US energy storage momentum builds with two significant announcements

Enel Green Power carried off the lion’s share of new storage capacity procured by PG&E. Shown here: Enel Green Power technicians at a wind farm in Minnesota. Pic: Enel.

By Jason Deign

The US energy storage sector looks set to enter 2018 at full throttle following developments in two key markets over the last week.
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Con Ed chases energy storage value

Con Edison is planning to put battery packs on wheels to help strengthen weak spots on the grid. Pic: Con Edison.

Con Edison is planning to put battery packs on wheels to help strengthen weak spots on the grid. Pic: Con Edison.

By Jason Deign

Next year the New York utility Consolidated Edison (Con Ed) hopes to profit from energy storage both sides of the meter… and all over town. It has projects underway for front-of-meter, behind-the-meter and even mobile energy storage.

The mobile energy storage demonstration project, unveiled six weeks ago, will involve the development of a three-strong fleet of battery trucks that can be driven out to deliver up to 1MW and 4MWh in stressed grid spots.

“Con Edison will determine where to deploy the batteries each summer based on the needs of its electrical networks,” said the company in a press release.

According to a company filing made to the New York State Department of Public Service in February, the fleet will be made up of two trucks each bearing 500kW and 2MWh of battery storage and a third with electrical switchgear.

Greensmith will be acting as system integrator for the Storage on Demand project, and will provide an energy management system to manage batteries provided by LG Chem. 
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Demand Energy ends year with Costa Rica deal

Demand Energy's battery systems will go towards helping Costa Rica maintain its pristine environment. Pic: Pixabay.

Demand Energy’s battery systems will go towards helping Costa Rica maintain its pristine environment. Pic: Pixabay.

By Jason Deign

Energy storage systems developer Demand Energy and Latin America microgrid pioneer Rio Grande Renewables this week announced a record-breaking project in Costa Rica.

The two companies have commissioned a battery storage-plus-solar-PV microgrid at Establishment Labs, a Costa Rican medical manufacturing plant, said Demand Energy in a press release.

The microgrid is said to be the largest in Central America and includes a 500kW, 1MWh lithium-ion battery connected to 276kW of solar PV.

The system is designed to provide multiple on-site and grid-assisting services, including peak demand reduction, solar variability smoothing and backup power for critical loads in the event of an outage.

It is controlled by Demand Energy’s Distributed Energy Network Operating System (DEN.OS™), which optimises how energy storage, distributed generation and other distributed energy resources interact and perform. 
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Why analogue utility rates in a digital world?

Doug Staker of Demand Energy.

Doug Staker of Demand Energy.

By Doug Staker, Demand Energy

They say anything can happen in a New York minute. Could one of these minutes change the way we look at demand management, though? After all, from an energy standpoint, not all New York minutes are the same.

Depending on the time of day, electricity in New York can vary significantly in price.

It’s hardly surprising: at certain times, Consolidated Edison (Con Ed), the utility serving New York City, has massive energy needs, peaking at around 13GW. That’s nearly a third of typical peak demand in the entire state of California.

At the same time, base-load production capacity is threatened by the possible closure of the Indian Point Energy Center nuclear plant.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s laudable aim is to replace nuclear fission at Indian Point with nuclear fusion… from the sun. Cuomo is putting USD$1bn into installing 3GW of solar power across New York State by 2022.
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Demand Energy announces project milestone

Demand Energy's DEN.OS software platform is helping New York buildings to benefit from the state's demand management programme. Pic: Demand Energy.

Demand Energy’s DEN.OS software platform is helping New York buildings to benefit from the state’s demand management programme. Pic: Demand Energy.

 

By Jason Deign

Demand Energy last week announced completion of the first five energy storage projects in New York’s Demand Management Program (DMP).

One of the five 100kW, 400kWh behind-the-meter energy storage systems installed in five separate Glenwood properties across Manhattan has already passed measurement and verification (M&V) testing.

M&V certification is currently underway with the other four projects within the DMP, which is managed by utility Consolidated Edison (Con Ed) along with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

The aggregated behind-the-meter systems, with batteries from EnerSys, are powered by storage system developer Demand Energy’s Distributed Energy Network Optimization System (DEN.OS).

“We have been working during the off-peak season to install and interconnect the next four systems which make up the first 2MWh of installations for Glenwood,” said Shane Johnson, vice president of client services.
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Con Ed wants storage for virtual power plant

The Con Edison Clean Virtual Power Plant in New York will be based on solar and residential energy storage from Sunverge Energy and SunPower. Photo credit: Consolidated Edison

The Con Edison Clean Virtual Power Plant in New York will be based on solar and residential energy storage from Sunverge Energy and SunPower. Photo credit: Consolidated Edison

By Jason Deign

Consolidated Edison (Con Ed) is planning to test a residential storage-based virtual power plant (VPP) concept, Energy Storage Report has learned.

The investor-owned utility, which serves New York City and Westchester County in the US, is hoping to launch a pilot scheme this summer, said Griffin Reilly, project manager for the Con Ed Clean VPP concept.

Initially the project will test how much New Yorkers might be willing to pay on a subscription basis for grid resiliency services, essentially backup power, provided through a battery system installed on their premises.

Customers will not have to pay the upfront cost of the system because Con Ed will own it and reserve the right to sell the aggregated output of many such systems on the wholesale or distribution markets.

The utility is looking to have around 1.8MW and 4MWh of aggregated capacity across the VPP.
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Is Demand Energy onto something in New York?

Glenwood will use Demand Energy EnerSys battery systems for energy storage in New York apartment buildings and take part in Con Edison and NYSERDA’s Indian Point Demand Management Program. Photo credit: Demand Energy Networks

Glenwood will use Demand Energy EnerSys battery systems for energy storage in New York apartment buildings and take part in Con Edison and NYSERDA’s Indian Point Demand Management Program. Photo: Demand Energy Networks

Demand Energy’s recent announcement of 1MW of battery systems in Manhattan residential high-rises could herald the advent of a significant new niche for energy storage.

Earlier this month the Washington State, US-based storage system developer confirmed its customer Glenwood was including behind-the-meter battery systems in buildings across its portfolio of properties, starting with 10 systems immediately.

The move comes as New York utility Consolidated Edison (or ‘Con Ed’) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) set about introducing measures to cope with the possible closure of a nuclear power plant.

The Indian Point Energy Center delivers up to 15% of Con Ed’s 13.2GW peak power but is currently reaching the end of its original life span. One reactor has already shut down.

The plant operator, Entergy Nuclear Northeast, is applying for licence extensions for two remaining reactors. The licence for the second unit expired in 2013. The licence for the third expires at the end of this year.

The demand side of the problem

Faced with a mismatch between falling generation and continued increases in New York’s energy consumption, Con Ed and NYSERDA have put together a package of measures that attack the demand side of the problem.
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