1. Articles from EnergyBiz

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    1. MESA, Vanadium Batteries Put to the Test in Pacific Northwest

      MESA, Vanadium Batteries Put to the Test in Pacific Northwest

      THE FUTURE OF utility-scale energy storage could soon be on display in the Pacific Northwest. Three Washington state utilities are deploying a total of five cutting-edge battery storage systems that will be evaluated by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. Three of the systems were constructed according to a set of standards designed to make utility-scale storage systems easier and cheaper to build, and two use a new type of battery system based on technology developed at the lab.

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    2. Storing Energy in Underwater Balloons

      Storing Energy in Underwater Balloons

      A RANGE OF ENERGY storage options is becoming increasingly available to respond to the growing share of renewables on the grid. But batteries alone may not address all of the potential needs for power reliability -- particularly as peak demand calls for power often at the times that renewables are least able to respond. Enter Hydrostor, a Canadian startup that has launched the world's first underwater compressed-air energy-storage solution. Hydrostor recently brought online a grid-connected, 1-MW system using inflatable balloons positioned 180 feet below the surface of Toronto's Lake Ontario. The system -- capable of holding enough energy to power 330 homes -- will be operated by Toronto Hydro. The utility intends to use the Hydrostor system to store electricity during offpeak hours and then tap into it as demand grows

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      Mentions: U.S. Ontario Alabama
    3. Storage Firm Stem Puts Focus on Control

      Storage Firm Stem Puts Focus on Control

      Distributed energy storage firm Stem is planning for a time when utilities will be able to automatically tap into customer renewable power exactly when and where it's needed. "I think what we'll ultimately see, and this is where some of this vision is in the control systems for distribution, is how do we actually effect some sort of local signal down to a substation area or even down to a feeder area," says CTO Larsh Johnson. Stem's smart storage systems help its commercial customers reduce their electric bills by storing energy from the grid or from solar when energy's cheap, then using that stored energy when demand and prices are high. A cloud-based analytics system called PowerScope lets customers monitor their usage over time, and built-in predictive capabilities use data on past consumption and other data like weather forecasts to plan when to store and when to used stored power. That helps to keep demand charges, generally charged to commercial users based on their peak usage throughout the billing cycle, low.

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      Mentions: California DoE Hawaii
    4. AEP's Stake in Greensmith Is a Boost for Storage

      AEP's Stake in Greensmith Is a Boost for Storage

      Change is not always greeted with open arms in the electric energy world -- particularly where grid infrastructure and utility companies are concerned. Perhaps that's why American Electric Power Co.'s $5 million investment in grid-scale energy storage company Greensmith Energy Management System is so significant. With 5.4 million customers in more 11 states, AEP is one of the nation's largest electric utility companies. AEP's recognition and investment in energy storage marks a new era in which the emerging technology is poised to grow increasingly influential.

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    5. Six Trends that will Shape Electric Utilities in 2016

      Six Trends that will Shape Electric Utilities in 2016

      2016 looks to be the year that energy storage starts getting deployed widely...As Jim Robo, CEO of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc., noted in September, he expects energy storage prices to fall at such a rate that after 2020 new storage will supplant new natural gas plants as a way to meet peak demand. That's only one of many uses foreseen for energy storage, whose proponents say it also will allow consumers not just to store electricity from rooftop solar generation units, but to reduce the amount of power they purchase during their peak demand times and keep their lights on during blackouts.

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    6. Power Predictions for 2016

      Power Predictions for 2016

      The Paris climate talks, the Clean Power Plan, the end of the ban on oil exports and, of course, the extension of tax credits for solar and wind. Those were some of the bigger energy stories of 2015. So now that we're about to enter a new year, what will generate, if not dominate, headlines in the months ahead? What trends will shape the electric power industry in 2016? I interrupted the Christmas holiday weekends of a handful of the industry's more prominent thinkers with that question and got a few interesting responses.

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      Mentions: California DoE Hawaii
    7. Energy Storage Brings Old Plant Back to Life

      Energy Storage Brings Old Plant Back to Life

      The installation of a 2-MW battery-based energy storage system at a retired coal plant in New Richmond, Ohio, is being billed as a sign of the growing potential of repurposing shuttered sites for grid-scale energy storage.  In addition to being completed in record time - about four months - the Duke Energy project, which provides frequency regulation services to the Northeastern PJM market, is also seen as a way for Duke to make money on a plant it was ready to mothball.

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      Mentions: DoE U.S. Texas
    8. ESA Chair Lamontagne Weathers Industry and Association Changes

      ESA Chair Lamontagne Weathers Industry and Association Changes

      Colette Lamontagne has spent a lot of her life consulting---talking strategy and planning, technology and road maps. Some of it has been as part of her day job as a director in Navigant's Energy Practice, but, last June, she got a new opportunity to talk about the future when she was named chair of the Energy Storage Association's (ESA) Board of Directors.

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      Mentions: California ESA PJM
    9. Frontier of Energy Storage: The Holy Grail

      Frontier of Energy Storage: The Holy Grail

      When Thomas Edison flipped the switch to his first dynamo in the 19th century, the genius-wizard launched a multitrillion-dollar industry. Making and delivering electricity leaped from infancy to cocky adolescence with speed unseen in new ventures. Edison and his fellow entrepreneurs toyed with but never mastered storing electricity on a mass scale. Depending on the utility pundit, energy storage could be the next frontier in electricity. This is because utility infrastructure is built to accommodate the highest energy usage of the year, typically the hottest day of the summer. That means an investment in infrastructure to accommodate, for a brief period, energy usage that can be as much as three times what it is on average.

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    10. Securing Beyond the Smart Meter

      Securing Beyond the Smart Meter

      The energy world is evolving from standalone, non-communicative energy generation centers into a mixed bag of distributed generation assets forming a bi-directional OT communication network. This is the vision of the smart grid. The smart grid is becoming a reality, posing major technical challenges for utilities as well as significant economic opportunities for prosumers - producing consumers. However, smart grid solutions must be implemented carefully to ensure grid integrity is maintained and critical infrastructures are not exposed to vulnerabilities from the “last-mile.”

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      Mentions: Israel Nation-E
    11. Explosive Storage Growth Ahead

      Explosive Storage Growth Ahead

      By 2020 there will be 11.3 gigawatts of electric storage installed globally, according to Jim Rogers, the former CEO of Duke Energy. It will be a part of the profound change coming to the electric utility sector, Rogers told the meeting of the Energy Storage Association in Washington on Thursday. "Our challenge is to accelerate it and make money accelerating it," Rogers said. Rogers added that in the United States, 3.2 gigawatts of storage will be deployed by 2020. About 60 percent of it will be based in California, where there is a strong push for renewables deployment.

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    12. Can India Go 100% Renewable by 2050?

      Can India Go 100% Renewable by 2050?

      In the coming years, India will face seemingly insurmountable challenges to its economy, environment and energy security. To overcome these challenges India needs to shift to non-polluting sources of energy. As Jeremy Rifkin, an economist and activist, said in New Delhi in January 2012, "India is the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy sources and, if properly utilized, India can realize its place in the world as a great power," and adding "but political will is required for the eventual shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy." The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also has recommended that the world needs a major shift in investments from fossil fuels to renewable energy in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

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      Mentions: California Japan DoE
    13. Frontier of Energy Storage

      Frontier of Energy Storage

      When Thomas Edison flipped the switch to his first dynamo in the 19th century, the genius-wizard launched a multitrillion-dollar industry. Making and delivering electricity leaped from infancy to cocky adolescence with speed unseen in new ventures.  Edison and his fellow entrepreneurs toyed with but never mastered storing electricity on a mass scale.

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    14. Dawn of Microgrids

      Dawn of Microgrids

      Before there was the grid, there was the microgrid. Electrification in the United States often proceeded from a diesel generator and local distribution in an isolated town to the development of the big utilities and complex grid of generation, transmission and distribution of the 21st century. Now, however, a convergence of smart grid technology, renewable energy development, and an increasing number of weather-related grid outages is sending us back to the future and a new kind of microgrid.

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    15. Electricity Storage Association is advocating for tax and financial incentives

      Electricity Storage Association is advocating for tax and financial incentives

      “Energy storage costs now relative to what it may cost 20 years from now is not a fair metric,” says Chris Shelton, president of AES Energy Storage.  “If you use that as a basis, you may not get to the 20-year end-state. There are opportunities to create value today and we are pursuing those but, technically speaking, we need no additional performance.”

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      Mentions: DoE U.S. Chile
    16. Storage Plays Pivotal Role in Forging A Modern Grid

      Storage Plays Pivotal Role in Forging A Modern Grid

      Energy storage is commonly associated with intermittent renewable energy integration and is too high-priced to be a real factor in the electricity market. But the reality is that energy storage solutions are capable of offering much broader benefits than supporting integration of renewable energy alone. Storage is vital for meeting current energy demands as well as preparing for changes in future consumer behaviors.

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      Mentions: DoE ESA FERC
    17. Chief Scientist Interview: Energy Institute at the University of Texas

      Chief Scientist Interview: Energy Institute at the University of Texas

      Raymond Orbach's energy campus goes beyond the engineering department. It harnesses the resources of many of the schools on the University of Texas at Austin campus to foster a diversified approach toward solving energy issues. The former Department of Energy undersecretary for science - the department's first chief scientist - is out to build the preeminent center of energy research and development.

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      Mentions: DoE Texas
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