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Energy storage

Sungrow sign agreement to supply 430MWh liquid cooled ESS for Israel project

Wed, 01/19/2022 - 12:05 -- Paul Crompton

Energy storage solution supplier Sungrow and Enlight Renewable Energy, an Israeli traded Developer, have signed a joint agreement to develop a 430MWh installation of its flagship liquid cooled energy storage system (ESS).

Sungrow will supply a four-hour liquid cooled ESS, in a combination of a contracted 230MWh for stage 1 and 200MWh battery for stage 2.

The project will be the largest ESS agreement signed to date in Israel.

Sungrow’s ESS uses a modular DC/DC converter, and can be used in multiple grid-scale applications, including: energy shifting, ancillary service (ramp rate control), and reactive power provision. 

Sungrow made its first entry into the Israeli market two years ago, and by adding the 430MWh project to its portfolio, the company will gain more than 50% of the Israeli market share in 2022. 

Last year, the Israeli government introduced its goal of generating 30% of its electricity needs via renewables by 2030— solar PV is expected to contribute 26% of renewable electricity in 2030, indicating 12GW to 15GW of new PV installations in the coming decade. 

To reach the target, Israel is aiming to develop an advanced solar-plus-storage system to ensure a stable and reliable electricity grid.

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Project plans revealed to deploy electro-thermal energy storage

Fri, 01/07/2022 - 09:30 -- Paul Crompton

Energy storage developer Malta has teamed up with project management company Bechtel Corporation to deploy electro-thermal energy storage systems.

The companies will develop and deploy Malta’s 10-150+ hour energy storage technology in a variety of grid-scale applications.

The system takes power from renewables or the grid and stores it as heat in molten salt, where it can be converted back to power using a heat engine to be redistributed on the grid.

Near-term actions include jointly developing a portfolio of long-duration energy storage projects. 

In October, Malta signed a term sheet with power utility NB Power to work toward establishing an Energy Storage Benefits Agreement to install an energy storage facility in Canada.

While still in the planning and development stage, the companies aim to install the 1,000MWh system in the province of New Brunswick, Canada by 2024.

The energy storage facility will aid emissions reductions, improve grid stabilisation, and increase the grid’s capacity for the integration of renewables. 

An additional benefit of the plant is that it will produce a large quantity of high-quality heat as a byproduct that can be used in commercial, industrial, and district energy operations. 

The companies will be consulting with partners and stakeholder groups throughout the province. 

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Gelion MoU to supply 100MWh of zinc-bromide ESS to Papua New Guinea

Mon, 11/15/2021 - 13:54 -- Paul Crompton

Energy storage firm Gelion has signed a five-year memorandum of understanding with Mayur Renewables to supply 100MWh of zinc-bromide non-flow battery technology.

Mayur Resources, a division of Australian Stock Exchange-listed company Mayur Resources, is a strategic supplier of resources and energy for Papua New Guinea (PNG).  

With successful offtake, renewable energy project developer Mayur will also act as sales agent for Gelion in the PNG market.

Mayur’s managing director Paul Mulder said only 13% of PNG was electrified and most of its current power generation capacity relied on diesel or heavy fuel oil, which was not sustainable in today’s energy market.

The MoU is for the provision of energy storage from 2022 to 2027.

Last month, Gelion appointed Andrew Grimes as its chief executive officer (CEO).

The timing of the appointment aligns with Gelion entering the market to validate its battery technology in-field applications.

Lead battery partnership

In September, Gelion Technologies and lead-acid battery maker Battery Energy Power Solutions announced a partnership to manufacture the former’s systems in Australia.

The partnership represents the next stage of commercialisation for Gelion, with the stationary batteries due to be deployed in production trials next year ahead of commercial availability.

Battery Energy will provide manufacturing scale-up of Gelion’s Endure battery at its site in Sydney, Australia.

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FBE calls for more flow battery investment in Europe

Thu, 11/04/2021 - 10:23 -- Paul Crompton

Energy storage organisation Flow Batteries Europe (FBE) is calling for an annual $100 million investment into the development and deployment of long-duration storage technologies in Europe.

The appeal came as the UK government called for evidence on facilitating the deployment of large-scale and long-duration electricity storage (LLES).

The consultation, which ran from 20 July to 28 September, focused on LLES’ role in decarbonising power networks, and questioned if flow battery technology faced market challenges that may hinder its deployment at scale.

FBE— and an international not-for-profit association— says that large-scale manufacturing would reduce costs to a level that’s competitive with short-duration storage technologies including lithium-ion and lead-acid.

An FBE spokesman told BEST the $100 million would pay for a 1.5GW flow battery manufacturing factory— with the cost of setting up new flow battery manufacturing facilities much less than the investment in a lithium-ion manufacturing plant.

Kees van de Kerk, president of FBE, said: “Investment in large-scale manufacturing of flow batteries is urgently required to support the deployment of large-scale, long-duration energy storage if carbon emission reduction targets are to be achieved.”

FBE says that failure to support the early deployment of LLES would delay the development of the technology, and installing short duration storage options would defer their replacement by LLES for an extended period, making it harder to decarbonise the energy system by 2050.

Accelerating LLES and bringing investment forward would help prepare the manufacturing and materials supply chains, limiting the deployment of non-LLES conforming storage, say FBE.

FBE answers BEST’s questions

How much investment does FBE think the Europe needs in LLES for the next 5-10 years?

Currently, a Tesla Gigafactory produces 35GWh per year and costs $5 billion, most of which goes into EVs. Therefore, if scaled, 1GWh would cost around $140 million. According to IHS Markit, the global energy storage market will add up to over 30GW a year by 2030. 

If, say, we need 30GW of stationary storage a year, and only 5% of that is flow batteries, that would still mean 1.5GW coming from flow batteries. A flow battery factory is half the cost of a lithium-ion factory. A 1.5GW flow battery factory would cost about $100 million.

We therefore think that Europe should invest a minimum of $100 million per year in flow battery manufacturing, to keep up with other technologies. Ideally, we would also expect any country that has accepted an EV gigafactory to make a similar investment. 

How would this investment help LLES technologies compete with lithium-ion and lead-acid ESSs?

Funding, such as grants for investment in R&D and manufacturing, are often made on a technology basis, with proposals assessed and public investment made on the basis on perceived benefit and priority. Often, money follows money. 

This sometimes means that newer technologies have a lower profile and are less able to attract funding.

Private investment often follows the development of the initial R&D. Private investors’ look at public funding assessments as a check on their proposed investments. Both private and public funding and investments often lean towards technologies with a clear value stream. 

For energy storage, the value stream drivers have been based on short-term energy storage, for example power quality, frequency response and short-term reserve and electric vehicles. This has focused attention on shorter duration batteries, for example, lithium -on.

Longer-term storage does not have such a well-developed fiscal rate of return, so tends not to be so heavily investable. It is not just a problem for flow batteries – other long-term storage technologies are also in the queue for more investment. We argue that the cost of setting up new manufacturing facilities for flow batteries is much less than the investment in a manufacturing plant for lithium-ion.

Flow battery consultation

The UK government’s consultation called for information to understand the barriers within the LLES market, how these might be addressed, and the risks that may be associated with potential interventions to support their deployment.

While flow batteries are already deployed for LLES applications, long-storage technologies need adequate market provisions to ensure that they can be deployed along the energy system, said an FBE statement.

FBE is stressing the importance of the following policy priorities:

The definition of LLES should include not only the consideration of MWs and MWhs, but also the cyclability and endurance of the technology.

That LLES should be considered to have a minimum duration of five hours; with energy storage systems delivering energy at its rated power for a minimum of five hours over a minimum of 10,000 complete cycles.

Long-term energy storage projects should be established as a separate asset class, alongside generation, distribution and transmission, and consumption. Doing so would allow for a market price of capacity, as opposed to just a market price of power. Defining batteries as a separate asset class has allowed projects with long-duration natrium-sulphur batteries in the Middle East to become financially feasible.

Other countries around the world, such as China and the US, have already started investing in different LLES technologies. 

FBE remains open to a dialogue with policymakers and other interested stakeholders to help ensure that LLES technologies receive more attention and investment in the coming years. 

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Evidence for high-powered lithium-rich cathodes found by international research team

Wed, 06/30/2021 - 10:43 -- Paul Crompton
Venkat Viswanathan, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon

An international team of researchers investigating anionic redox activity have found evidence of why lithium-rich cathodes have greater energy storage capacity. 

The team used synchrotron radiation to directly observe anionic redox reactions in a lithium-rich battery material.

The researchers performed Compton scattering experiments to observe how the electronic orbital that lies at the heart of the reversible and stable anionic redox activity can be imaged and visualised, and its character and symmetry determined.

The discovery explains the increase of energy density in lithium-rich batteries.

The researchers performed theoretical and experimental studies at SPring-8— the world’s largest third-generation synchrotron radiation facility, which is operated by Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute  (JASRI).

The team’s findings were published in the journal Nature.

Collaborating institutions included: Carnegie Mellon University, Northeastern University, Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT) in Finland, and institutions in Japan including Gunma University, JASRI, Yokohama National University, Kyoto University, and Ritsumeikan University.

Conclusive evidence

Venkat Viswanathan (pictured), associate professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon, said: “We have conclusive evidence in support of the anionic redox mechanism in a lithium-rich battery material.

“Our study provides a clear picture of the workings of a lithium-rich battery at the atomic scale and suggests pathways for designing next-generation cathodes to enable electric aviation. The design for high-energy density cathodes represents the next frontier for batteries.”

Researchers attribute lithium-rich cathodes' ability to store much higher storage capacity to the anionic redox mechanism—in this case, oxygen redox.

While previous research has proposed alternative explanations of the anionic redox mechanism, it could not provide a clear image of the quantum mechanical electronic orbitals associated with redox reactions because this cannot be measured by standard experiments.

Bernardo Barbiellini, professor of Computational Material Science at LUT University, said: "How to get more energy in a smaller space is the core in battery development. In order to improve the efficiency, we need to profoundly understand the battery chemistry.

"In this study, we examined advanced battery materials that carry several mechanisms performing chemical reactions. 

"We want to see and understand how particles such as Li-ions and electrons move and how they release electrical energy while interacting with oxygen atoms. 

"Our group has simulated the working of the positive electrode, and based on our calculations, we generated a model to be verified. With high-energy X-ray measurements, the so-called Compton scattering method, we were able to visualise the electron's state near the oxygen atom in the cathode.

"But the machine and the images alone are not valuable. The model gives us an understanding of what we are seeing. With our joint effort, we are able to contribute to improving existing battery materials and designing new ones.”

The conclusion of the team’s paper states: “It is important to keep in mind that the energy density in a lithium battery pack in an electric car is about 0.4 MJ/liter, which is 100 times smaller than that in gasoline. 

“This large difference indicates that there is much room for improving energy densities of rechargeable battery materials and that further work in this direction is needed.

“Since high-energy x-rays can easily penetrate closed electrochemical cells, Compton scattering experiments provide a unique spectroscopic tool for monitoring changes in redox orbitals during charging and discharging processes, and thus facilitate the design and development of high- performance rechargeable batteries.”

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Grid-Scale ESS ruling opens doors as UK’s pipeline reaches 15GW

Mon, 05/24/2021 - 10:48 -- Paul Crompton
Grid-Scale ESS ruling opens doors as UK’s pipeline reaches 15GW

Permission to build a 99.9MW energy storage project in the UK has been granted to renewable energy company RES.

The Lakeside Energy Storage project in North Yorkshire will store power from the national grid at times of low demand and high renewables generation, with the stored energy exported back to the grid at times of high demand and lower renewable generation. 

RES has permission for 51 energy storage containers and 42 transformers. 

A RES spokesman told BEST they were “not at the stage to be able to provide details” on the type and chemistry of the battery or who would supply them. 

Construction is expected to begin late next year, and the site is set to be fully operational by late 2023.  

Until last July, energy storage developers were effectively capped at 49.9MW due to Britain’s Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) process, which meant projects over 50MW had to go through a planning process.

Since the ruling a number of 50MW+ projects have been announced.

The biggest of which is InterGen’s 320MW/640MWh lithium-ion battery site at DP World London Gateway, on the Thames Estuary in Essex, England. 

The £200 million ($267 million) project will be designed to include potential for expanding up to 1.3GWh.

The UK has a total pipeline of 19.9GW of projects, including: 1.3GW of operational energy storage; 6.2GW in planning; 6.9GW with planning permission (but not grid connection approval) and 1.8GW is ready to be built, according to industry analysts Solar Media Market Research.

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Tesla air quality fine as authority notes 33 violations at Fremont plant

Wed, 05/19/2021 - 09:06 -- Paul Crompton
Electric vehicle and energy storage firm Tesla must pay a $1 million fine over air quality violations at its manufacturing plant in Fremont, California, US.

Electric vehicle and energy storage firm Tesla must pay a $1 million fine over air quality violations at its manufacturing plant in Fremont, California, US.

The fine from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) includes Tesla having to install a solar roof project and implement a comprehensive environmental management system at the plant.

Tesla must also fund a community microgrid, pairing a two-powerpack storage system with up to 160kW solar electric system. 

The settlement covers 33 notices of violation that the Air District issued to Tesla. 

The violations included: emissions exceeding Tesla’s permit limits, installing or modifying equipment without proper permits, failure to conduct required emissions testing, failure to maintain records and failure to report information to the Air District in a timely manner. 

Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District, said: “This settlement requires Tesla’s compliance with Air District regulations at its Fremont facility and demonstrates the Air District’s continuing efforts to ensure strict compliance with air pollution regulations, while seeking mutually beneficial solutions for the community.

“As part of this settlement, Tesla has agreed to implement a community microgrid project, which leverages the company’s technological expertise in developing next generation power here in the Bay Area.” 

The comprehensive environmental management system will track all applicable environmental requirements and ensure that the company’s managers are trained on what is needed to comply with them. 

This environmental management system is designed to ensure that Tesla remains in full compliance going forward. 

Tesla has already begun implementing such a system, but today’s settlement agreement will make this a legally binding and enforceable commitment. 

All the violations that led to this settlement have been corrected and are back in compliance. 

Last November, BEST reported how a report filed to the US Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ending 30 September, 2020, showed Tesla’s subsidiary in Germany has been ordered to pay a €12 million ($14 million) fine imposed by the Umweltbundesamt (the German Federal Environment Agency) for alleged non-compliance of ‘take-back obligations with respect to end-of-life battery products’. 

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Nano One posts positive results on its cobalt-free lithium-ion battery

Tue, 12/01/2020 - 09:26 -- Paul Crompton

Test results for Canadian cathode powder maker Nano One have shown its high-voltage cobalt-free lithium-ion battery is stable at the elevated operating temperatures required for automotive, power tool and energy storage applications.

The results support ambient temperature results announced on 13 October, and further demonstrates the firm’s lithium nickel manganese (LNM) battery system.

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Ambri inks deal to deploy its liquid metal battery at a US ESS project

Thu, 11/26/2020 - 09:34 -- Paul Crompton

Liquid metal battery firm Ambri is set to deploy its energy storage technology in a US data centre following an agreement with TerraScale.

The collaboration includes delivery of 250MWh Ambri system to TerraScale’s Energos Reno project in Nevada, which is planned to start next year.

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India firm commissions 100MW lithium-ion battery

Tue, 11/10/2020 - 16:06 -- Paul Crompton

Energy storage maker Inverted Energy has commissioned its new 100MWh lithium battery manufacturing plant in Delhi, India. 

The manufacturing capacity of the plant in Okhla Industrial Area is expected to increase in the coming months, say the India firm.

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