Review Of Recent Energy Storage News: Part 1

(A review of several groundbreaking events in the energy storage industry by Andrew Crossland, Research Analyst, Dufresne)

The past fortnight has witnessed some interesting energy storage projects to be aware of. Three are introduced here.

A recently completed microgrid at Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County, California combines storage with solar, wind and diesel generators. Smart control of the system is designed to allow the cheapest generation mix to be used at any given time, and also allow energy to be sold to the utility when price signals are high. Reliable energy supply is obviously very important for a prison, and so developing a strong and affordable microgrid has benefits which may not exist in other sectors. This may present a target market for storage/microgrid manufacturers to trial and demonstrate smart grid technology.

A solid state hydrogen storage plant was announced this week for power balancing in Puglia, Italy where there is a high penetration of renewable energy. Here, a 1.2MW generator will be powered by, 39MWh of hydrogen (stored as magnesium hydrides which require no compression).The €23.9million scheme, half funded by the European Union should be keenly watched over the next few years as the operators are also exploring other value streams for the hydrogen produced such as for enriched natural gas.

Back in California, a $2 million grant to develop storage for PV systems has been awarded in Sacramento. The 500kW PV array will be supported by a 500kWh lithium ion battery system to provide ancillary services to the grid, and backup in times of power outage. Although a modest project, this will provide a welcome injection of cash to A123 who have been heavily involved in the promotion of lithium ion batteries, particularly in electric vehicles.

As more and more intermittent renewable energy is placed on the grid, schemes such as those highlighted here will allow us to understand the value and applications for energy storage. 

If you want to know more about this and other topics directly from end users of energy storage technologies join us at one of these annual events: The Energy Storage World Forum (Grid Scale Applications), or The Residential Energy Storage Forum, or one of our Training Courses.


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