1. Articles in category: Utility Grid

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    1. Community Microgrids with Energy Storage: Cost Effective and Clean

      Community Microgrids with Energy Storage: Cost Effective and Clean

      Ameresco energy storage VP Jacqueline DeRosa highlights how the dropping price of energy storage has positioned communities to take advantage of new microgrid models. Community microgrids with energy storage serve to enhance grid reliability, security, and efficiency as the growth of distributed resources forces utilities and grid operators to transition from standard operations to more decentralized power systems.

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      Mentions: Ameresco
    2. Shell Buys Virtual Power Plant Firm Limejump

      Shell Buys Virtual Power Plant Firm Limejump

      Shell New Energies has continued its spending spree this week, with the acquisition of UK-based energy technology company Limejump. The deal comes hot on the heels of Shell agreeing to buy German battery company sonnen earlier this month. Limejump is a digital energy platform operating in the decentralized energy sector. It manages some of the largest portfolios of batteries in the UK and last year became the first aggregated virtual power plant unit admitted into Britain’s Balancing Mechanism market.

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    3. Enabling Storage Integration Through Market-Driven Procurements

      Enabling Storage Integration Through Market-Driven Procurements

      Rising renewables growth shows mandates and incentives for them work. But customer demand for renewables has not slowed, creating a need for more energy storage to stabilize the grid. That need for storage is estimated to be significantly bigger than current build-out plans, driven by existing policies, are likely to achieve. Many say more use of the competitive auctions that have helped drive renewables growth can also accelerate the deployment of storage.

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    4. Utilities are Starting to Invest in Big Batteries Instead of Building New Power Plants

      Utilities are Starting to Invest in Big Batteries Instead of Building New Power Plants

      So far, utilities have only installed the equivalent of one or two traditional power plants in grid-scale lithium-ion battery projects, all since 2015. But across California, Texas, the Midwest and New England, these devices are benefiting the overall grid by improving operations and bridging gaps when consumers need more power than usual. But several utilities are already investing in energy storage.

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      Mentions: California U.S. Texas
    5. APS Plans to Add Nearly 1GW of New Battery Storage and Solar Resources by 2025

      APS Plans to Add Nearly 1GW of New Battery Storage and Solar Resources by 2025

      The Arizona power grid has a unique set of challenges, which it turns out solar and energy storage are particularly well suited to address. Arizona Public Service, the state’s largest investor-owned utility, announced Thursday morning that it will add 850 megawatts of battery storage and at least 100 megawatts of solar generation by 2025. That amounts to nearly 1 gigawatt of new clean energy technology, to be obtained through a combination of newly completed and upcoming procurements. The plan includes outfitting existing utility-owned solar projects with 200 megawatts of batteries, deploying 500 megawatts of new battery resources, and contracting for 150 megawatts of third party-owned storage — the last of which beat out new-build natural gas peakers in an request for proposals that just concluded.

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    6. How Solar and Batteries Could Help California Manage Fire-Prevention Grid Shutdowns

      How Solar and Batteries Could Help California Manage Fire-Prevention Grid Shutdowns

      As Pacific Gas & Electric and California regulators grapple with how to manage the potential for widespread fire-prevention grid shutdowns this summer, clean energy advocates are demanding a role for solar, energy storage and microgrids as part of the solution set. But, as with so much related to the state’s de-energization plans, there’s much uncertainty over how to balance two potentially competing imperatives: the need to move quickly to mitigate potential grid emergencies this coming summer, and the need to find long-term fire mitigation methods that also match the state’s clean energy goals.

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    7. 100% Renewable Energy Needs Lots of Storage; This Polar Vortex Test Showed How Much

      100% Renewable Energy Needs Lots of Storage; This Polar Vortex Test Showed How Much

      Energy storage is a key piece of the power puzzle as cities, states, and supporters of the Green New Deal talk about a transition to 100 percent carbon-free energy sources within a few decades. Using energy production and power demand data, analysts at Wood Mackenzie showed how a 100 percent renewable energy grid, powered half by wind and half by solar, would have had significant stretches without enough wind or sun to fully power the system, meaning a large volume of energy storage would have been necessary to meet the high demand.

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      Mentions: U.S. Stanford Maine
    8. Ameren Files $6.3B Grid Transformation Plan with Missouri Regulators

      Ameren Files $6.3B Grid Transformation Plan with Missouri Regulators

      Ameren Missouri last week filed a $6.3 billion Smart Energy Plan with state regulators, sketching out an aggressive slate of projects the utility wants to complete in the next five years. The investments include $1 billion in projects slated for this year and $1 billion for wind energy in 2020. Ameren wants to modernize its electric grid, also adding more solar energy and battery storage to boost reliability, particularly in rural areas.

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      Mentions: Missouri
    9. 2018 Solar Installer Survey Reveals More than One-Third of Homeowners also Want Batteries

      2018 Solar Installer Survey Reveals More than One-Third of Homeowners also Want Batteries

      EnergySage and NABCEP have released the results of their fourth annual Solar Installer Survey, which gathered responses from more than 870 local, regional and national residential and commercial solar installers from across the United States. In addition to the obvious finding that installers overwhelmingly support permanent tax incentives for clean electricity and storage, is the finding that homeowners are asking for batteries in addition to their solar panels. According to installers, more than one in three solar shoppers are also interested in a home battery, resulting in more solar-plus-storage installations in 2018.

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    10. World's Biggest Battery to Boost Solar in Texas Oil Country

      World's Biggest Battery to Boost Solar in Texas Oil Country

      The world’s largest battery could soon be storing solar energy deep in the heart of Texas oil country. The 495-megawatt storage system would be built in tandem with a solar farm of the same size in Borden County, Texas. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc., which operates most of the state’s grid, posted the details in a chart that shows the state’s battery storage will surge more than sixfold to 584 megawatts when the projects are completed in 2021.

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      Mentions: Texas
    11. Hawaiian Electric Works Against the Clock to Add Storage, Renewables

      Hawaiian Electric Works Against the Clock to Add Storage, Renewables

      Hawaiian Electric wants to move quickly on competitive energy solicitations it is preparing for Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island, but state regulators have hit pause on the process while they consider how to move forward and prepare guidance for the utility. Phase 1 yielded seven solar+storage projects, and those power purchase agreements are now being reviewed by the Public Utilities Commission. But HECO did not acquire all the energy it sought in the first procurement round, teeing up a second round the utility wants to launch in May. HECO's most pressing need is to replace an AES purchased power contract that expires in September 2022.

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    12. Eversource Plans to Build Battery System on Martha’s Vineyard for Energy Storage

      Eversource Plans to Build Battery System on Martha’s Vineyard for Energy Storage

      Eversource announced it is “charging forward” to build an energy storage facility on Martha’s Vineyard that will better improve reliability for the island’s growing demand for electricity. On Wednesday night, the utility company along with the state Department of Public Utilities, held a public hearing in Oak Bluffs on Eversource’s plans to build a lithium-ion, 14.7 megawatt battery system. Martha’s Vineyard is served now by four underwater cables from Falmouth and in the event of a cable failure, five diesel generators would kick in to provide electricity.

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    13. Energy Storage Advances Amp up Real Estate

      Energy Storage Advances Amp up Real Estate

      The fast-developing energy storage market is powering new opportunities for commercial real estate, from diversifying location choices to boosting companies’ revenue and eco-credentials. The technology behind ion lithium batteries has taken big steps forward in recent years, making onsite energy storage a more viable, reliable and attractive option for all types of real estate. For commercial building owners and tenants, a new generation of batteries are providing a more cost-effective solution for their energy needs.

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      Mentions: UK
    14. Portland General Electric and NextEra Energy Partner on Major Wind, Solar, Battery Installation

      Portland General Electric and NextEra Energy Partner on Major Wind, Solar, Battery Installation

      Portland General Electric Company and NextEra Energy Resources, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, plan to construct a new energy facility in Eastern Oregon combining 300 MW of wind generation with 50 MW of solar generation and 30 MW of battery storage. The new project, called the Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility, will be the first of this scale in North America to co-locate and integrate these three technologies, creating an improved zero-emissions resource and accelerating Oregon’s transition to clean energy.

       

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      Mentions: U.S. GE Oregon
    15. Distributed Residential Solar+Storage Takes a Seat at the Adult Table

      Distributed Residential Solar+Storage Takes a Seat at the Adult Table

      Sunrun has won a bid for 20 MW to participate in ISO New England’s 2022-2023 Forward Capacity Market. The bid means that Sunrun will be required to offer to the broader power grid 20 MW of power, 24 hours a day for the single year period. The company will be paid $3.80/kW/month, or $76,000 for the year. Sunrun notes that the capacity will be made possible by its Brightbox energy storage product line. Currently, this product is an LG Chem RESU. LG’s 48-volt battery comes with 3.3, 6.5 and 9.8 kilowatt-hour (kWh) ratings, and its 400-volt batteries offer 7.0 and 9.8 kWh ratings. Both AC- and DC-coupled versions are available. Sunrun noted they would need about 5,000 New England customers to meet the requirement.

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    16. EV Battery Systems Able to Kick-Start Large Power Plants

      EV Battery Systems Able to Kick-Start Large Power Plants

      Transmission system operator TenneT and Daimler subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Energy have joined forces in a development partnership to see whether EV batteries could stabilize large grids. The result: Automobile battery storage systems can indeed make a significant contribution to grid stabilization and system reconstruction. The researchers have shown that automobile battery storage systems “can help to compensate for the loss of conventional energy generation,” should the electrical grid fail for some reason. By kick-starting the energy grid with the additional stationary energy storage, fluctuations can be dampened and frequency deviations covered.

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      Mentions: Germany
    17. Battery-Backed Solar Breaks Into Grid Long Seen Off Limits

      Battery-Backed Solar Breaks Into Grid Long Seen Off Limits

      Solar is breaking into a power market that’s long been the domain of big, conventional generators. A key reason: batteries. New England just approved 145 megawatts of solar systems to provide capacity to the local grid that are paired with batteries that store electricity to use after sundown. It’s the first time sunshine has been a significant participant in ISO New England Inc.’s annual forward capacity auction.

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      Mentions: ISO-NE
    18. Puerto Rican Solar Pow Wow Resumes

      Puerto Rican Solar Pow Wow Resumes

      The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has contacted Canada-based Greenbriar Capital with the intention of reopening negotiations to progress the 100MW Montalva solar project. The shovel-ready $305m project, which also includes a 30MW battery, will be the largest renewable energy project in the Caribbean when built. The plant will be located in the municipalities of Guanica and Lajas. Generating 100% renewable energy, the solar-plus-storage plant is estimated to provide PREPA customers with $1-2bn in energy savings over the 25-35-year life of the facility. According to Greenbriar Montalva will add 900 direct jobs during the construction phase.

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    19. Schneider Electric Expands Marine Base Resilience Project

      Schneider Electric Expands Marine Base Resilience Project

      Schneider Electric announced the expansion of its microgrid project at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California to boost resilience. A California Energy Commission Electric Program Investment Charge grant will enable the $3.9 million project that will add energy storage to the microgrid and integrate demand side management. Upon completion, it will incorporate a total of five distributed energy resources, including renewable generation and energy storage, in order to maintain all critical facilities during grid outages and facilitate higher renewable penetration from landfill gas generators.

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      Mentions: Schneider
    20. Container Transporters Support Grid Stability as Mobile Power Storage Units

      Container Transporters Support Grid Stability as Mobile Power Storage Units

      Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG  and its partners have begun research and development work at the company’s Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA) to integrate the battery capacities of automated guided container transport vehicles that are in use at CTA into the German energy network as flexible storage units that contribute to the grid stability of the power supply. In less busy times, free container transport vehicles could provide battery capacity as mobile power stores to safeguard grid stability.

       

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      Mentions: Europe Germany
    21. PREPA IRP Proposes Segmenting Puerto Rico into Minigrids

      PREPA IRP Proposes Segmenting Puerto Rico into Minigrids

      Puerto Rico’s utility is calling for segmenting the island’s electrical grid into eight minigrids, myriad microgrids and installing more energy storage than is now in all 50 US states. The concept is outlined in a draft integrated resource plan that the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority plans to finalize and submit to regulators February 12.

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      Mentions: Siemens Puerto Rico
    22. Massachusetts Opens Revenue Stream to Advance Solar-Plus-Storage

      Massachusetts Opens Revenue Stream to Advance Solar-Plus-Storage

      The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued two orders on Friday, to specify net metering for solar-plus-storage facilities and the capacity ownership rights of such projects. DOER worked with the state Attorney General's office on the DPU docket to help utilities and developers compromise on how to deploy more energy storage without placing an undue burden on taxpayers. For developers, capacity rights ownership to dispatch a generator or storage resource is fundamental to adding more storage and distributed renewables onto the grid. Despite the launch of the main state program for commercial energy storage, Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target, last fall, projects were viewed as less viable without developer access to a new revenue stream in the ISO-New England capacity market, DOER staff said.

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      Mentions: Massachusetts
    23. RES Revels in 2018 Surge

      RES Revels in 2018 Surge

      RES has described 2018 as the ‘year of renewables’ after the company added 1.6GW to its wind, solar and energy storage portfolio, bringing the total figure to more than 16GW. Highlights included developing and/or constructing 12 new wind, solar and storage projects in North America and the completion of three wind farms in France with a combined capacity of 40MW.

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    24. NEC Completes Energy Storage System for Consumers Energy

      NEC Completes Energy Storage System for Consumers Energy

      NEC Energy Solutions has completed an energy storage system for Consumers Energy. The NEC energy storage solution, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, includes two independent 280kW/340kWh DSS® energy storage systems and NEC’s proprietary AEROS® controls software. The energy storage system will enable Consumers Energy to investigate how energy storage can be used to avoid further system upgrades, smooth renewable energy production and support load/energy management. The storage system has been designed with the flexibility to increase the energy capacity to 1MWh or more.

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      Mentions: Michigan NEC
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