure reliability and access in military and other critical applications, microgrids have emerged in recent years as a niche interest for utilities and communities looking to bring more renewables online and increase resilience in the face of extreme weather. Despite the heightened profile, microgrids – islandable networks of generation and distribution – remain a small part of the U.S. energy system, making up a fraction of a percent of the nation’s total power generating capacity.

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        Mentions: U.S. IL LBNL
      2. Puerto Rico Battles Massive Blackout After Fire at Electricity Plant

        Puerto Rico Battles Massive Blackout After Fire at Electricity Plant

        A massive blackout has hit Puerto Rico after a fire broke out at one of the island’s main electricity plants, leaving almost half of the US territory’s 3.5 million inhabitants without power. The Electric Power Authority said two transmission lines of 230,000 volts each failed, for reasons which are still being investigated. Puerto Rico’s governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla said in a press conference that it could be as much as 24 hours before power is restored, according to newspaper El Nuovo Dia.

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        Mentions: Puerto Rico
      3. South Australia's Blackout Explained (and no, Renewables aren't to Blame)

        South Australia's Blackout Explained (and no, Renewables aren't to Blame)

        On Wednesday, something very unusual happened: the entire state of South Australia lost power. Known as a “system black,” it’s something the Australian Energy Market Operator (Aemo) had only prepared for in theory – never having the unfortunate opportunity to put “black start” procedures into place.What caused the blackout? The cause was very clear. And it was not due to renewable energy. One of the worst storms to hit South Australia in 50 years knocked out 22 high-voltage power pylons. The lines on those pylons carry electricity generated near Port Augusta to the rest of the state.

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        Mentions: Australia
      4. Newly Signed Bills To Spur Energy Storage In California

        Newly Signed Bills To Spur Energy Storage In California

        Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif., has signed into law four new bills that are expected to directly impact energy storage in California. According to the California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA), the bills will collectively grow the behind-the-meter and utility-scale energy storage markets, create new clean energy jobs, reduce distributed energy resource interconnection challenges, and ensure that bulk energy storage is part of the states’s renewable energy future. The four pieces of legislation include the following:

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        Mentions: CA CESA
      5. Con Edison Offers New Yorkers US$5 Million Thermal Storage Promo

        Con Edison Offers New Yorkers US$5 Million Thermal Storage Promo

        New York utility Con Edison is offering local businesses incentives to install over US$5 million of thermal energy storage systems that kick in during peak hours, and can be controlled remotely. Supermarkets, grocery stores and other cold storage facilities in parts of the New York boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens can take advantage of the incentive as part of Con Edison’s ‘Neighborhood Program’ to promote more efficient energy usage. Specifically, Con Edison is offering eligible businesses help to purchase and install Axiom Exergy’s Refrigeration Battery system, which affords between 1.5MW and 2MW of storage per unit, and an aggregate power supply of up to 8MWh.

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        Mentions: NY
      6. The Transformation of Residential Energy Storage

        The Transformation of Residential Energy Storage

        The residential energy storage industry has gained significant momentum during the past year. Yet while there has been substantial progress, recent high-profile product launches have led to media attention that overestimates the current state of the industry. Despite the potential of residential battery energy storage systems to drive transformation in electric power systems, they are an economical investment only in select markets today. Going forward, utility involvement in the residential energy storage system (RESS) market will be a turning point for the industry as utilities look to own, distribute or access these storage systems. This article explores the evolving economics of RESS, how utility involvement is rapidly shifting market dynamics and the potential for this technology to lay the foundation for the distributed energy revolution.

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      7. New York City Sets the First Citywide Energy Storage Target

        New York City Sets the First Citywide Energy Storage Target

        Only two U.S. states, California and Massachusetts, have set targets for energy storage deployments. Now New York City has joined them. The city government unveiled a storage goal of 100 megawatt-hours by 2020 last week, along with an expanded solar target of 1,000 megawatts by 2030. Storage, with its capacity to integrate variable wind and solar power sources into the grid, is expected to play a critical role in meeting the city's plans to cut greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 2050. Storage experts told GTM that this is the first time a city has set such a target.

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        Mentions: CA U.S. ESA
      8. Choose Wisely

        Choose Wisely

        Many utilities view the implementation of energy storage as an important way to help meet current and future energy needs. Consider the following when choosing a system for your operation. As utilities face the converging stresses of increased demand, aging infrastructure and greater reliance on renewable energy, their ability to access scalable power has never been more critical. Peak electricity demand in the U.S. has exceeded transmission growth nearly 25 percent every year since 1982, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. In addition, the U.S. Energy Information Administration states that 51 percent of all generating capacity (530 GW) is at least 30 years old.

         

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        Mentions: DoE U.S. EIA
      9. Advanced Microgrid Solutions and Irvine Ranch Water District Partner on Largest Public Water Agency Energy Storage Network in the U.S.

        Advanced Microgrid Solutions and Irvine Ranch Water District Partner on Largest Public Water Agency Energy Storage Network in the U.S.

        Many utilities view the implementation of energy storage as an important way to help meet current and future energy needs. Consider the following when choosing a system for your operation. As utilities face the converging stresses of increased demand, aging infrastructure and greater reliance on renewable energy, their ability to access scalable power has never been more critical. Peak electricity demand in the U.S. has exceeded transmission growth nearly 25 percent every year since 1982, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. In addition, the U.S. Energy Information Administration states that 51 percent of all generating capacity (530 GW) is at least 30 years old.

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      10. Unbundled Ancillary Services Are Another Energy Storage Opportunity in Australia | Greentech Media

        Unbundled Ancillary Services Are Another Energy Storage Opportunity in Australia | Greentech Media

        New rules planned by Australian energy authorities add to the good news for storage providers in the country. The proposed rule changes were recently announced after a four-year gestation. They're designed to unbundle the country's grid services -- effectively separating the supply of energy and the provision of ancillary services. This is in contrast to the previous regime, which dictated that a company could only sell all their services to one buyer, the energy retailer. Now the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has determined that consumers should be able to sell their ancillary services to the party of their choice, opening up the field to smaller players.

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      11. German Energy Storage Company Fires up Energy Revolution

        German Energy Storage Company Fires up Energy Revolution

        A smart, entrepreneurial Germany battery company is taking on its country’s electric utilities as it carves out a new business model for itself amid a fast-changing energy marketplace. Sonnen, based in Bavaria, aims to bring its disruptive vision of the future of electric power to America in a few years. Just two weeks ago, it started providing an unprecedented blend of energy storage, energy management capabilities along with free electricity to 2,000 customers across Germany, from Hamburg to Munich, Christoph Ostermann, co-founder and CEO of Sonnen, Thursday told the Energy Times in an exclusive interview.

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      12. STA Sets Out Policy Requirements for UK Storage Market

        STA Sets Out Policy Requirements for UK Storage Market

        The Solar Trade Association has set out its key policy asks for the government regarding the growing energy storage market, with calls to resolve regulatory barriers and protect consumers with minimum standards leading the field. In its latest policy paper to government, dubbed 'Solar + Storage Opportunities', the STA has claimed a number of key issues affecting the nascent energy storage sector need to be resolved before it can reach its fullest potential.

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        Mentions: Europe UK
      13. Hawaiian Regulators Approve Time-of-Use Rate Pilot to Aid Solar Integration

        Hawaiian Regulators Approve Time-of-Use Rate Pilot to Aid Solar Integration

        Hawaii’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved a two-year pilot program giving customers of Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO) the option of choosing time-of-use rates, the Associated Press reports. The program is designed to encourage customers to shift their electricity usage to times when rates are lower, such as when solar power and other forms of renewable energy are available, and away from peak demand hours. As many as 5,000 customers will be allowed to sign up. 

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        Mentions: HI CO
      14. SolarReserve Promotes Urban Solar Farms As A New Paradigm For Renewable Energy In South Africa

        SolarReserve Promotes Urban Solar Farms As A New Paradigm For Renewable Energy In South Africa

        The U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to SolarReserve South Africa (Proprietary) Limited to advance their "Urban Solar Farms" initiative in South Africa; a pioneering study into large metropolitan municipalities that will provide a framework for large commercial and industrial electricity consumers with significant power requirements to cost-effectively deploy renewable energy in urban areas. The grant, which supports the goals of the U.S. government-led Power Africa initiative, will support development of up to 200 megawatts of solar farms ranging in size from 5 to 30 megawatts. The projects will be privately owned and operated and will provide power to end users either directly or through wheeling arrangements with municipal distribution companies.

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      15. A New Kind of Solar Panel That's Smart, Stores Energy, and Even Talks

        A New Kind of Solar Panel That's Smart, Stores Energy, and Even Talks

        A fog machine goes off, and an astronaut emerges from behind the assembled crowd, carrying the device that the room has been waiting to see up onto the stage. The atmosphere could be mistaken for the unveiling of the latest virtual reality headset or a new Silicon Valley-backed fitness tracker.  But the four-year-old startup called SunCulture Solar, led by entrepreneur and inventor Christopher Estes, has developed something much more unusual and the company unveiled it for the first time on Wednesday night in the penthouse at The Battery club in downtown San Francisco.

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        Mentions: Africa Caribbean Seeo
      16. US, Canada Utilities Aim to Link Three Microgrids in $12.4M Cross-Border Project

        US, Canada Utilities Aim to Link Three Microgrids in $12.4M Cross-Border Project

        Three utilities have formed a consortium with three technology companies and an academic institution in a $12.4 million project to link three microgrids in Maine and eastern Canada into a “transactive energy” scheme. Emera Maine, Nova Scotia Power and Toronto Hydro are teaming up with Opus One Solutions, Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Smarter Grid Solutions and the Center for Urban Energy at Ryerson University for the project, which aims to demonstrate how microgrids can save money and aid in integrating renewable energy into the grid.

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        Mentions: Canada ME
      17. US Pledges US$37 Million to Improve Energy Storage Tech in Transport, Grid and Fuel Cells

        US Pledges US$37 Million to Improve Energy Storage Tech in Transport, Grid and Fuel Cells

        The US Department of Energy has set aside US$37 million to improve energy storage and conversion technologies in transportation batteries, grid-level storage, and fuel cells. The department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) will fund 16 new research projects into how new technology, specifically solid ion conductors, can overcome the limitations of current battery and fuel cell products.

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        Mentions: DoE arpa-e
      18. Energy Storage in Canada: Growing Leaps and Bounds

        Energy Storage in Canada: Growing Leaps and Bounds

        This week, ESA was excited to host the first-ever Energy Storage in Canada Summit with our partners Energy Storage Ontario and the National Research Council of Canada. The event was completely sold out and provided a global gathering of utility leaders, grid operators, project developers and technology companies with a forum to collaborate and pave a path forward for storage deployment in Canada.

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        Mentions: Canada Ontario ESA
      19. An Industry in Flux: Energy Storage Transitions to New Markets and New Applications in the US

        An Industry in Flux: Energy Storage Transitions to New Markets and New Applications in the US

        The U.S. energy storage market is in a period of transition. Last year was a big one for storage, with Q4 2015 alone logging more total megawatts deployed than 2013 and 2014 combined. This growth drew increased attention from investors, regulators, consumers, and system operators. And in 2016, battery storage has expanded its foothold beyond its historically favorable markets, capitalizing on improved economics and a renewed focus on reliability. GTM Research has analyzed several key indicators of a transition for America's storage market.

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      20. Breaking the Ice with Thermal Energy Storage

        Breaking the Ice with Thermal Energy Storage

        Quick quiz: Where can somebody find a very common substance that has the potential to drastically reduce energy spending – especially at peak price points when electricity is most expensive?  Answer: Any freezer. Granted, the scale in the use of ice to cool a building and to cool a glass of ice tea is significantly different. But the bedrock principle of energy transfer is the same. Thermal cooling leverages that concept by freezing water at night, when the energy required to do so is less expensive. The melt water is stored and circulated as it is needed during peak demand times the next day. Thus, the heavy lifting — the energy-intensive process of freezing the water — is done at a point at which costs are lower.

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        Mentions: FL ME Ice Energy
      21. Duke Energy Announces Plans to Expand 1,065-MW Bad Creek Pumped Storage by 200 MW

        Duke Energy Announces Plans to Expand 1,065-MW Bad Creek Pumped Storage by 200 MW

        Duke Energy announced plans last week to expand its 1,065-MW Bad Creek pumped storage project by 200 MW, with an anticipated completion date of 2023. This upgrade was included in the Duke Energy Carolinas Integrated Resources Plan that was filed Sept. 1. The company plans to file a license amendment for this work with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2017. Work to increase capacity will involve installing a more efficient and powerful pump-turbine, a new generator and higher-rated generator output circuit breakers.

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        Mentions: Duke Energy FERC
      22. DOE Announces Final Rule for the Integrated Interagency Pre-Application Process on Electric Grid Transmission

        DOE Announces Final Rule for the Integrated Interagency Pre-Application Process on Electric Grid Transmission

        Acknowledging that our aging electric transmission grid is also the backbone of our Nation’s economy, more than three years ago President Obama directed the Energy Department to improve parts of the transmission permitting process to help expand how federal, state, local and tribal governments work to modernize the grid. After all, a strong transmission system improves reliability and can lower electricity costs.

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        Mentions: DoE
      23. Massachusetts Earmarks 600MW of Storage by 2025 for $800 Million in Cost Savings

        Massachusetts Earmarks 600MW of Storage by 2025 for $800 Million in Cost Savings

        The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has recommended 600MW of advanced energy storage technologies to be installed on the state grid by 2025, providing over $800 million in cost savings to ratepayers.DOER said the cost savings could be realised over a “10-year time span’, and its proposed measures on energy storage would also see a reduction of around 350,000 tonnes in green-house gas emissions in the period, which it said was equivalent to taking 73,000 cars off the road.

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        Mentions: CA DoE OR
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