May 16, 2013 the Protocol Revision Subcommittee voted out a measure (Nodal Protocol Revision Request 539) to include thermal energy storage associated with turbine inlet chilling among the listed, or approved technologies eligible to receive charging power at wholesale. The status would exempt these systems, also called Generation Storage, from all charges associated with load such as transmission and distribution costs. Tom Pierson, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of TAS Energy, provided comments on behalf of the Texas Energy Storage Alliance, and participated in the discussion of the proposal by the stakeholder group (see key documents on the ERCOT website). The protocol revision now goes to the Technical Advisory Committee of ERCOT and then the Board for final approval, perhaps as early as its July meeting.
NPRR 539 to include Thermal Energy Storage as Approved Technology to Receive Charging Power at Wholesale
Energy Storage North America (September 10-12, 2013 in San Jose, CA) is North America’s premier energy storage conference and expo – focusing on applications, customers, and deal-making. ESNA will connect utilities, developers, and energy users at all levels to strategize, learn about, and shape the market for energy storage in North America.
News from CALMAC:
CALMAC has just been awarded the 2013 Money-Saving Products Award by Buildings magazine! Mark MacCracken, CALMAC CEO, spoke at the 2013 Energy Efficiency Conference for Long Island Businesses in New York and V.P. Paul Valenta spoke at Engineering Sustainability 2013 in Pittsburgh. See Paul’s extended abstract: “Turning Your Building Into a virtual power plant through thermal energy storage and demand response“.
Featured projects include the Hyatt Regency, Chabot-Las Positas Community College, a Wine Storage facility in Vietnam, the ice enhanced air cooled chiller plant at the Lebanon Veterans Administration Medical Center, James E. Clyburn Transportation Research and Conference Center, smart grid building 1500 Walnut and Johnston County schools.
In other news, CALMAC was a proud sponsor of USGBC South Florida Chapter Generation Green 2013 Apple Awards. The ASHRAE Journal published a technical feature on Ground Source Heat Pumps and Energy Storage. And the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) approved a new pilot program this summer for homeowners and commercial users to reward electricity cuts during peak demand.
Additional news out of Texas included a new report by the Environmental Defense Fund that focuses on solutions to the pressures facing the Texas electric grid. Suzi McClellan of the Texas Energy Storage Alliance (TESA) testified on HB 2712 – Tax Exemption for some Energy Storage Systems. And Robert King of TESA spoke on the Keynote Panel for Storage Week: The Great Texas Power Crunch: Where Does Storage Fit as a Solution?
Robert King, Good Company Associates to speak on the Keynote Panel for Storage Week in Austin April 2-4, 2013
On Wednesday, April 3, 2013 Robert King, President of Good Company Associates is schedule to speak on the Keynote Panel: The Great Texas Power Crunch: Where Does Storage Fit as a Solution?
Other panelists include: Ali Amirali, The Starwood Energy Group, Chris Eugster, CPS Energy, Jack L. Farley, Apex Compressed Air Energy Storage, LLC, Audrey Fogarty, Xtreme Power and Brett A. Perlman, Vector Associates.
Duke Energy Renewables recently announced that its 36 MW energy storage project and 153 MW Notrees wind farm in West Texas have both been fully tested and online as of December. Imre Gyuk, program manager for energy storage at the Department of Energy (DOE) remarked that “completion of this project represents a singular success for Duke Energy, for the DOE, and for the entire energy storage community in the U.S.” Dr. Imre Gyuk, Jeff Gates from Duke Energy, Audrey Fogarty from Xtreme Power and Kenneth Ragsdale from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) will all be in attendance as speakers at Infocast’s 6th Annual Storage Week, April 2-4 in Austin, TX.
For more information visit the 6th Annual Storage week website.
An overview of issues and pending legislation in Texas to help meet future energy needs
(Austin, Texas – April 1, 2013) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today released a report titled “The State of the Energy Crunch in Texas,” highlighting the pressures facing the Texas electric grid, which include a shrinking water supply, growing population and rising summer temperatures. The report provides solutions to help keep the lights on in Texas, which is critical to retain and attract new businesses, and details legislation that will help meet future energy needs while providing direct benefits to customers and reducing water usage.
The ongoing drought puts Texas’ power plants at risk, threatening a return of the rolling blackouts caused by extreme winter conditions in 2011. Fortunately, many of the solutions that are available to keep the lights on also benefit people and the environment. Our report focuses on solutions like customer, or demand-side, resources such as demand response (DR) initiatives (which allow customers to voluntarily reduce peak electricity use and received a payment for doing so in response to a signal from their utilities), energy efficiency programs and increasing renewable energy sources like solar and wind, all of which consume almost no water and can be built faster than gas and coal plants.
The report also provides an overview of Texas legislation currently being considered by several committees in the 83rd Legislature. This includes bills that allow all customer classes to participate in electric markets, provide innovative clean energy financing mechanisms and offer fair compensation for customers who provide power back to the electric grid by generating excess electricity from renewables or conserving energy using demand response initiatives.
“It’s crucial that we take action now to preserve our electric grid, said Colin Meehan, policy manager at EDF “This report highlights several ways to protect customers from rising electric costs while keeping the lights on and protecting our limited resources.”
The Texas Public Utilities Commission (PUC) actions to date will lead to higher electric costs for customers, by 9 percent or more, according to economists at the University of Texas. In EDF’s opinion, the only other action seriously considered by the PUC was proposed by GDF SUEZ, an independent generator and retailer based in France, with U.S. headquarters in Houston. As the author of this proposal noted in a public workshop, the concept is not intended as a direct solution to resource adequacy and is projected by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to cost up to $2 billion during a summer like 2011. Yet, neither action is expected to ensure the state will meet its future energy reliability needs.
The bill would amend Chapter 11, Tax Code, by adding Section 11.315, that would require the
property tax exemption of an energy storage system that is used, constructed, acquired, or
installed wholly or partly to meet or exceed rules or regulations adopted by any local, state or
federal environmental protection agency for the prevention, monitoring, control, or reduction of
air pollution and that:
1) is located in a federal nonattainment area;
2) has a capacity of at least 10 megawatts; and
3) is installed on or after January 1, 2014.
The bill would define “energy storage system” as a device capable of storing energy to be
discharged at a later time, including a chemical, mechanical, or thermal storage device.
The bill would amend Section 26.012, Tax Code to require the deduction of the value of qualified
energy storage systems from the current total value used in effective tax rate calculations in the
first year they are exempt.
The bill would amend Chapter 42, Education Code,and Section 403.302, Tax Code, to ensure that
school districts are fully reimbursed by the state for revenue lost to the proposed energy storage
To follow bill activity click here.
The largest wind energy battery project in the world attached to a wind farm was touted by executives and government leaders Thursday.The Notrees Wind Farm and Battery Facility hosted an open house for its new battery project, which Plant Manager Casey Hayes said opened.
Duke Energy, the owner of the wind farm, matched a $22 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to built the battery project.
“It’s been exciting to see this project evolve from the very first day,” Hayes said. “It’s really an attempt to have a wind farm more mirror a typical energy plant.”
Ryan O’Keefe, the vice president of business development with Xtreme Power, the designer and engineer of the batteries, said the system is part of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas grid, and will give the grid more consistent power supply.
“It shook the renewable energy industry awake that storage is here and it’s available,” O’Keefe said.
The 153-Megawatt wind farm in Notrees now has a 36-MW battery facility, which O’Keefe said will hold enough electricity to power more than 10,000 homes.
To read the entire article click here.
March 29, 2013
As the renewable energy industry grows and becomes a larger part of our energy mix, the concept of energy storage has made its way into the spotlight and has created some important pressing questions: Do renewables’ inherent intermittency require some kind of energy storage, and should it be at the endpoint of use or closer to the utility (or both)? Do we even need an “energy storage” application, or can grid flexibility and responsiveness assume this role? If energy storage is indeed embraced, how should we weigh the options?
Pike Research says nearly 56 gigawatts of “long-duration” bulk energy storage for the grid will be installed from 2012-22. Installations of energy storage for “ancillary services” alone (things like scheduling and dispatch, reactive power and voltage control, system protection) will increase more than tenfold to surpass 3.5 GW in that timeframe.
We recently ran a story looking at several of these options, and some companies with new technologies in each area. Pumped hydro has been the go-to energy storage option proven to work at fully deployed grid scale. Compressed energy, meanwhile, is fairly cheap where it can be deployed appropriate to grid-scale applications, using geological formations (caves or caverns) that can be relatively well sealed off.
Batteries are getting some utility-scale attention now, too. Duke Energy’s 153-MW Notrees wind power project has a 36-MW battery storage system courtesy of Xtreme Power to deploy reserve power and help both the system operator and the grid balance supply and demand. Elsewhere in Texas, Xtreme is working with Samsung SDI to provide a 1 MW/1MWh lithium-ion-based battery energy storage system as part of a $27 million “Smart Grid Demonstration Project”. In the U.K., S&C Electric and Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution have commissioned a pilot project with three single-phase 25 kWh lithium-ion batteries.
Battery technology is fast becoming “one of the favored options for grid-scale energy storage,” says Aaron Feaver, CTO of EnerG2. It “has been deployed semi-successfully in grid-scale installations” such as backup power on hospitals, data centers and renewable energy sites. It’s extremely low-cost/kWh, though shortfalls in cycling and power mean batteries need to replaced every few years or even months. The beauty of batteries, though, is that the technology is ripe for cost and performance improvements, and generally speaking it can be added anywhere. Pumped hydro “works only when you have a hill,” he says, while compressed storage needs leak-proof caves or caverns (though some new entrants claim to use pipes instead).
EnerG2 has skin in the battery game, of course. Most carbon-based batteries require some kind of precursor; cheap, but more complicated applications require precision in material quality. EnerG2 engineers specialty carbon for batteries and ultracapacitors with high purity and surface area, removing the need for bio-organic precursor materials made from polymers to coconut husks to tires, substantially improves the battery’s performance. And it’s not the only one seeking to improve battery materials, either.
To those who say energy storage isn’t needed on the grid, Feaver counters that its current absence is precisely one of the supporting factors for having it. How can one rely on existing grid reliability as the answer to energy storage, given California’s constant brownouts, the “ridiculous” blackout in the U.S. Northeast in 2003 (which kicked offline an estimated 45 million people across eight states, plus another 10 million in Canada, for up to two days), and numerous smaller events, including extremely high temperatures across the south (e.g., Texas) that burden the grid? “No doubt we have a fundamental stability issue with the grid,” Feaver sums up. And adding solar and wind capacity will strain that even more.
One way to compensate for that instability is natural gas peaker plants, which utilities can ramp up fairly quickly, but their utilization is very low (only used when needed) and there are some inherent inefficiencies associated with turn-on and shutoff. Energy storage is a better option, Feaver notes, especially for more remote areas where power is less reliable. (He pointed to cellphone towers in India, which rely on lead-acid batteries as well as diesel fuel-guzzling generators.)
But to truly get to grid-scale energy storage in batteries, “we probably need to move to a slightly different paradigm,” Feaver explains. A few dozen pouch cells can be dropped into a Chevy Volt, but tens of thousands of them linked up isn’t necessarily a cost-effective practice. To fundamentally drive down costs at grid scale, there needs to be a different formfactor developed. “We need either much higher energy density materials, or change the way the battery is constructed, to make it cheaper. Or both.” Going the materials route with things like advanced chemicals will be more expensive initially; end users will pay more for 20 percent improvement, and companies will charge that premium as long as they can.
Once these advancements are proven out initially at the smaller scales (e.g., consumer electronics and automotive applications) then the technology will make greater inroads into grid-scale applications, which means more targeted development and competition to improve products and get prices down. “As the grid becomes more compelling as a business opportunity, people will make different batteries to serve that niche,” Feaver said. He pointed to two examples already emerging specifically appealing to the grid scale: molten batteries offering very high-density and stability, while flow batteries that “take up a lot of space but are cheap,” he said.
Feaver also highlights ultracapacitors, which are getting more attention amid concerns of grid load-leveling and making energy supplies available on a variety of different timetables. He points specifically to Japan — a nation historically more embracing of advanced technologies, and willing to invest in their deployment — where hospitals and industrials plants now use very large ultracapacitor installations (think tractor-trailer sized) for backup power with high reliability and quality. “Most of the time ultracapacitors are too expensive to see in those big deployments,” Feaver said, but it’s enough to generate a few minutes of power until a backup generator comes online without suffering a blip in power supply (a few minutes), and they’ll last “15 years real easily.” But that’s only part of the portfolio; one might deploy batteries (lead-acid or lithium-ion) for periods of minutes to hours, and some remote locations might expand the battery/ultracapacitor installation to hold for 24 hours, overnight or several days.
Gradually these technologies are evolving (and costs are lowering) to the point that there’s enough energy storage put in to simulate a power plant for a short period of time. And that’s really where it can address broad-scale deployment of renewable energy generation, he notes; by definition they overproduce during peak periods, and the key will be harnessing that excess and giving it back to the grid at a later time.
Feaver admits most battery-based grid-scale energy storage is at the concept stage, with pilot projects literally moving tractor trailers around to different areas as needed. Nevertheless, “people are deploying large-scale energy storage with batteries and capacitors,” he said. “We’re starting to see it grow.”
By James Montgomery, Renewable Energy World
Press Release Issued by CALMAC
Fair Lawn, N.J. – March 5, 2013 – CALMAC, a leader in energy storage systems, today announced the installation of its thermal energy storage tanks at 1500 Walnut Street, a 22-story, 270,000 square foot high-rise commercial building located in Philadelphia. Facing a failing HVAC system and declining tenant satisfaction, CALMAC’s IceBank® tanks and two 300-ton chillers were installed. The new tanks are assisting in saving 1500 Walnut Street $40,000 in energy costs per month during the warmer months and generating an additional $10,000 of revenue per year. The upgrades have helped turn the building into a “virtual power plant,” prepared it for the smart grid and was installed at the same cost of the existing outdated system.
“The system we had in place was an energy hog that was affecting bottom-line revenue for the owner,” said Gene O’Donnell, the building manager at 1500 Walnut. “There was no question we needed a new system, but we also couldn’t burden the tenants while we installed it.”
The new thermal energy storage system, which was installed at the recommendation of Tozour Energy Services for the same cost of the existing outdated system, allows ice to be created at night, when power is less expensive and generated more efficiently. It is then used the next day to cool the building during peak demand hours, which has significantly reduced operating costs. The thermal energy storage tanks were also paired with Viridity Energy’s VP Power software to provide additional flexibility. With this upgrade to the building controls, CALMAC’s tanks are able to function as a part of a real-time demand response system that utilizes data from the utility company.
“Viridity Energy can forecast where prices due to congestion will be for the next day on an hour-by hour basis and provide a schedule to the building operator through the building automation system, which the ice system is tied into to make ice or burn ice,” said H.G. Chissell, vice president, NE region and strategic accounts at Viridity Energy. “When they are using ice they are not using their chillers and their load drops. We can then make sure that the grid operator knows that this load is dropping during these hours and they don’t have to go to a power plant. The grid operator diverts the income or the money to the building.”
When referring to the additional revenue O’Donnell added, “We don’t need one square foot of space in this building to make this money, and the tenants in this building see no change at all. We’re as happy as pigs in mud. The system works.”
CALMAC Manufacturing Corporation is transforming how energy is used at buildings to the time energy is used. Widely recognized for promoting peak energy conservation and energy cost savings CALMAC is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA), and the Texas Energy Storage Alliance (TESA). CALMAC is the manufacturer of IceBank® Energy Storage equipment, with over 4,000 Ice Storage installations worldwide. IceBank systems are a valuable component of the smart grid, enabling energy, including renewable wind energy that mainly blows at night, to be efficiently stored for use during periods of high demand.
About Tozour Energy Systems
Tozour Energy Systems is a full-service HVAC and building automation provider based in King of Prussia, Pa., and is a franchise of Trane, a business of Ingersoll Rand. The company provides customers with a diverse range of solutions including building automation, equipment services, energy conservation services, green building design, controls, parts, supplies and responsible technical support throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Tozour Energy Systems is a member of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council. For more information, visit www.tozourenergysystems.com.
About Viridity Energy
Viridity Energy is paving the way for a new generation of demand response through its innovative demand-side management solutions. Viridity Energy provides large energy consumers with intelligent tools to reduce their energy spend by increasing energy supply cost savings and/or creating energy revenues through its unique and flexible VPower™ platform. VPower™ enables customers to reduce overall energy spend by dynamically managing energy load and integrating advanced energy technologies. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Viridity Energy was founded in 2008 by former executives of PJM Interconnection. For more information, visit: www.viridityenergy.com.