Author: Energy Storage News

All signs point to energy storage’s rapid growth beyond 2020

In 2019, the multi-year pattern of record-breaking deployments of utility-scale and behind-the-meter (BTM) energy storage in the US continued. According to Navigant Research’s latest Energy Storage Tracker 4Q19, annual deployments of energy storage resources in the United States have increased from nearly 350 MW in 2018 to approximately 774 MW in 2019, with pipeline estimates indicating annual additions of approximately 1,400MW in 2020 and more than 4,000MW by 2023. Such volumes, while still speculative, are suggestive of developers’ convictions and are in line with the US energy storage industry’s target of adding 35GW of new capacity by 2025.

Driven by cost and performance improvements, an uptick in renewable generation capacity, grid-modernisation plans, improved opportunities for wholesale market participation, national and local government financial incentives and deployment mandates, phase-outs of feed-in tarffs (FITs) or net metering, and a desire for self-sufficiency and improved resiliency—2019 proved transformational for the energy storage industry.

As we move into a new decade, the question is whether the burgeoning energy storage industry will be able to maintain its current path of rapid growth. All signs suggest that it will – and utility-scale energy storage procurements are a major reason why.

2020 and Beyond

This year brings considerable opportunities for the power and utilities industry to spearhead the economy-wide transition to clean energy. As local governments, capital markets, and other stakeholders organise around climate change, many power and utility companies are establishing their own clean energy goals.

In 2019, nearly 50 US electric power companies committed to significant carbon reduction goals including Duke Energy, Xcel Energy, and Arizona’s Arizona Public Service (APS). To achieve these goals, power companies and utilities will increasingly rely on energy storage to assuage volatility in wholesale markets as well as support additional renewables on the grid.

In the near-term, a review of several utility Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs) and Independent System Operator (ISO) interconnection queues underscores the rapid pace with which energy storage deployments are set to grow. Favourable economics and policies are driving the trend towards co-locating utility-scale energy storage with solar PV. For instance, in the PJM interconnection queue there are 398MW of utility-scale solar-plus storage projects and 699 MW of utility-scale stand-alone energy storage capacity poised to connect to the grid in 2020. Longer-term, there are 6,160MW of utility-scale stand-alone storage and 9,881MW of utility-scale solar-plus-storage listed. Moreover, solar-plus-storage projects account for over 43% of all capacity in the CAISO interconnection queue.

While it is important to note that not all proposed projects in ISO interconnection queues are built, for example close to 70% of proposed new MW in the New England ISO (NE-ISO) queue are withdrawn, the data provides important insight into the use-cases for storage that developers believe are needed and bankable. One prominent application for utility-scale solar-plus-storage is the provision of peak capacity. Although fossil fuels, namely natural gas, have historically been the primary choice for peaker-plants, there are an increasing number of cases across the US in which utility-scale renewables-plus-storage can compete directly on price.

For example, in early 2019 AES Distributed Energy, a subsidiary of The AES Corp., and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) announced the operation of the Lawa‘i Solar and Energy Storage facility on Kaua‘i’s south shore. The facility consists of a 28 MW solar PV and a 100MWh five-hour duration energy storage system. The new facility is intended to be used as a peaker plant and projected to deliver roughly 11% of Kaua‘i’s power, making the island more than 50% powered by renewables.

At US$0.11 per kWh, the utility-scale solar-plus-storage system provides energy significantly below the cost of diesel on the island and is projected to eliminate the use of 3.7 million gallons of diesel fuel each year. Despite the technology’s potential, market participation models for utility scale solar-plus-storage are not yet fully designed in most locales, limiting its potential contribution to reducing carbon emissions and costs. Fortunately, ISO’s around the country are working to address this obstacle.

NYISO initiates Hybrid Storage market participation project

At the start of 2020, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), initiated an effort to design a model for allowing large utility-scale energy resources paired with renewable generation to participate in its markets. The Hybrid Storage Model project will assess the viability of permitting co-located resources to receive a single dispatch schedule. Although the NYISO sees developers increasingly co-locating renewable generation with storage, its market rules do not include a participation model for such systems.

Co-located resources are currently required to be separately metered and have their own point identifier. While not yet finalised, it is likely the market design will be multifaceted, with some aspects of the design being implemented sooner than others. The elements include participation in NYISO’s energy, ancillary, and capacity markets; a settlement process; modelling for interconnection, planning and operations; and metering requirements. 

The path forward

The trend of large solar plus storage projects driving growth in the utility-scale energy storage market is not expected to change any time soon. Stakeholders in the industry must recognise this trend and be prepared with dedicated offerings.

Energy storage vendors should design their products for seamless integration with solar PV plants, which are often connected with a DC-coupled architecture for maximum efficiency. Systems integrators and project developers should look to partner with solar PV providers early on to evaluate the potential to add storage to any existing or newly planned projects.

Utilities should lead the industry in providing answers through continued development of integrated resource planning frameworks that reflect accurate technology cost and resource operating characteristics at sufficient spatial-temporal granularity to examine operation for a range of grid services.

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Dynamic Energy sells Massachusetts solar-plus-storage projects to Canada’s Amp Energy

Dynamic Energy Solutions revealed last week that it has sold two ground-mounted solar-plus-storage projects in Massachusetts projects to Canadian renewables investor Amp Energy.

The former will continue to manage engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the plants, which will comprise 11.2MWdc of solar energy backed by 10.2MWh of storage.

The transaction was closed in December 2019, according to a Dynamic Energy Solutions release.

“We are pleased with the results of our work in Massachusetts and applaud the DOER (Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources) and other policymakers for their efforts in creating a strong market for solar development that ultimately benefits citizens as well as the environment,” said Brett Thibodeau, president of Dynamic Energy Solutions.

The project duo was developed under the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) programme, launched by policymakers in 2018 to drive the adoption of 1.6GW of solar-plus-storage across the state.

More than 1GW worth of projects were approved in the incentive programme’s first year, according to the SEIA.

It is not the first time Amp Energy has put its confidence in Massachusetts’ bourgeoning solar-plus-storage market. In a press release about the transaction, the firm said its newly-acquired assets have increased its existing portfolio of SMART solar-plus-storage assets to 27MWdc/35MWh.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania-based Dynamic Energy claims to have successfully developed more than 50 MWdc of SMART programme solar projects, having been awarded about 40% of the initiative’s National Grid utility territory capacity in 2018.

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Industrial energy storage in 2020: Fuelling job creation and the clean energy transition

As readers of Energy-Storage.news are no doubt well aware, the United States energy storage market is achieving rapid growth.

As analysts project a thirteen-fold increase for the category over the next six years reaching 158 gigawatt-hours by 2024, there is now significant demand for battery manufacturing capacity in the U.S. This is true for the entire category, but especially so for industrial scale applications, as evidenced by utility-scale storage representing the largest market segment in 2018 at 394.8MWh, and experiencing double-digit growth of 11.3% year-over-year.

Many expect there to be continued growth and viability of industrial-scale batteries that are capable of powering energy storage systems. These solutions include those that sit predominantly in front of the meter, supporting utility-scale electricity generation, transmission and storage.

This technology can replace fossil fuel peaker plants, enhance wind and solar plus storage projects, optimise microgrids, improve the utility’s ability to meet fluctuating demand, manage power disruptions – and be deployed in commercial, industrial, mining and military projects.

It is a common misconception that “the technology isn’t there yet,” as most industry insiders will tell you that many of the hurdles to mass adoption of industrial energy storage relate to a lack of supply. Across the current landscape, many energy storage supply chains are bottle necked and wracked with costly inefficiencies that delay the process of production to delivery. While there are a number of international companies shipping product that has helped spur this sector’s growth, domestic manufacturing would help the U.S. meet battery demand with batteries made in the U.S.

Supporting job creation across the United States

There is another obvious, very positive outcome related to domestic manufacturing: the construction and subsequent operation of domestic manufacturing facilities will stimulate economic growth and create numerous jobs. Better yet, these jobs are suitable for professionals possessing varying skill levels and experience, ranging from entry-level to highly specialised.

There are other byproducts of the continued growth of the industrial energy storage category: 

We expect the production at industrial battery storage manufacturing facilities to accelerate the transition of energy supply from predominantly fossil fuel-based systems, to cleaner sources of energy. In part, we anticipate this because state and federal governments are seriously motivated to make this shift.

There are currently twenty-nine states, including the District of Columbia, that have a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in place – these are regulations that require states or districts to gradually shift their production of energy from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

States including California, Washington and Colorado have adopted targets whereby 100% of their energy must come from renewable sources by 2045. Colorado is already detailing how two of its municipalities, Aspen and Glenwood City, are 100% powered by renewable energy technologies such as solar, wind and landfill gas. At present, 35 states operate utility systems with industrial-scale energy storage components, and 47 in total are at various stages of implementing systems that rely on energy storage!

‘A vision for a cleaner future’

KORE Power shares a vision for a cleaner future and job creation and is committed to doing its part to spur this trend to fruition. We are currently reviewing potential sites in a handful of states within the U.S. as part of a process to select the best location for the construction of our manufacturing plant. The new facility is expected to domestically produce systems that power the growing industrial storage sector, and will also stimulate economic growth by creating 2,000 US-based manufacturing jobs.

The proposed one million square-foot facility will produce KORE’s trademarked Mark 1 Energy Storage System using state-of-the-art, fully automated battery assembly lines and processes. The plant is designed to meet market demand for battery energy storage systems, and once completed, will possess 10GWh of highly scalable manufacturing capacity.

The role that energy storage systems play in creating energy supply from clean sources, coupled with rising demand and increasing bipartisan legislative support, clearly demonstrate the market opportunity for battery storage systems and domestic manufacturing.

Cover Image: KORE Power’s planned manufacturing facility in the US, which would host 10GWh of manufacturing capacity. 

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States can’t wait: Leadership on energy storage doesn’t only come from Washington

With US$5.4B projected for U.S. storage investments by 2024 — a 12-fold increase in annual growth in less than five years — the trajectory for energy storage is clear. What’s also clear is that policymakers across the country see the value of encouraging this striking market growth with policies that enable expansion. What’s less clear is whether states or the federal government will take the lead in encouraging the integration of storage into the electric grid.

Energy storage is an increasingly important technology that serves myriad retail and wholesale services, and with robust economic, grid reliability, and climate benefits. So, is it at the state level where homes and businesses might need these resources to ensure resilient and clean power? Or is it at the Federal level where developers and utilities can reinforce the reliability and efficiency of electric wholesale services?

I posit that enabling policies are needed at both the Federal and the State level. But challenges loom large at the Federal level this year.

#StorageITC is a missed opportunity, but not gone

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has been integral in pushing for the adoption of energy storage deployment with Order 841, and just a few weeks ago the Department of Energy issued the Energy Storage Grand Challenge. But Congress missed a big opportunity this past December. Despite broad, bipartisan and bicameral support, federal lawmakers ultimately took a pass on legislation to clarify that the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) should include stand-alone energy storage.

Even with the challenges of an election coming up in November, we will keep fighting to make sure this common sense, jobs- and economic growth-enabling energy policy ultimately prevails this year. A number of additional technology innovation bills that encourage storage are also working their way through Congress, and we look forward to doing what we can to help make them into law. But even though energy storage policy enjoys bipartisan support, there are obvious challenges associated in an election year in a deeply divided congress.

On the other hand, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the policy landscape this year for energy storage in the U.S. That’s in part thanks to the activity in the states and regions, whose governors, lawmakers and regulators understand that sitting back and waiting for cues from Congress isn’t an option. Nine states have integrated resource plans with formal energy storage components: Arizona, California, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Many others offer incentives or have initiated studies and pilot programs intended to expand energy storage deployments.

New Jersey will soon issue detailed rules on its own 2 gigawatt goal, and  Massachusetts is set to release details on a first-of-its-kind Clean Peak Standard to shift toward storage and away from peaking plants to provide clean energy where it’s needed exactly when it’s needed. States like Michigan, Connecticut, Colorado and Arkansas all have proceedings or are actively considering how to incorporate energy storage into electric systems for the benefit of ratepayers.

Planning ahead and jumpstarting vital dialogue

Utilities aren’t waiting either; in 2019, more than 14 utilities filed Integrated Resource Portfolio (IRP) plans with energy storage investments or issued all-source Request for Proposals (RFPs) including storage. This doesn’t even count all the new state resilience planning, where distributed storage can have retail and wholesale benefits beyond the emergency resilience need.

Meanwhile, two Regional Transmission Organisations (CAISO and MISO) have moved ahead with stakeholder processes to update their rules for storage-plus-generation “hybrid” resource interconnection and market participation. And Texas grid operator ERCOT has established a Battery Energy Storage Task Force to begin its market planning.

The longer Washington waits, the harder it may be to provide clear signals for investment at the federal and wholesale level, and to ensure these local and regional decisions complement national policies. Passage of a federal tax credit is a start – it will expand the reach of local ratepayer-funded storage programmess and incentivise vast new aggregated resources – just as it did with distributed solar generation.

To help jumpstart this 2020 dialogue, the U.S. Energy Storage Association on Feb. 12 is hosting its annual Policy Forum, in Washington, D.C. featuring Congressional, FERC, RTO, and state leaders to focus on these ramifications and the appropriate roles for each. Those in the energy storage business know the import of policy certainty and consistency. The future of storage is valuable – to the grid and to the economy. But with properly aligned federal, regional and state policies, its future can be even brighter.

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California’s Home Solar Mandate pulls together roofer PetersenDean and Enphase

US construction and home improvement company PetersenDean has selected Enphase’s equipment including battery storage for its solar home offerings, with a particular emphasis on California’s Home Solar Mandate.

Enphase will be the contractor’s “premier supplier”, the tech company said. While originally best known for its panel-level microinverters, Enphase’s “all-in-one smart energy system” now includes the solar microinverters along with battery storage and an energy management suite.

The battery energy storage systems are available in 3.4kWh and 10.1kWh usable capacities and are scalable to larger sizes, coming with 10-year limited warranties, while the microinverters have a 25-year warranty in line with solar system lifetime expectations.

Branded Encharge 3 and Encharge 10 respectively, the company opened pre-orders for the batteries in November last year at the height of conversation around California’s power line shut-offs in the wake of wildfires. Enphase said the microinverters are grid-forming and have an Always-On setting to allow homeowners to keep appliances running even when grid power is not.

As of the beginning of this year, California’s various existing policy measures to drive forward solar adoption in the state including the Self-Generation Incentive Programme (SGIP) were joined by the mandate, the first in the US to be introduced at state level.

Part of the building codes, solar installation company EnergySage recently wrote on its company blog that new homes constructed this year require the addition of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system as an electricity source, and should be sized adequately to meet the building’s annual electricity consumption. EnergySage noted that the addition of battery energy storage can somewhat reduce the sizing requirement – by as much as 25% in some cases as the batteries help to meet the required load.

While PetersenDean and Enphase are rolling out the systems in nine US states in total, Enphase president and CEO Badri Kothandaram referred directly to the importance of the California Home Solar Mandate in a statement.

“Petersen-Dean has more than a million roofs under its belt and works directly with more than 400 home builders and general contractors, and Enphase takes great pride in being selected as its all-in-one smart energy system provider. The California solar mandate requires new home construction to include solar PV systems as an electricity source, and Petersen-Dean is ideally positioned to ensure that home builders deliver a high-quality solution,” Kothandaram said.

VPP early adopter Sunverge partners with LG on complete home solutions

On a related note, California-headquartered distributed energy resource (DER) virtual power plant (VPP) specialist Sunverge and solar PV module manufacturer LG have partnered on a new “residential smart home energy management system”.

The offering includes Sunverge’s energy management software platform alongside LG’s solar PV systems, home battery energy storage and smart appliances. Sunverge described the systems as a “dynamic flexible load management solution” which is capable of managing more than 60% of a household’s energy load.

“By leveraging the trusted LG brand, these integrated and advanced smart home solutions will have a wider reach than ever before and will allow utilities to play a major role in electrification of homes and buildings, a key step towards reaching carbon reduction goals,” Sunverge CEO Martin Milani said earlier this month.

“Through near real-time orchestration, aggregation and management of dynamic flexible loads, combined with distributed PV generation and energy storage, far greater overall system flexibility can be achieved upstream which is required for a meaningful and reliable integration of intermittent grid scale renewables generation resources.”

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‘Breakthrough’ California solar-plus-storage project bought by Capital Dynamics

Asset manager Capital Dynamics has purchased the Eland 400MW solar-plus-storage complex under development by 8minute Solar Energy, contracted to supply power to the city of Los Angeles at ultra-low prices.

8minute remains the developer and an equity partner in the Eland Solar & Storage project, located 70 miles north of Los Angeles, and will oversee engineering, design, procurement and construction. The firm has yet to select an EPC contractor, PV Tech understands. 

Capital Dynamics, meanwhile, will be the facility’s long-term majority equity investor.

The project, which boasts a 300MW/1,200MWh energy storage facility, is set to reach full commercial operations in 2023. Its backers claim it is the second-largest solar project in the US.

The Eland project is contracted to supply power to utility Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) at record-breaking fixed tariffs for solar (US$0.01997/kWh) and energy storage (US$0.013/kWh) for a period of 25 years.

“Eland is a breakthrough project, setting records for low-cost solar, and incorporates a large battery energy storage centre that demonstrates solar’s ability to power California’s vibrant and growing economy 24/7,” 8minute CEO and president Tom Buttgenbach said in a statement this week. 

8minute retains the right to repurchase a portion of the project upon its completion.

The move adds to a growing portfolio shared by the Swiss asset manager and Californian solar developer. Earlier this month, the pair announced the purchase of a 300MWac/873MWdc project in Nevada, due to be commissioned in late 2021.

Storage-backed renewables are central to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s plan to replace gas plants with renewable energy, in order to reach its 100%-by-2045 clean energy target.

The Eland project – and the wider aims and goals of LADWP and other entities were the focus of recent analysis contributed to this site by Janice Lin and Jack Chang of Strategen Consulting, as featured in our Energy Storage Special Report 2019, which you can read here. There’s also more on the low price PPA procurements by Los Angeles municipal utilities in this Energy-Storage.news article from September 2019. 

Download the full Energy Storage Special Report 2019 as a PDF, from our ‘Resources’ page (subscription details required). 

Sacramento municipal utility joins solar-plus-storage wave of action

California’s state planning authorities have waved through a plan by a Sacramento utility to roll out gigawatts’ worth of green energy over the next two decades, including utility-scale storage.

Earlier this week, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) said the California Energy Commission has given the all-clear to its plans to install nearly 4GW of renewables and demand-side resources by 2040.

The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) proposed by the firm – a not-for-profit entity servicing an area home to 1.5 million – would see major volumes of utility-scale solar (1.5GW), rooftop solar (600MW), wind power (670MW) and utility-scale storage (560MW) installed within two decades.

The Sacramento utility is working towards a goal to supply net-zero-emission electricity to its customers by 2040. Delivering the IRP would cost US$6.5 to US$7.3 billion but slash SMUD’s 2020-2040 greenhouse gas emissions by 57%, the firm estimates.

The IRP documents approved this week were adopted by SMUD’s Board of Directors in October 2018, and spell out how the utility will go about meeting its solar installation targets. The firm plans to build 300MW of the 1.5GW of utility-scale solar within three years.

SMUD is targeting sites around Sacramento for the PV build-out – it estimates 80,000 acres may be available county-wide for such a purpose – but also considering other locations in California, despite misgivings around missed green and economic benefits for Sacramento.

The IRP also sheds light on the approach the utility intends to follow with energy storage. The firm currently sees the segment as “not generally cost effective” but expects costs to come down. The plan, SMUD says, is to first focus on R&D and then ramp up deployment by 2030, when storage might take off.

In addition, SMUD believes “niche” storage applications – including co-location with solar – could see the technology embraced by “early-adopter” customers. By 2040, the utility wants to drive over 200MW in battery systems installed by its customers.

This section by Jose Rojo Martin. 

These stories appeared in their original form earlier this week on our sister site, PV Tech.

Join our big conversation this year with the social media hashtag #SmartSolarStorage2020. 

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Li-Cycle: Recycled lithium battery materials sent to first commercial customer

Canada-headquartered start-up Li-Cycle has claimed a victory in commercialising its lithium battery recycling processes, with a shipment sent to a customer just before the end of last year.

Founded in the mid-2010s, Li-Cycle was in 2019 among the prominent advocates for the recycling of lithium-ion batteries. In early June, Energy-Storage.news published quotes from the company claiming 100% of materials from lithium batteries – including cobalt – could be achieved using Li-Cycle’s two-step process.

The company literally shreds batteries to “mechanically size reduce” the devices. This can be done safely even with batteries that still hold charge, Li-Cycle claims. The second step is to then use a hydrometallurgy and wet chemistry process to remove the valuable components and materials one at a time.

Li-Cycle said in a press release last week that the first shipment “of commercially recycled battery material” was completed in December 2019, after processing at Li-Cycle’s Ontario facility. The company affirmed that materials including cobalt, nickel and of course lithium in a shipment that included a concentrate of the energy metals, had been successfully delivered to the unnamed customer.

“The first shipment of commercial product marks a significant milestone for Li-Cycle, on the company’s path to becoming a premier resource recovery processor, handling all types of lithium-ion batteries from a broad set of customers and applications,” Li-Cycle president and CEO Ajay Kochhar said.

Renewable, recyclable

Li-Cycle said it is expanding to facilities in the US during this year. Energy-Storage.news reached out to the company today for comment and to make some specific enquiries on the shipment itself, but was yet to receive a reply at the time of publication.

In a 2019 feature article / tech paper for this site and for our journal PV Tech Power, Stefan Hogg, operations and business development for Li-Cycle, wrote extensively about the process(es) and how they work, as well as putting some numbers to both the existing and expected opportunities for recycling of lithium batteries and materials.

While – as with lithium battery production from scratch – EVs and portable electronics are likely to soak up demand for now, Li-Cycle is also confident the stationary energy storage industry will benefit – as will economies and the environment all over the world.

“As a key driver of the transition away from a carbon-based economy, li-ion batteries are integral to the opportunity to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide,” Hogg wrote.

“However, to ensure a truly positive impact over their lifecycle, we must ensure a closed-loop system is in place to safely handle and recycle spent li-ion batteries at scale. This will enable the reintegration of critical battery materials into the li-ion battery supply chain and the broader economy, while preventing negative environmental and safety impacts”.

Read ‘Batteries need to be ‘renewable’ too: why recycling matters now’, from Li-Cycle’s Stefan Hogg, here on the site. You can also download it as a PDF from our ‘Resources’ page. 

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ROUNDUP: House of Representatives’ net zero plan, ESS for EVs, €100m energy transition fund

US House of Representatives’ net zero bill includes microgrid, storage support

US power suppliers could face clean energy credit obligations to foster a major shift to renewables and decisively slash emissions, under legislation currently being drafted up at Congress.

On Wednesday, the Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee at the US House of Representatives released a preview of a clean energy bill that would commit the country to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, via comprehensive changes across all economic sectors.

The so-called Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act – to be fully released later this month – is being co-sponsored by Democratic representatives Frank Pallone Jr. (elected for New Jersey and chair of the E&C committee), Paul Tonko (New York) and Bobby L. Rush (Illinois).

If proposed as currently outlined, the act will require retail power suppliers to procure increasing volumes of clean energy credits, under a so-called Clean Energy Standard. The obligation would kick in by 2022 and rise all the way to 2050, by which point clean energy would constitute the entirety of a supplier’s purchases.

The CLEAN Future Act will also seek to foster renewable growth by unlocking extra funding for grid upgrades and standardising PPA documents for zero-emission technologies. The bill will pave the way for a new loan and grant scheme to roll out domestic solar in low-income communities.

Several elements of the legislation are meant to specifically support energy storage and microgrids. The upcoming draft would create a grant programme for these technologies and make storage a mandatory consideration for US states drafting up energy resource plans under the so-called PURPA Act.

Jose Rojo Martin 

To read the full version of this story, visit PV Tech. 

Energy storage to integrate EV chargers in buildings: Eaton, Green Motion form partnership

Eaton has partnered with Green Motion, a provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, to help smoothly integrate chargers into buildings with energy storage.

Together they are hoping to develop a scalable and modular design, that combines intelligent EV charging and energy storage solutions, for a wide range of applications in collective housing, commercial buildings, shopping malls, universities, stadiums and airports.

The companies are hoping that by partnering, they can sidestep many of the constraints EV infrastructure is facing. 

The uptake of EVs in the UK is picking up pace, with 2019 seeing an 144% increase in the number of sales. 

Molly Lempriere

To read the full version of this story, visit Current±

Energy transition investor SET Ventures raises €100m for early stage companies including energy storage

SET Ventures has raised €100 million (US$110.99 million) in its most recent funding round, which it will use to invest in early stage energy companies throughout Europe.

This was the result of the energy transition venture capital firm’s SET Fund III fundraising round, well exceeding the targeted €75 million. It will now look to invest in companies that focus on effective balancing of intermittent renewable generation, smart energy distribution and storage, as well as promoting efficient energy use in general.

As part of SET Fund III, SET Ventures has already made investments in DEPsys, a Swiss company focused on energy efficiency, Minibems, an IoT and smart heating company based in the UK, and FlexiDAO, a Dutch software provider. SET Ventures says that more investments will be announced soon.

Molly Lempriere

To read the full version of this story, visit Current±..

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Google files plan to power US$600m Vegas data centre with solar and batteries

Nevada utility NV Energy and Google are plotting a major solar-plus-storage facility outside of Las Vegas in a deal being billed as the largest battery-backed solar corporate agreement in the world.

The proposal was filed in December to Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) by Nevada Power Co, a subsidiary of NV Energy.

While the length of the proposed power purchase agreement (PPA) and project load capacity were redacted from the public filing, market intelligence firm S&P Platts reported a 350MW solar plant backed by a 250-280MW battery storage system on Wednesday.

The energy will power Google’s US$600 million Henderson data centre near Las Vegas, which is scheduled to start operations in mid-2020.

If approved, the solar-plus-storage facility would be commissioned by late 2023, according to the filings.

While construction of the renewables plant is underway, the agreement stipulates that NV Energy will provide Google with wholesale market energy “priced at an appropriate index pricing” or with capacity from other NV Energy generators.

Once the solar-plus-storage plant is live, NV Energy will have the right to buy any excess power back from Google.

In early December, the utility – a near-monopoly in Nevada – secured approval from the PUC for a 1GW+ trio of solar projects that would be collectively backed by 590MW of storage. Those plants are set to come online by 2024 and are being developed by 8minute Solar Energy, EDF Renewables and a Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners – Arevia Power partnership.

NV Energy is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway group, the conglomerate run by Warren Buffett that owns Duracell, Fruit of the Loom, Dairy Queen and parts of Kraft Heinz Company and American Express.

A prehearing conference for the Google power procurement deal will be held on 23 January.

This article first appeared on PV Tech.

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PODCAST: 2019 in review and the challenging decade ahead

Liam Stoker and Andy Colthorpe reflect on the biggest news in energy storage in 2019, while also gazing into their crystal balls and predicting what the energy transition may hold in store for the year ahead.

The podcast can be streamed below:

Alternatively, you can subscribe and listen to the podcast on the Solar Media Editor’s Channel, which is now on all popular audio channels, including;

Apple Podcasts
Spotify
Google Podcasts

Join the conversation on one of the biggest stories of the year ahead with our 2020 Social Media hashtag:

#SmartSolarStorage2020 (LINKEDIN)

#SmartSolarStorage2020 (TWITTER)

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