Convergent toasts pure-play developer model

Convergent is helping its customers cut costs using storage. Pic: Convergent.

Convergent is helping its customers cut costs using storage. Pic: Convergent.

By Jason Deign

New York, USA-based Convergent Energy and Power is seeing the fruits of sticking to a pure-play developer model after building a 75MW, 200MWh project pipeline.

Johannes Rittershausen, Convergent’s CEO, told Energy Storage Report that behind this pipeline of projects in operation, being built or under contract there was “hundreds of megawatts … of deals we’re working on.”

Even though the company is currently focused on just two countries, the USA and Canada, its business has been doubling every year for the last couple of years.

In the next couple of years, said Rittershausen, “I could easily see a scenario where we could do better than that. We can barely keep up. It’s a great market to be in.”

The most recent addition to Convergent’s portfolio is the 7MW, 7MWh Sault Ste Marie plant in Ontario, Canada, being built to store wind and solar energy under a three-year contract with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). 
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Energy storage news: 11.06.14

GE Energy Storage, MAECI Solar and Princeton Power Systems will create the largest solar microgrid in Africa, a 5MW project on Annobon Island, Equatorial Guinea.

GE Energy Storage, MAECI Solar and Princeton Power Systems will create the largest solar microgrid in Africa, on Annobon Island, Equatorial Guinea. Photo credit: Bioko Islander

The top energy storage news from our Twitter feed this week.

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What the Alstom deal means for storage

What will the takeover of Alstom by GE or Siemens mean for the future of the energy storage market? Photo: GE Energy Storage

What will the takeover of Alstom by GE or Siemens mean for the future of the energy storage market? Photo credit: GE Energy Storage

GE’s planned takeover of the Alstom energy business would strengthen the American company’s presence in storage but will not shake up the market, experts claim.

The prediction comes amid pressure from the French government for Alstom shareholders to reject a USD$17bn bid from GE in favour of a rival proposal from Siemens, the German multinational.

“Alstom, GE and Siemens are all involved in energy storage but only GE has made a tangible impact to date, via its division GE Energy Storage,” Bloomberg New Energy Finance associate Logan Goldie-Scot told Energy Storage Report this week.
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Smart new ways to store wind energy

Novel technologies for wind energy storage at EWEA 2014 included the GE Power & Water brilliant turbine, understood to have been installed by Invenergy.

Novel technologies for wind energy storage at EWEA 2014 included the GE Power & Water brilliant turbine, understood to have been installed by Invenergy. Photo credit: General Electric

Three novel ways to store wind energy went on show at the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) 2014 annual meeting held in Barcelona, Spain, last week.

Two, aimed at short-term and longer-term storage respectively, were discussed during a hardware technology session that also looked at grid integration. The third, involving hydraulic storage, was among the poster presentations featured in the exhibition.

In the hardware technology session, Rajni Burra of GE Power & Water in the US shared the early operational experience of GE’s Brilliant turbine, believed to be the only fully integrated turbine-and-storage combination from a single vendor.
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Dialling up profits in the base station business

At Mobile World Congress, we talk to battery manufacturers about backup power for telecom base stations. Photo credit: Energy Storage Report

We talk to battery manufacturers at GSMA Mobile World Congress 2014 about backup power for telecom base stations. Photo credit: Energy Storage Report

Right now the key to a significant niche energy storage market is probably sitting in your pocket. The mobile phone industry is an important battery consumer, and not just for the cells that power shiny handsets. Base station power is a critical issue for mobile operators, and one where energy storage plays a serious role.

Whenever you make a call your phone’s signal has to be picked up by a base station which needs a constant power supply to work. If a power outage puts the base station out of commission then calls won’t connect and the mobile operator starts losing money.

Base station outages are less of an issue in built-up areas because grid connections tend to be good and neighbouring base stations can field signals not picked up by an inactive mast. But in remote areas, or where grid power is irregular, energy storage, usually in the form of batteries, is a must. Plus it makes economic sense.
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Car batteries for grids, the Duke way

Will car batteries really work as a distributed grid storage medium? Duke Energy says: “Yes, but not in the way everyone is thinking.” Photo credit: FIAMM

Will car batteries really work as a distributed grid energy storage medium? Duke Energy says: “Yes, but not in the way everyone is thinking.” Photo credit: FIAMM

Duke Energy, America’s biggest utility, is working on a way to use vehicle batteries for grid energy storage that could sidestep the concept’s biggest drawback. Electric vehicle batteries have long been mooted as a potential sink for distributed renewable energy sources, helping to mop up excess power in times of plenty.
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Opinion: batteries are still in charge

This article was previously published in Marine Renewable Energy.

From Norwegian lakes to artificial islands or the distributed potential of electric vehicle fuel cells, it seems no notion is too far-fetched to escape the attention of power producers and grid operators seeking a means of energy storage. Naturally, however, one has to assume most of these grand ideas will ultimately never make it off the drawing board. The need for energy storage will not go away, though.
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S&C Electric bags Canadian BESS project

The Wind Energy Institute of Canada has announced a supply agreement with S&C Electric Canada for a battery energy storage system (BESS) at Prince Edward Island. The BESS will be delivered in September and is expected to be operational by autumn. The BESS is composed of a power conversion system supplied by S&C and battery modules supplied by GE.

The batteries are sodium nickel chloride Durathon modules and represent the first such project for GE Energy Storage in Canada.