TenneT: “Storage is needed”

What is the future for grid-scale energy storage in Europe? We ask the Netherlands TSO TenneT, a key speaker at Commercialising Grid-Scale Energy Storage Global Congress 2015. Photo credit: TenneT

What is the future for grid-scale energy storage in Europe? We ask the Netherlands TSO TenneT, a speaker at Commercialising Grid-Scale Energy Storage Global Congress. Photo: TenneT

Previously published by Commercialising Grid-Scale Energy Storage Global Congress 2015. Republished with permission.

If you’re wondering what the future holds for grid-scale energy storage in Europe then it helps to speak to the people who run Europe’s grids.

That includes organisations such as TenneT, the independent owner and operator of 100% of the high-voltage electricity grid in the Netherlands and around 30% of the high-voltage grid in Germany.

As a Transmission System Operator (TSO), TenneT’s principal tasks are to provide power transmission and system services and facilitate the functioning and development of the electricity market.

At the end of 2014, TenneT, which is currently 100% owned by the state of the Netherlands, owned around €13.7bn of assets, of which 15% are located in the Netherlands and 85% in Germany.

Here Bianca van Ommen, of TenneT’s mergers and acquisitions business development unit, talks about the role that energy storage could play in the TSO’s future operations.
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Energy Storage Europe and IRES to join forces

It has been announced that Energy Storage Europe 2016 and the International Renewable Energy Storage Conference – IRES 2016 – will merge next year. Photo credit: Messe Düsseldorf

It has been announced that Energy Storage Europe 2016 and the International Renewable Energy Storage Conference – IRES 2016 – will merge next year. Photo credit: Messe Düsseldorf

By Jason Deign

Energy storage’s evolution into a mainstream sector took a step forward this week with news of a major conference tie-up.

Messe Düsseldorf, the Düsseldorf Trade Fair, and the European Association for Renewable Energy, EUROSOLAR, signed a cooperation agreement that will see their respective flagship storage conferences running as one.

It means the organisation and programmes of the fifth European Energy Storage Conference and the 10th International Renewable Energy Storage Conference (IRES 2016) will be merged.

Organisers say the move will create additional advantages for visitors, exhibitors and speakers. For example, there will be a joint combination ticket for the key aspects of the conference.

The joint programme planning should also make it easier for visitors to acquire information on a more extensive range of topics within a single event.
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Utility heavyweights gather for US event

Many of the world’s most important energy storage companies are about to gather at the Energy Storage USA 2015 conference in San Diego. Photo credit: Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Many of the world’s most important energy storage companies are about to gather at the Energy Storage USA 2015 conference in San Diego. Photo credit: PG&E

By Jason Deign

Speakers representing some of the world’s most important energy storage purchasers are set to gather at the Energy Storage USA 2015 conference in a fortnight.

Scheduled to appear at the event are utility heavyweights of the stature of Southern California Edison (SCE), Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), NextEra Energy Resources, E.ON and Burbank Water and Power.

The line-up promises to give attendees unparalleled access to decision makers in charge of energy storage selection, said Jack Ahearne, head of strategy and development for Energy Storage Update.

“The timing of this event is highly significant for those seeking to commercialise energy storage in the USA,” he said.

“Energy storage is now a real focus for government bodies such as the DoE and major institutional investors from around the world. Any company serious about developing energy storage in the US will want to make sure they attend.”

Commercialising energy storage

Efforts to commercialise energy storage in the US were given a boost this month when news broke that the government had attracted USD$4bn in renewable energy funding from private-sector backers.
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One battery to rule them all?

After the Tesla Powerwall launch, there is reason to think lithium-ion batteries could become the overwhelming technology of choice for battery storage. Photo: Tesla Gigafactory

After the Tesla Powerwall launch, there is reason to think lithium-ion batteries could become the overwhelming technology of choice for battery storage. Photo: possible Tesla Gigafactory design.

By Jason Deign

The Tesla Powerwall launch three weeks ago focused attention on energy storage but may also have been a nail in the coffin for non-lithium-ion (Li-ion) technologies.

In drastically reducing prices, Tesla removed one of the remaining barriers to adoption of Li-ion as the standard for battery storage.

Currently other technologies are vying for supremacy on the basis of cost, safety, performance and bankability.

However, the launch of a residential battery system for USD$3,500 helped lay to rest the idea that Li-ion is automatically more expensive than other chemistries.

Even Tesla’s grid-scale Li-ion offering, the Powerpack, looks competitive with the most cost-effective battery technologies out there.
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Renewable producers target short-term storage

Independent power producers and energy storage: IPPs are likely to focus on short-term energy storage in markets like California, SunEdison says. Photo: A SunEdison Outdoor Microstation

Independent power producers and energy storage: IPPs are likely to focus on short-term energy storage in markets like California, SunEdison says. Photo: A SunEdison Outdoor Microstation.

By Jason Deign

Independent power producers (IPP) considering the booming California energy storage market will most likely target short-term, power-based applications, Energy Storage Report has learned.

“IPPs will focus on power applications just because of the design of the [storage] target,” said SunEdison’s director of Grid Energy Storage, Faisal El Azzouzi, ahead of his appearance at Energy Storage USA 2015.

SunEdison is evaluating energy storage technologies and applications with a view to possible deployment in California, where a 1.3GW mandate through Assembly Bill 2514 (AB2514) is creating interest in new projects.

However, said El Azzouzi, the structure of the Californian market drives IPPs to focus on short-term storage applications and leave longer-duration tasks, such as energy shifting, to the utilities.
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US energy storage gets serious this summer

Energy Storage USA 2015 will come at a critical time when energy storage deployments are beginning to gather momentum. Photo credit: San Diego Gas & Electric

Energy Storage USA 2015 will come at a critical time when energy storage deployments are beginning to gather momentum. Photo credit: San Diego Gas & Electric

The commercial value of grid-scale energy storage looks set to undergo its strongest test to date in the USA this summer.

California’s grid is expected to strain as the impact of midday solar power production and afternoon air conditioning rises to highest-ever levels, with only energy storage promising to curtail the system operator’s infamous ‘duck curve’ in net load.

Meanwhile New York State is rushing to deploy energy storage before the shutdown of the last nuclear reactor at the Indian Point Energy Center at the end of this year. It too will be looking to use energy storage to cope with air-con loads over the summer.

Against this backdrop, utilities will be gathering at Energy Storage USA 2015 in San Diego to review progress on early pilots in California and elsewhere.
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Grid-scale storage: steady growth, not boom and bust

There is a growing market for grid-scale energy storage projects, such as the 200MW of Alevo battery technology that will soon be used for US grid frequency regulation.

In a growing market for grid-scale energy storage projects, 200MW of Alevo battery technology will soon be used for US grid frequency regulation. Photo credit: Alevo Group

Fears over energy storage hype resulting in a boom-and-bust cycle appear unfounded on the basis of grid-scale deployments so far, a top analyst has confirmed.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance associate Logan Goldie-Scot, who will be speaking at the Energy Storage World Forum next month, told Energy Storage Report: “We see continued steady progress instead of a huge leap in 2015.

“We certainly think the market is growing. But I don’t think we’re at a point where we’re going to see a huge leap in capacity on the ground, just because we already have visibility of much of 2015.”

The prediction is a welcome one for a sector that has long been considered prone to hype, with reports frequently citing an upcoming boom. And in fact, said Goldie-Scot: “There has been quite a lot of progress since last year.

“Especially in North America, we’re now seeing projects getting commissioned and working their way through the development process.”
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Could microgrids save lives on remote islands?

Island energy storage: could islanded microgrid systems have helped in the Vanuatu cyclone Pam disaster?

Island energy storage: could islanded microgrid systems have helped in the Vanuatu cyclone Pam disaster? Photo credit: UNICEF Pacific

Upcoming debate on energy storage in microgrids was given a sense of urgency over the weekend as Cyclone Pam tore across Vanuatu in the Pacific.

As the devastated island nation issued a plea for international help, one of the questions facing the government and aid workers was how to restore power… and whether current fossil-fuelled generation sources should be replaced by renewable energy.

Like many island nations, Vanuatu has traditionally got most of its power from imported fossil fuels.

In 2010, for example, the nation’s main utility, the GDF Suez subsidiary Union Electrique du Vanuatu Limited (UNELCO), generated 68.7GWh of power using 14.3 megalitres of imported diesel along with 251 kilolitres of biofuel from coconut oil.

This reliance on imported fuel was already creating problems for the country before this weekend’s catastrophe. “The Government has been concerned for a number of years over the high cost of electricity,” noted the International Renewable Energy Agency.
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