Smart Grid Testbed For Industrial Electrical Grid Innovation

Industrial Internet Consortium announces first energy-focused testbed.

Source: www.cbronline.com

The Communication and Control Testbed for Microgrid Applications, the first energy-focused testbed, was today [Mar 27/2015] announced by the Industrial Internet Consortium.

Member organisations including Real-Time Innovations (RTI), National Instruments, and Cisco, will collaborate on the project, working with power utility firms CPS Energy and Southern California Edison. Additionally, Duke Energy and power industry organisation Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) will be also involved.

In order to put an end to renewable energy waste in neighbourhoods or businesses, a new architectural innovation was found to be needed.

Today’s power grid relies on a central-station architecture, which is not designed to interconnect distributed and renewable power sources such as roof-top solar and wind turbines. The system must over-generate power to compensate for rapid variation in power generation or demands.

The Communication and Control Testbed will introduce the flexibility of real-time analytics and control to increase efficiencies, ensuring that power is generated more accurately and reliably to match demand.

The solution proposes re-architecting electric power grids to include a series of distributed microgrids which will control smaller areas of demand with distributed generation and storage capacity.

These microgrids will operate independently from the main electric power grid, but will still interact and be coordinated with the existing infrastructure.

In order to ensure a coordinated, accepted architecture based on modern, cross-industry industrial internet technologies, companies taking part in the venture will work with Duke Energy and SGIP.

The Communications and Control framework will be developed in three phases, with initial developments being tested in Southern California Edison’s Controls Lab in Westminster, CA.

The final stage of the project will culminate in a field deployment that will take place at CPS Energy’s “Grid-of-the-Future” microgrid test area in San Antonio, Texas.

Stan Schneider, RTI’s CEO and IIC Steering Committee member, said: “The smart grid is a critical infrastructure component of the Industrial Internet of Things.

“The IIoT will span industries, sensor to cloud, power to factory, and road to hospital. This key first step will address a significant barrier to the efficient use of green energy.” […]”<

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France now requires all new buildings to have green roofs or solar panels

Pr0jectClimate

France just passed atrailblazing new lawthat requires that all new buildings constructed in commercial areas to be partially-covered by either solar panels orgreen roofs. Not only will this bring dramatic changes to the nation?s skylines and bolster the efficiency of all new commercial construction, but the law will help France pick up the pace the solar adoption?which has lagged behind other European nations in recent years.

Read more:France requires all new buildings to have green roofs or solar panels | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building



Source: inhabitat.com

“Here’s hoping that other nations can soon follow suit.” I had to go back and dig through my sources to make sure I hadn’t dreamed this!

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Global Distributed Energy Storage Capacity Expected to Increase Nearly 10-Fold

The worldwide capacity of distributed energy storage systems is expected to increase nearly 10-fold over the next 3 years, according to a new report from Navigant Research, which analyzed the global market for distributed energy storage systems through 2024.

Source: cleantechnica.com

>” […] The primary conclusion of the report is that distributed storage is one of the fastest-growing markets for energy storage globally, thanks to the focus of rapid innovation and intense competition, causing the market to greatly exceed market expectations. This growth and subsequent demand has led to grid operators, utilities, and governments looking to encourage storage installations that are physically situated closer to the retail electrical customer.

According to the report from Navigant Research, worldwide capacity of distributed energy storage systems (DESSs) is expected to grow from its current 276 MW, to nearly 2,400 MW in 2018.

“Distributed storage is among the fastest-growing markets for energy storage globally,” says Anissa Dehamna, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “In particular, residential and commercial energy storage are expected to be the focus of technological advances and market activity in the coming years.” […]

Two specific types of DESS are classified in the report: Community energy storage refers to systems installed at the distribution transformer level; Residential and commercial storage, on the other hand, refer to “two behind-the-meter applications targeted at either homeowners or commercial and industrial customers.” Together, these two technologies include lithium ion (Li-ion), flow batteries, advanced lead-acid, and other next-generation chemistries, such as sodium metal halide, ultracapacitors, and aqueous hybrid ion.

Similarly, the two categories of DESS each have specific market drivers. Community energy storage is being driven by the improved reliability yielded in case of outages, load leveling and peak shifting, and improved power quality. Almost as importantly, community energy storage systems can communicate with a grid operator’s operating system, allowing the operator to mitigate disruptions to the grid.

Given its primary use as an energy cost management solution, the prime driver behind commercial storage systems is the rate structure for customers. “<

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US Energy Storage Capacity to Triple in 2015

Over triple the amount of energy storage capacity — 220 megawatts worth — is expected to come on-line this year.

Source: www.triplepundit.com

>” […] 2015 looks set to be a milestone year for advanced energy storage solutions. Some 220 megawatts worth of energy storage capacity will be deployed across the nation in 2015 – more than three times the 2014 total, according to an inaugural market research report from GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association (ESA). The organizations see growth continuing “at a rapid clip thereafter.”

The number of grid-connected electrochemical and electromechanical storage installations that came on-line in 2014 totaled 61.9 megawatts of power capacity, the organizations found, up 40 percent from 44.2 MW in 2013. One leading distributed energy storage pioneer delivered over a third of the total.  […]

Utility deployments dominated the fast emerging U.S. market for advanced energy storage systems in 2014, accounting for 90 percent of newly-installed capacity. So-called “behind the meter” installations at utility customer sites – commercial and industrial companies, government facilities, schools, hospitals and municipalities – made up 10 percent of the 2014 total.

But installations of “behind the meter” energy storage systems picked up sharply in the fourth quarter of 2014, GTM and ESA note. Going forward, GTM expects behind-the-meter installations will account for 45 percent of the overall market by 2019.

Advanced energy storage system deployments are also concentrated in states that have and/or are in the process of instituting market regulatory reforms and supportive policies, including mandates and incentive programs. GTM and ESA singled out California and states where PJM is responsible for grid operations and management – all or part of 13 states across the eastern U.S. and the District of Columbia – as early leaders.

“The U.S. energy storage market is nascent, but we expect it to pick up more speed this year,” GTM Research SVP Shayle Kann was quoted in a Greentech Media news report. “Attractive economics already exist across a broad array of applications, and system costs are in rapid decline. We expect some fits and starts but significant overall growth for the market in 2015.”

[…]”<

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Brewery’s Waste Treatment Bio-Gas Fuel Micro-Turbines for Grid Power

Sierra Nevada taps waste-to-energy technologies as a way to close operational loops and demonstrate responsible brewing practices.

Source: www.rewmag.com

>”[…]

Biogas benefits

Sierra Nevada operates breweries in Chico, California, and in Mills River, North Carolina. While the Chico facility has been in operation since 1980, the Mills River brewery didn’t break ground until 2012. Both facilities operate anaerobic digesters for treating brewery effluent water. Each facility uses the biogas produced from the digesters a little bit differently. In Chico, the biogas is used to offset natural gas production for use in its boilers. The Mills River digester is also used in the boilers but is also being fed into two 200-kilowatt microturbines from Capstone of Chatsworth, California, which will generate electricity to power the operation.

McKay says the first anaerobic digester was installed in Chico in 2002, well before the technology had gained traction in the United States. The digester, manufactured by Veolia Water Technologies subsidiary Biothane, Pennsauken, New Jersey, is an upflow anaerobic sludge bed. The biogas produced from the digestion process is cleaned and treated by a biogas skid designed by Fuel Cell Energy, Danbury, Connecticut, before it is used in the boilers. When the digester was initially installed, Sierra Nevada had planned on using the biogas in its fuel cells, but the inconsistent flow of biogas from the digester was problematic for the fuel cells without a buffer zone.

“We just decided we would send the biogas all to the boilers because the boilers could definitely use it,” says McKay.

The fuel cells were installed in Chico in 2005 and are considered “old technology” by today’s standards, according to McKay. The company is currently deciding on a replacement for the fuel cells which is planned to be completed by the end of the year. Fuel cells, microturbines and other engine technologies have all been considered as potential replacements.

“Ideally we would like to produce electricity from any biogas we are producing at the wastewater treatment plant,” McKay says, adding, “It is fine to use in the boiler, but we would prefer to make electricity because it would be closing the loop a little bit better.” […]”<

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Comments on Improving EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan

The summer deadline is approaching for finalizing the Environmental Protection Agency’s first-ever limits on dangerous carbon pollution from the nation’s power plants, and opponents are ratcheting up their complaints….

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

“> […] Some 1500 mostly coal- and gas-fired power plants spew out more than two billion tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide each year — 40 percent of the nation’s total. The vast majority of the millions of public comments submitted last fall express strong support for the Clean Power Plan, which as proposed last June starts in 2020 and ramps emissions down gradually over the next decade.

But big coal polluters and their political allies have big megaphones.

Many hope to kill the proposal outright. But for others the back-up agenda is to get the standards weakened and delayed past 2020. Their comments and speeches read like Armageddon is coming if power plants have to start limiting their carbon pollution in 2020 — five years from now. Republican members of the Senate environment committee banged that drum over and over at a hearing last week. As on so many issues, they hope endless repetition will make their story seem true.

The truth is that the standards and timeline EPA proposed last June are quite modest and readily achievable. They can be met without any threat to the reliability of electric power. A new report from the highly respected Brattle Group shows that states can meet the EPA’s proposal “while maintaining the high level of electric reliability enjoyed by U.S. electricity customers.” […]

The plan as proposed in June sets state-by-state targets that, on an overall national basis, would cut power plants’ carbon pollution by 26 percent by 2020 and 30 percent by 2030, when compared to 2005 levels.

We found that with three specific improvements – I’ll describe them below – the plan could achieve 50 percent more carbon pollution reductions (36 percent by 2020 and 44 percent by 2030).

Here are the three factors:

First, the costs of clean energy are falling dramatically, and EPA’s June proposal was based on out of date cost and performance data for renewable electricity and efficiency energy. An NRDC issue brief published last fall details how sharply the cost and performance of energy efficiency and renewable energy have improved. When we factored in up-to-date data, our analysis shows that the Clean Power Plan’s state-by-state targets as proposed in June 2014 can be met at a net savings to Americans of $1.8-4.3 billion in 2020 and $6.4-9.4 billion in 2030. More reliance on energy efficiency and renewables will also create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobsthat can’t be shipped overseas.

The lower cost of clean energy technologies opens the door to getting substantially more carbon pollution reductions from the nation’s largest emitters.

We also took two other specific improvements into account:

In an October 2014 notice seeking further public comment, EPA explained that the formula it had used to calculate state targets in the June 2014 proposal did not correctly account for the emission reductions made by renewables and energy efficiency. The formula did not fully account for the reduction in generation at coal and gas power plants that occurs when additional renewables are added to the grid and when businesses and homeowners reduce how much electricity they need by improving the efficiency of our buildings, appliances, and other electricity-using equipment. NRDC corrected the formula in our updated analysis to capture the full emission reduction associated with ramping up renewables and efficiency.EPA also asked for comment on an approach to better balancing state targets by adopting a minimum rate of transition from older high-emitting generation to lower-emitting sources. NRDC analyzed state targets that include conversion of 20 percent of coal generation in 2012 to natural gas generation over the period between 2020 and 2029.

These three factors — updating the cost and performance data for renewables and efficiency, correcting the target-setting formula, and including a minimum rate of transition from higher- to lower-emitting plants — produce the substantial additional carbon pollution reductions in our analysis, all at very reasonable costs. […]”<

 

See EPA’s Clean Power Plan:  http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/clean-power-plan-proposed-rule

 

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Renewable Energy Provides Half of New US Generating Capacity in 2014

According to the latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Energy Projects, renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, wind) provided nearly half (49.81 percent – 7,663 MW) of new electrical generation brought into service during 2014 while natural gas accounted for 48.65 percent (7,485 MW).

 

Image source:  http://usncre.org/

Source: www.renewableenergyworld.com

>” […] By comparison, in 2013, natural gas accounted for 46.44 percent (7,378 MW) of new electrical generating capacity while renewables accounted for 43.03 percent (6,837 MW). New renewable energy capacity in 2014 is 12.08 percent more than that added in 2013.

New wind energy facilities accounted for over a quarter (26.52 percent) of added capacity (4,080 MW) in 2014 while solar power provided 20.40% (3,139 MW). Other renewables — biomass (254 MW), hydropower (158 MW), and geothermal (32 MW) — accounted for an additional 2.89 percent.

For the year, just a single coal facility (106 MW) came on-line; nuclear power expanded by a mere 71MW due to a plant upgrade; and only 15 small “units” of oil, totaling 47 MW, were added.

Thus, new capacity from renewable energy sources in 2014 is 34 times that from coal, nuclear and oil combined — or 72 times that from coal, 108 times that from nuclear, and 163 times that from oil.

Renewable energy sources now account for 16.63 percent of total installed operating generating capacity in the U.S.: water – 8.42 percent, wind – 5.54 percent, biomass – 1.38 percent, solar – 0.96 percent, and geothermal steam – 0.33 percent.  Renewable energy capacity is now greater than that of nuclear (9.14 percent) and oil (3.94 percent) combined.

Note that generating capacity is not the same as actual generation. Generation per MW of capacity (i.e., capacity factor) for renewables is often lower than that for fossil fuels and nuclear power. According to the most recent data (i.e., as of November 2014) provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, actual net electrical generation from renewable energy sources now totals a bit more than 13.1 percent of total U.S. electrical production; however, this figure almost certainly understates renewables’ actual contribution significantly because EIA does not fully account for all electricity generated by distributed renewable energy sources (e.g., rooftop solar).

Can there any longer be doubt about the emerging trends in new U.S. electrical capacity? Coal, oil, and nuclear have become historical relics and it is now a race between renewable sources and natural gas with renewables taking the lead.”<

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Determining the True Cost (LCOE) of Battery Energy Storage

The true cost of energy storage depends on the so-called LCOE = Round-trip efficiency + maintenance costs + useful life of the energy system

Source: www.triplepundit.com

By Anna W. Aamone

“With regard to [battery] energy storage systems, many people erroneously think that the only cost they should consider is the initial – that is, the cost of generating electricity per kilowatt-hour. However, they are not aware of another very important factor.

This is the so-called LCOE, levelized cost of energy(also known as cost of electricity by source), which helps calculate the price of the electricity generated by a specific source. The LCOE also includes other costs associated with producing or storing that energy, such as maintenance and operating costs, residual value, the useful life of the system and the round-trip efficiency. […]

Batteries and round-trip efficiency

[…] due to poor maintenance, inefficiencies or heat, part of the energy captured in the battery is released … or rather, lost. The idea of round-trip efficiency is to determine the overall efficiency of a system (in that case, batteries) from the moment it is charged to the moment the energy is discharged. In other words, it helps to calculate the amount of energy that gets lost between charging and discharging (a “round trip”).

[…] So, as it turns out, using batteries is not free either. And it has to be added to the final cost of the energy storage system.

Maintenance costs

[…] An energy storage system requires regular check-ups so that it operates properly in the years to come. Note that keeping such a system running smoothly can be quite pricey. Some batteries need to be maintained more often than others. Therefore when considering buying an energy storage system, you need to take into account this factor. […]

Useful life of the energy system

Another important factor in determining the true cost of energy storage is a system’s useful life. Most of the time, this is characterized by the number of years a system is likely to be running. However, when it comes to batteries, there is another factor to take into account: use. […]

More often than not, the life of a battery depends on the number of charge and discharge cycles it goes through. Imagine a battery has about 10,000 charge-discharge cycles. When they are complete, the battery will wear out, no matter if it has been used for two or for five years.

[…] [However] flow batteries can be charged and discharged a million times without wearing out. Hence, cycling is not an issue with this type of battery, and you should keep this in mind before selecting an energy storage system. Think twice about whether you want to use batteries that wear out too quickly because their useful life depends on the number of times they are charged and discharged. Or would you rather use flow batteries, the LCOE of which is much lower than that of standard batteries?

So, what do we have so far?

LCOE = Round-trip efficiency + maintenance costs + useful life of the energy system.

These are three of the most important factors that determine the LCOE. Make sure you consider all the factors that determine the true cost of energy storage systems before you buy one.

Image credit: Flickr/INL”

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What is “Levelized Cost of Energy” or LCOE?

As a financial tool, LCOE is very valuable for the comparison of various generation options. A relatively low LCOE means that electricity is being produced at a low cost, with higher likely returns for the investor. If the cost for a renewable technology is as low as current traditional costs, it is said to have reached “Grid Parity“.

Source: www.renewable-energy-advisors.com

>”LCOE (levelized cost of energy) is one of the utility industry’s primary metrics for the cost of electricity produced by a generator. It is calculated by accounting for all of a system’s expected lifetime costs (including construction, financing, fuel, maintenance, taxes, insurance and incentives), which are then divided by the system’s lifetime expected power output (kWh). All cost and benefit estimates are adjusted for inflation and discounted to account for the time-value of money. […]

LCOE Estimates for Renewable Energy

When an electric utility plans for a conventional plant, it must consider the effects of inflation on future plant maintenance, and it must estimate the price of fuel for the plant decades into the future. As those costs rise, they are passed on to the ratepayer. A renewable energy plant is initially more expensive to build, but has very low maintenance costs, and no fuel cost, over its 20-30 year life. As the following 2012 U.S. Govt. forecast illustrates, LCOE estimates for conventional sources of power depend on very uncertain fuel cost estimates. These uncertainties must be factored into LCOE comparisons between different technologies.

LCOE estimates may or may not include the environmental costs associated with energy production. Governments around the world have begun to quantify these costs by developing various financial instruments that are granted to those who generate or purchase renewable energy. In the United States, these instruments are called Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). To learn more about environmental costs, visit our Greenhouse Gas page.

LCOE estimates do not normally include less tangible risks that may have very large effects on a power plant’s actual cost to ratepayers. Imagine, for example, the LCOE estimates used for nuclear power plants in Japan before the Fukushima incident, compared to the eventual costs for those plants.

Location

An important determination of photovoltaic LCOE is the system’s location. The LCOE of a system built in Southern Utah, for example, is likely to be lower than that of an identical system built in Northern Utah. Although the cost of building the two systems may be similar, the system with the most access to the sun will perform better, and deliver the most value to its owner. […]”<

 

 

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