The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Energy Storage Roundup: Ontario and California, Imergy, Stem, Hitachi

Many see energy storage as the holy grail for renewable energy integration. We think it's important enough that we recently added a new technology category to our site to track this topic. We see a lot of headlines related to energy storage cross our desks; here's a sampling from the past few days.

Committing to Energy Storage in the U.S., Canada, Japan

This week, Ontario unveiled its Long-Term Energy Plan, and alongside significant hikes in renewable energy procurement, a pullback from nuclear, and total abandonment of coal, Ontario also will include energy storage in its procurement processes, starting with 50 MW of energy storage by the end of next year. As part of its competitive procurement process for large (>500 kW), Ontario also will consider proposals that integrate energy storage.

In California, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently planted its flag for grid-scale energy storage, mandating 1.3 GW of energy storage by 2020. That includes "behind-the-meter" types of storage, only up to half can be utility-owned, and pumped hydro systems larger than 50-MW are excluded. EPRI and DNV Kema will be called upon to help with valuation of the various energy storage technology options.

Meanwhile, southern Japan has a problem: its power grids are fast approaching their limits of renewable energy capacity additions. Faced with a growing pile of solar project applications — more than 57 MW worth of capacity, from projects 300 kW and larger, is expected this month alone — Okinawa Electric Power is turning to energy storage to help. Its solution: a 2-MW lead-acid battery installation, will be set up in the next fiscal year (starting April 2014) and will run 1-2 years. A similar project is reportedly underway in Hokkaido.

Imergy Rebrands, Refocuses on Flow Batteries

Deeya Energy is under new management with a new moniker, Imergy Power Systems, and a new mission: expand the reach for its flow battery technology. Top management now includes CEO Bill Watkins, former CEO at LED maker Bridgelux and hard-drive maker Seagate; EVP Tim Hennessy, formerly of flow battery firms Prudent Energy and VRB; and CFO Jack Jenkins-Stark, previously the CFO at BrightSource Energy. Financial backers include VC firms Technology Partners, NEA, BlueRun, DFJ, and Element Partners. Imergy also has inked a deal to contract out some design work, and possibly future manufacturing, to Flextronics starting next spring.

Imergy's technology is a vanadium-based flow battery, in which a liquid electrolyte is stored and circulated between tanks, with integrated power electronics to charge and discharge. The company says a unique architecture allows the system to be scaled up by simply increasing the electrolyte volumes (i.e. more materials and bigger tanks), and its batteries can operate at higher temperatures (50 °C) without cooling and without hurting life or cycling capabilities. The company says it "has a path" to get its products below $300/kWh by 2015, a quarter the cost of (some types of) lithium-ion batteries, according to the company. So far it has been marketing its products primarily as backup for telecommunications providers (reportedly it has 50 customers mainly in India) but is now positioning for a push into solar arrays and wind turbines, as well as "behind-the-meter grid applications."

The company currently touts a third-generation small-scale product (1-3 kW, 10-15 kWh capacity, 3.5-5 hour charge time, 10-year cycle life... here's the spec sheet) that it says reduces energy cost by up to 70 percent by reducing or eliminating diesel generator use for applications including wireless telecom towers, railway signaling stations, rural ATMs a, remote lighting and networks, and remote military stations. A 5-kW/30-kWh flow battery system targeting telecom, hybrid and residential applications will be ready next year per that Flextronics agreement. A bigger 250-kW system for distributed applications such as microgrids and solar PV is planned for next fall. These bigger batteries (>10-kW to "megawatt-scale") will broaden the company's reach to other commercial and industrial applications (data centers, hospitals, food storage, IT ops, call centers) and rural electrification paired with solar and wind.

More Money for Stem's Leased Storage Model

Stem has closed a $15 million Series B financing round to spur momentum into new commercial and industrial markets and geographies. The round was led by the investment arms of Iberdrola and GE, along with previous investor Angeleno Group.

The company offers battery energy storage with proprietary data analytics and "an autonomous, real-time decision engine" to shift between the grid and battery power. the new funding will be applied to expanding to new commercial and industrial markets and geographies, the company says. Stem also recently unveiled its "Stem Zero" third-party-owned model, offering financing through a partnership with Clean Feet Investors with no upfront costs.

Stem was launched in 2009 and secured its initial round of funding in April 2012. In October of this year it rearranged its financing model into a third-party-owned energy storage concept, with $5 million from Clean Feet Investors giving it enough runway to deploy up to 15 MW. Typical customers would use three of the company's 18-kW systems for 54 kWh of storage capacity costing about $97,000 under 10-year contracts. Some customer examples include two San Francisco hotels, a car wash/service station, and a California bike manufacturer.

Hitachi's Energy Storage Debut

Hitachi is getting into the energy storage game, planning a North American demo early next year of what it calls "an all-in one, container-type energy storage system" combining technologies from two of its businesses.

The System, dubbed "CrystEna" (a mashup of "crystal" and "energy"), packages a 1-MW lithium-ion battery from Hitachi Chemical with "grid control technologies," to be tested initially for commercial viability and performance in the ancillary services market.

Details are somewhat scarce, but Bloomberg reports the products will be installed on high-voltage power lines, to capture excess energy produced by wind and solar generation which can be sold back to grid operators to help stabilize the grid. Hitachi reportedly has an unidentified pilot partner in place.

Lead image: Electricity icon, via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

RELATED ARTICLES

energy storage

Energy Storage Surging as More U.S. States Look to Batteries

Mark Chediak, Bloomberg The use of energy-storage systems is surging in the U.S. as power companies show increasing interest in the technolog...

Integrated Renewable Energy for Communities

Gerry Braun Thanks to cost-effective rooftop solar electricity, new neighborhoods in California are generating their own electric...

The Future of California Utilities: AEE Convenes Stakeholders

Charles Thurston What will be the 2050 business model for utilities in California that are being forced by the state to adopt massive ...

Changing Power Market Dynamics Open Up New Opportunities for STE

Frederick Redell There are two major tends driving the U.S. power sector. First, a large number of new technologies are becoming comme...

PRESS RELEASES

Canadian Solar Wins Five Solar Power Projects Totaling 185 MW in Brazil

These power projects were won under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the B...

$100 Off of 5-day Advanced PV Project Experience. Download a Topic Schedule.

Assemble, ground, energize, and commission a complete grid-tied SolarEdge system from s...

Intersolar AWARD „Solar Projects in India“ – Applications being accepted until September 18

The Intersolar AWARD in the category Solar Projects in India honors projects in the fie...

National Thought Leaders to Present on Today's Clean Energy Issues & Trends During IREC's 3iForum at Solar Power International

"An encore to the standing-room-only sessions the past two years, IREC again brings som...

FEATURED BLOGS

Washington, DC Bridges the Solar Gap

The District of Columbia has enjoyed 15 years of strong economic growth. But prosperity is spread unevenly across the...

Sell Through Hypothesis

You first learned to hypothesize, or make educated guesses, in grade school science class. Now it’s time to ref...

Cronimet / THEnergy study: In solar for mines size does not always matter - Reducing CAPEX with energy efficiency and load shifting

Munich, September 2015. Mining companies are constantly gaining interest in solar solutions because frequently solar ...

Final Program Now Available for GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo - Final Program from

FINANCIAL NEWS

Jim is Contributing Editor for RenewableEnergyWorld.com, covering the solar and wind beats. He previously was associate editor for Solid State Technology and Photovoltaics World, and has covered semiconductor manufacturing and related industries, ...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Successfully Integrating Solar: A Proactive Approach

•      What does the increasing solar penetrati...

Doing Business in Europe – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

There is now 128.8 GW of installed wind energy capacity in the EU (appro...

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

COMPANY BLOGS

Vacancy? No Problem!

Have you ever tried to sell an efficiency product or service to a prospe...

Speaking Out For Hydro

In January, a columnist with Canada’s The Globe and Mail newspaper...

Going The Extra Mile

Selling efficiency takes perseverance, creativity, and a willingness to ...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS