The next big US battery markets

PJM energy storage installations have overtaken those in California, while Hawaii solar-plus-storage is also a huge US energy storage growth market. Photo credit: RES Americas

PJM energy storage installations have overtaken those in California, while Hawaii solar-plus-storage is also a huge US energy storage growth market. Photo credit: RES Americas

By Jason Deign

At least two US regions outside California now represent double-digit markets for electrochemical energy storage, in terms of the number of projects and megawatts installed.

A new report from Energy Storage Update shows PJM Interconnection, the regional transmission organisation, clocking up 28 battery projects and more than 126MW. Hawaii, meanwhile, has 19 projects and 38MW.

PJM overtook California for utility-scale battery installations in the third quarter of 2015, according to US Energy Storage Association data.

A further 28 projects, summing 95.7MW, are under construction in the market and 48 more, totalling 668.3MW, are under review, the Newly emerging energy storage markets Guide 2016 says.

“The PJM market is particularly attractive for battery storage deployment for frequency regulation services,” says the guide. “In 2015, the average hourly regulation market clearing price was USD$31 per MWh.”
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LG Chem: C&I to be as big as grid-scale

LG Chem battery boss sees huge growth in C&I storage. LG Chem is also taking on Tesla in home energy storage and increasing its grid-scale projects.

LG Chem battery storage boss sees huge growth in C&I storage. The company is also taking on Tesla in home energy storage and increasing grid-scale projects. Photo: LG Chem

By Jason Deign

A top executive at LG Chem has added to growing optimism over the prospects for commercial and industrial (C&I) energy storage growth in the US.

Peter Gibson, LG Chem’s director of energy storage system sales, told Energy Storage Report: “In North America, revenue-wise the C&I segment in the next five years could be as large as or even greater than grid-scale.”

His sentiment echoes views expressed by project developers such as Sharp and Demand Energy, which are seeing growing interest in behind-the-meter systems among large energy users.

“Looking at the advantages storage can bring to demand-charge management, we’re very optimistic about how large that C&I segment could grow in the next five years,” Gibson said.

LG Chem last month unveiled a partnership with the worldwide electrical distributor Gexpro, the operating system developer Geli and the power converter maker Ideal Power to target the C&I market.
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Frequency regulation: the battery business case

RES Americas has opened the first dedicated grid frequency regulation energy storage plant in Ohio for PJM.

RES Americas has opened the first dedicated grid frequency regulation energy storage plant in Ohio for PJM. Photo credit: PRNewsFoto/RES Americas

The value of battery systems in helping with grid frequency regulation is being put to the test this week in a project in Ohio, USA.

Renewable Energy Systems Americas (RES Americas), a North American renewable power project developer, announced Monday the start of its first energy storage plant, which is dedicated to providing frequency regulation to the US grid.

Located in Sunbury, Ohio, the plant is made up of two containers each holding a 20-ton lithium iron phosphate battery, said by RES Americas to be “an inherently safe variant of the lithium battery chemistry.”

These batteries provide plus or minus 4MW for a total frequency range of 8MW, with an output of 2.6MWh. A third container in the plant converts the direct current output of the system to alternating current for the grid.

BYD America supplied the equipment for the project, which is being used to stabilise grid operations at PJM Interconnection. PJM is the largest regional transmission organisation in the US, incorporating 830 companies and serving 60 million customers.

Interest in frequency regulation

The plant implementation comes amid growing interest in energy storage for frequency regulation.
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Two deals add 80MW of US storage

Laurel Mountain, West Virginia – A previous collaborative project between AES and PJM.

Laurel Mountain, West Virginia – A previous collaborative project between AES and PJM. Photo from AES Corporation.

US grid operator PJM Interconnection, whose operations serves 60 million Americans across the Midwest and northeast of the country, has hit the renewables headlines twice this week for signing up to two separate energy storage deals.
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