1. Articles in category: Mechanical Storage

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    1. GE Looking at Reservoir Pumps for Renewable Energy Storage

      GE Looking at Reservoir Pumps for Renewable Energy Storage

      Scientists from General Electric's Global Research Center in Niskayuna recently won a $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to study the viability of so-called pumped storage hydropower technology that essentially stores up power generated from solar and wind farms for use on the electric grid. The grant, which was awarded by the DOE's Water Power Technologies Office, will be shared by GE Research, GE Energy Consulting and GE Renewable Energy's hydro team.

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      Mentions: DoE U.S. GE
    2. Hot Dam: How Hydro Storage Will Allow Uruguay To Join The 100% Renewables Club

      Hot Dam: How Hydro Storage Will Allow Uruguay To Join The 100% Renewables Club

      In recent years, 50-60% of Uruguay’s power has been generated from the country’s four hydroelectric dams on the River Uruguay. Most of the remainder comes from renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines. That combination has turned the country into the world’s poster child for low-carbon energy. The one remaining sticking point is storage. Without it, renewables can only be used as they are generated. Hydro storage provides reliability and flexibility to a renewables-based grid by creating a huge, continuously rechargeable battery that is entirely powered by the elements.

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    3. Battery On The Berm: The Ludington Pumped Storage Facility

      Battery On The Berm: The Ludington Pumped Storage Facility

      The Ludington pumped storage facility is essentially one of the world’s largest batteries. Consumers Energy gets its base load of energy from its coal and gas plants across the state. When the energy demands peak above that base load, they need places like the Ludington Pumped Storage Facility to pick up the slack. In just a matter of minutes, they can open up the gates, get the water flowing through the turbines and pick up that amount. When the demand is low, like at night, they will start pumping water back in to the reservoir, getting ready for that next call.

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      Mentions: DTE Energy Michigan
    4. How LADWP Uses Two Lakes To Store Energy Like A Giant Battery

      How LADWP Uses Two Lakes To Store Energy Like A Giant Battery

      The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has turned two big lakes into a monster battery capable of storing enough energy to power tens of thousands of homes. It involves using the excess wind and solar power L.A.'s renewable energy sites produce during the day to pump water from Castaic Lake uphill 7.5 miles to Pyramid Lake. Then, late in the day, when the sun goes down and the city's energy demand spikes, the water gets run downhill through hydroelectric generators at Castaic Lake.

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      Mentions: California U.S.
    5. Pumping Up Potential

      Pumping Up Potential

      Pumped storage accounts for over 94% of installed global energy storage capacity, rightfully deserving the accolade of being the world’s ‘water battery’. The existing 161,000MW of pumped storage capacity supports power grid stability, with the International Hydropower Association estimating that total storage is in the region of 9000GWh. A recent working paper has been produced to help stimulate timely discussion among policy makers and energy system stakeholders about the increasingly important role of pumped storage in the clean energy transition. The paper provides an assessment of the technology’s current status as well as tracing its historical roots.

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    6. Three Large-Scale Energy Storage Technologies That May Hold the Keys to Unleashing an All-Out Renewable Energy Transition

      Three Large-Scale Energy Storage Technologies That May Hold the Keys to Unleashing an All-Out Renewable Energy Transition

      Recent developments to do with pumped hydro, liquid air and kinetic energy storage technology hold out the promise of inexpensive, widely available energy storage. If realized, deployments could be the catalyst that fuels growth of solar, wind and other emissions-free, renewable energy capacity to new, significantly higher, heights, proponents say.

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      Mentions: Highview
    7. Funding Selections Announced for Innovative Design Concepts for Standard Modular Hydropower and Pumped Storage Hydropower

      Funding Selections Announced for Innovative Design Concepts for Standard Modular Hydropower and Pumped Storage Hydropower

      The U.S. Department of Energy announced selections for up to $7.5 million for innovations that reduce cost and maximize the value of new stream-reach hydropower development and pumped storage hydropower. Funded projects will develop new design concepts and associated modeling and analysis for standard modular hydropower and pumped storage, respectively. DOE supports technologies consistent with DOE's Advanced Energy Storage Initiative—which drives technology beyond cost reductions toward improved performance and enhanced provision of services to the grid. Selections were made across two topic areas, including scientific analyses that would illustrate how pumped storage hydropower can optimize the performance of the U.S. electric grid system to lower overall system costs.

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      Mentions: DoE U.S.
    8. Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Poised For Global Domination

      Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Poised For Global Domination

      A recent study suggests that the Earth holds 530,000 potential sites for pumped hydro energy storage. If that sounds too good to be true, well, maybe. The devil is in the details. On the other hand, the number-crunching does indicate that a massive amount of energy storage capacity is already close at hand, even without new technology breakthroughs.

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      Mentions: Australia DoE U.S.
    9. UK Gov Stumps Up £20m to Crack Electricity Storage Challenge

      UK Gov Stumps Up £20m to Crack Electricity Storage Challenge

      A £20 million ($26m USD) competition has been launched to give a boost to innovative ways of storing electricity, the UK Government has said. It aims to scale up technologies to compete with current storage methods – lithium batteries and pumped hydro. Announcing the competition for innovators, the Business Department said energy storage was the next essential green technology, which would allow the UK to make the most of its growing renewable power sector.

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      Mentions: UK
    10. Flexible Energy Storage Solutions

      Flexible Energy Storage Solutions

      Thousands of megawatt-hours of electrical energy squirreled away into utility-scale energy storage plants to cover the spread between generated renewable energy and the lowest reliable operating limit during the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. “duck curve” period of the day — does this sound like a glimpse into the far future of major utilities across the United States and the world? But the future has already arrived at the Carolina operating companies of Duke Energy. The Duke Energy Progress Company, serving customers primarily in the eastern half of North and South Carolina, managed a whopping 106 GWh of excess energy in 2017, largely generated from utility-scale solar in North Carolina, using pumped hydro energy storage.

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    11. Cemex R&D Subsidiary Sees the Ups and Downs of Energy Storage

      Cemex R&D Subsidiary Sees the Ups and Downs of Energy Storage

      Crane-suspended concrete segments, patterned like an enormous stave silo, power a commercial scale-ready system based on what Swiss developer Energy Vault describes as “the principles that underpin traditional gravity-based pumped hydro plants.” Software operates an automated six-arm crane and orchestrates positioning of the concrete segments that provide the basis for efficient electricity storage and discharge. The use of low cost and environmentally-friendly concrete materials enables the system to achieve low cost per kilowatt-hour and high round trip efficiency while delivering a 30-40 year life without any degradation in storage capacity. Energy Vault figures that a properly configured system will be capable of reaching 100 percent of target power levels in 2.9 seconds.

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    12. Energy storage must be at heart of our future grid, Alan Finkel says

      Energy storage must be at heart of our future grid, Alan Finkel says

      Chief Scientist Alan Finkel says Australia is taking a world-leading position in energy storage – beyond just batteries – and must put the technology at the centre of its own energy transition. The Chief Scientist’s report Taking Charge highlights Australia's rapidly increasing numbers of residential batteries as well as its investment in pumped hydro and other technologies to support renewable power generation, seeing it at the global forefront of the rise of energy storage.

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      Mentions: Australia Tesla
    13. Virginia Governor Signs 11 Energy Bills, Including Solar, Energy Storage and Pumped Hydro

      Virginia Governor Signs 11 Energy Bills, Including Solar, Energy Storage and Pumped Hydro

      Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe signed 11 bills earlier this week that promote solar and other renewable energy resources such as pumped hydro.The bills include proposals for establishing a community solar pilot project, include energy storage in the mission of the state solar development authority and increase the size of clean energy projects eligible for permit from 100MW to 125MW.

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    14. Battery Storage Already Competitive With Pumped Hydro, Says Arena

      Battery Storage Already Competitive With Pumped Hydro, Says Arena

      As Australia’s renewable energy industry awaits the imminent outcome of the South Australian government’s inaugural large-scale energy storage auction, the CFO of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has described two of the key competing technologies – large-scale battery systems and pumped hydro – as neck and neck on pricing. Speaking at the 2017 Large-Scale Solar Conference co-hosted by RenewEconomy and Informa in Sydney on Monday, ARENA CFO Ian Kay said projects pairing 100MW of renewable energy generation with 100MWh of energy storage were “about equal” in cost.

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      Mentions: Australia
    15. Siemens to Supply 12MW Battery Storage Unit for Engie's Hydropower Plant in Germany

      Siemens to Supply 12MW Battery Storage Unit for Engie's Hydropower Plant in Germany

      Engie Deutschland has awarded a contract to Siemens to install a battery storage unit at its pumped storage hydro power station in Kraftwerksgruppe Pfreimd, Germany. The battery storage will offer additional balancing energy for grid stabilization. The decentral battery storage will complement the existing facilities of the pumped storage power station, which already contributes primary and secondary balancing energy as well as tertiary reserve capacity for a secure energy supply. 

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      Mentions: Germany Siemens
    16. FERC Issues License for Major Montana Energy Project

      FERC Issues License for Major Montana Energy Project

      The Gordon Butte Pumped Storage Hydro project located in Montana has been issued a 50-year license to construct and operate by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  Final design is to be completed in 2017 with construction anticipated to begin in 2018. "This is a tremendous milestone achieved by a world-class team including Barnard, SNC-Lavalin and GE Renewables," said Carl Borgquist, President of Absaroka Energy.  "I'm so proud of our team who have worked diligently together to accomplish this significant milestone on the journey to project completion." 

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      Mentions: U.S. GE Montana
    17. GE Forges Ahead With World’s First Wind + Hydro + Storage Project

      GE Forges Ahead With World’s First Wind + Hydro + Storage Project

      Trump or no Trump, the global clean energy train has left the station. A case in point is a new wind, hydropower, and energy storage collaboration between US-based GE and Germany’s Max Bögl Wind AG. The project is on track to connect its four wind turbines to the grid next year, with the hydropower component coming online in 2018. The project represents an innovative combo of two different forms of renewable energy with an energy storage bonus thrown in.  

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      Mentions: California DoE GE
    18. Duke Energy to Expand South Carolina Pumped Hydro Facility by 200MW

      Duke Energy to Expand South Carolina Pumped Hydro Facility by 200MW

      US-based power firm Duke Energy plans to increase the energy storage capacity of its Bad Creek pumped storage hydroelectric station by 200MW. The expansion is scheduled to start in 2021, and complete in 2024. The 1,065MW South Carolina facility, the firm’s largest hydroelectric station, was constructed in 1991 to power 850,000 households. Duke Energy said the upgrade will see it power a million homes.

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    19. Duke Energy Wins New License for Hydroelectric Project

      Duke Energy Wins New License for Hydroelectric Project

      The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a new 30-year operating license for Duke Energy's Keowee-Toxaway Hydroelectric Project, which will allow the company to continue operating the Jocassee Pumped Storage Hydro Station, Keowee Hydro Station and associated lakes. "The project provides clean, renewable hydroelectric power generation, supports regional public drinking water needs and provides high-quality recreational opportunities for the region," said Steve Jester, Duke Energy's vice president of water strategy, hydro licensing and lake services. "This license ensures the availability of these resources for future generations."

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      Mentions: Duke Energy FERC
    20. Study: Even At Current Prices, Energy Storage Makes Economic Sense For Many Renewables Projects

      Study: Even At Current Prices, Energy Storage Makes Economic Sense For Many Renewables Projects

      Even at current market prices, various different energy storage options make economic sense for renewable energy projects in some locations, according to new research from MIT. The energy storage options profiled by the study included: battery systems, pumped hydroelectric storage, and compressed air energy storage, amongst others. While these options are economically a good choice in some locations, in other locations, they are not.

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      Mentions: California Texas MIT
    21. Scottish Power to Double Size of Cruachan Hydro Power Station to Store Renewable Energy

      Scottish Power to Double Size of Cruachan Hydro Power Station to Store Renewable Energy

      SCOTTISH POWER plans to more than double the size of a hydro-electric power station built inside a mountain to help store renewable energy. The firm said a feasibility study shows Cruachan hydro power station in Argyll can be expanded - increasing its current generating capacity from 440mw by 400-600mw. But costs of up to £400 million will halt the development unless ScottishPower can secure a guaranteed floor price for its use from the Government, in return for a cap on profits.

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      Mentions: Scotland Europe UK
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