“Behind the Meter” Energy Storage Solution Manages Peak Demand Charges for Buildings

Sharp Electronics Corporation’s […] 30 kW storage system is coupled with Baker’s existing 90 kW solar PV system. Baker Electric, a key channel ally of Sharp, has selected theSmartStorage® solution to help cap expensive utility demand charges for its commercial building customers.

Source: www.marketwired.com

>” […]

Peak demand charges are the fastest growing part of utility bills for commercial and industrial customers and can represent up to 50 percent of a company’s monthly utility bill. The SmartStorage® energy storage solution is a unique battery-based demand management system designed to reduce commercial and industrial buildings’ peak electricity use. It combines Sharp’s intelligent energy management system with cutting-edge hardware, operating seamlessly as a stand-alone solution or when deployed along with a solar system.

“Baker Electric brings decades of experience offering innovative technologies to its customers, including solar solutions in recent years. Their PV solutions coupled with our SmartStorage® energy storage solution provide a powerful duo for building owners wanting to lower peak demand usage without disrupting their day-to-day operations,” commented Carl Mansfield, General Manager of Sharp Electronics Corporation’s Energy Systems and Services Group.

The SmartStorage® system employs sophisticated, predictive analytics and controls to manage the release of energy from the battery, resulting in high performance, high system efficiency and world-class reliability. The SmartStorage® system can also make existing solar installations economically viable where they otherwise would not be.

Baker Electric’s SmartStorage® system installation is backed by Sharp’s innovative 10-year Asset Management Service Agreement which provides all routine and unscheduled maintenance coupled with a 10-year demand reduction performance guarantee.

“Our customers have come to expect the highest quality, highest performing products available on the market. After an exhaustive search in identifying the best solution to help lower demand charges for our customers and our own facility, we chose Sharp’s SmartStorage® system, not only because it exceeds the quality standards we are known for, but because we also have confidence in Sharp standing behind its product by offering its unique 10-year Asset Management Service Agreement and performance guarantee,” said Ted Baker, CEO of Baker Electric.

The SmartStorage® energy storage solution has undergone more than 18 months of field testing benefitting from Sharp’s world-class attention to quality and safety. The energy storage component of Sharp’s SmartStorage® system consists of state-of-the art lithium-ion batteries, which have been tested, listed and labeled as compliant with UL safety standards.

[…]”<

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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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New California Housing Community Goes Zero Net Energy

California has set a goal for all new residential construction in the state to be ZNE by 2020 and all new commercial construction to be zero net energy by 2030. Spring Lake uses no natural gas and receives most of its power from photovoltaics.

Source: www.calenergycommission.blogspot.ca

>”The $13 million Spring Lake project in Woodland has 62 affordable apartments and townhomes for agricultural workers and their families.  […]

“The community will generate at least as much energy as it consumes,” says Vanessa Guerra, a project manager with Mutual Housing California, a Sacramento-based non-profit that develops sustainable affordable housing communities.

The California Energy Commission adopted zero net energy goals in its 2007 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR). It further defined what ZNE buildings are and laid out the necessary steps and renewables options for achieving the ZNE 2020 goals in the 2013 IEPR.

The project was financed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Citibank, Wells Fargo Bank, the California Department of Housing and Community Development and the City of Woodland.”<

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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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Heating and Cooling of Buildings EU Energy Debate

The significance of heating and cooling technologies for Europe was again underlined at a major conference on district energy in Brussels. Miquel Arias Caňete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, was among a number of speakers who addressed the Heating and Cooling in the European Energy Transition Conference last week. Nearly half of Europe’s energy consumption flows into the heating of buildings and industrial processes. Some 15% of this energy is coming from renewables, suc

Source: www.cospp.com

>”[…]

Nearly half of Europe’s energy consumption flows into the heating of buildings and industrial processes. Some 15% of this energy is coming from renewables, such as biomass and solar panels. Around 1 billion Euro per day is needed to pay for fuel imports.

In his opening address, Caňete stressed that heating and cooling is a sector that deserves maximum attention because of its high share in using fossil energy. He referred to the sector as “the missing piece in the energy and emissions debate”.

A large proportion of buildings have poor energy performance and without specific action, he said it will be a long time before the situation improves. In industry, he advocated more synergy is needed between industry and the heating of buildings with waste energy.

“Next to that, electricity and heat supply has to be integrated. In times of excess renewable electricity, it should be used for heating purposes. This is especially the case since heat use in the EU is energy wise about 2.5 times higher than electricity use.  Under European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), some €38 billion has now been allocated by Member States for energy efficiency, local renewable energy and local transport.”

Pieter Liese, MEP, said that a EUR1bn payment for energy per day is sent from the EU to countries with a doubtful regime such as Russia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia. He pleaded for a common European policy and approach. He stated that although politicians like to talk about electricity, it is clear that improving heating and cooling processes is a more sensible subject.

According to Ulrich Schmidt, chairman of the European Heating Industry, 75% of Europe’s housing stock are energy inefficient and 65% of gas boilers are old and inefficient while 40 % of homes date back to before 1960.

“Owners of existing equipment are reluctant to replace their appliances since the pay-back time from the benefit of less fuel consumption is too long. Moreover, old-fashioned boilers are considered by consumers to be more reliable than modern ones.”

Ligia Noronha, Director of Technology, Industry and Economics, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), stated that energy efficiency is a key component of the EU energy transition. She highlighted the Global District Energy in Cities Initiative. It is an analysis of 45 leading cities. District heating is seen as a major instrument in improving energy utilisation. By 2050, Europe could meet 50% of its heat demand via district heating.

John Dulac from the IEA said that as much heat is thrown away by inefficient processes as what is needed in the EU.

“‘SILO’ thinking is the big problem. The share of cogeneration in electricity production has to increase drastically. Moreover, electricity production and heat/chill production have to be integrated. “

Paul Voss, Managing Director of Euroheat & Power, warned that if the EU failed to integrate its heating and cooling potential and the current trend in emissions reduction continues, only 60% of the overall reduction target will be reached by 2050.

Three workshops were also part of the itinerary of the day, with Professor Hans-Martin Henning, Deputy Director for solar energy systems at the Fraunhofer Institute outlining a vision for the sector for 2050.

He said heat demand in buildings can be reduced from 30% to 50% by 2050 and added that solar thermal heating, biomass and CHP can play a major role in reducing CO2 emissions of buildings.

Henning also showed the audience how storing energy as heat is much cheaper than other ways of storing energy.

“Germany needs 700 GWh of heat storage, 60 GWh of pumped hydro and 24 GWh of batteries. CHP has excellent possibilities of storing heat and is very suitable for balancing renewable electricity,” he said.

“<

 

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Net Zero Building Nears Completion in Edmonton

the mosaic centre for conscious community and commerce is nearly ready for occupancy, which could make it the most northerly net-zero structure on the planet.

Source: www.journalofcommerce.com

>” […] The Edmonton centre’s designers and builders are hoping that others can learn from the project that sustainable design doesn’t have to be costly or time consuming – so much so that they have made the contract, calculations and drawings available to anyone.

The City of Edmonton said the Mosaic Centre will be the world’s most northerly commercial building to achieve net zero status, the city’s first designated LEED platinum building, the first in Alberta to be petal certified by the Living Building Challenge and Canada’s first triple bottom line commercial building.

Once completed, the new 30,000 square foot building will include  photovoltaic panels that will cover much of the roof.

It will also have LED lighting designed with a time-clock/daylight controller to meet minimum light levels and a geo-exchange system which will draw heat in winter and coolant in summer.

The 32 bore hole geothermal system reduced the size of the system by 40 kW, saving about $150,000.

It was built 25 per cent ahead of schedule and five per cent under budget.

HKA architect Vedran Skopac, who worked on the project, said it was done to prove to the industry that complex, sustainable buildings can be delivered on time, on budget and without animosity between the parties.

He said the key to this all started with using Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).

The model emphasizes collaboration at an early stage and encourages all the participants to use their talents and insights throughout the different stages for best results.

“It goes all the way down to the end of the line of the tradesmen,” Skopac said.

“We invested so much in designing the process, and training and making everyone a leader.”

Skopac said a major influence on designing the actual structure was creating collision spaces, or places where building residents would be forced to meet and interact.

Skopac also wanted to influence sustainable behavior, like making windows easy to operate and open rather than using air conditioning, and making natural light penetrate deep into the building rather than encourage residents to turn on lights. […]”<

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Vanadium Flow Battery Competes With Lithium and Lead-Acid at Grid Scale

The company claims LCOE [Levelized Cost of Energy] is less than half the cost of any other battery technology available.

Source: www.greentechmedia.com

>”[…]

Imergy Power Systems just introduced its third-generation vanadium flow battery, claiming it offers a low-cost, high-performance energy storage solution for large-scale applications, including peak demand management, frequency regulation and the integration of intermittent renewable energy sources.

The ESP250 has an output power capability of 250 kilowatts and 1 megawatt of energy storage capacity. It’s suited for both short- and long-duration storage, with available energy ranging from two to 12 hours of output duration. The 40-foot batteries (each about the size of two shipping containers) are designed to be deployed individually or linked together for larger-scale projects. […]

Where Imergy has been able to edge out its competitors is on material cost. Vanadium is abundant but expensive to extract from the ground. Imergy has developed a unique chemistry that allows it to use cheaper, recycled resources of vanadium from mining slag, fly ash and other environmental waste.

With this chemistry, the levelized cost of energy for Imergy’s batteries is less than half of any other battery on the market right now, according to Hennessy. Vanadium flow batteries are orders of magnitude cheaper than lithium-ion batteries on a lifetime basis because they can be 100 percent cycled an unlimited number of times, whereas lithium-ion batteries wear down with use, according to the firm. Despite the compelling cost claims from Imergy, lithium-ion has been the predominant energy storage technology being deployed at this early point of the market. And very few flow batteries are currently providing grid services.

Imergy’s capital costs are lower than every other battery technology except lead-acid, Hennessy added. But he believes the company can hit that mark (roughly $200 per kilowatt-hour) by the end of the year by outsourcing contracts to manufacturing powerhouse Foxconn Technology Group in China. Delivery of the ESP250 is targeted for summer of 2015.

At this price, Imergy says the ESP250 offers an affordable alternative to peaker plants and can help utilities avoid investing more capital in the grid. Some might disagree with the claim that grid-scale storage can compete with fast-start turbines and natural gas prices below $3 per million Btu. But according to Hennessy, it all comes down to the application. Batteries can’t compete with gas at the 50-megawatt scale, but they can compete with gas at the distribution level.

“Batteries that are distributed have a huge advantage over gas, because when you buy gas down at the low end, you’re paying a lot more than $3 to $4 per MMBtu, because you’ve got to pay for all the transmission down to the small end,” he said.

Demand for cost-effective energy storage is growing as intermittent renewables become cheaper and come on-line in higher volumes. GTM Research anticipates the solar-plus-storage market to grow from $42 million in 2014 to more than $1 billion by 2018.

Imergy sees a ripe market in the Caribbean, parts of Africa and India, Hawaii and other places where the LCOE for solar-plus-storage is already competitive. As costs continue to fall, New York, California and Texas will also become attractive markets.”<

 

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Apple to Invest $2 Billion in Solar Farm Powered Data Center Renovation in Arizona

Apple plans to invest $2 billion to build a data center in Arizona in the location where its failed sapphire manufacturing facility exists, the state announced Monday.

Source: blogs.wsj.com

“> […] The company plans to employ 150 full-time Apple staff at the Mesa, Arizona, facility, which will serve as a command center for its global network of data centers. In addition to the investment for the data center, Apple plans to build a solar farm capable of producing 70-megawatts of energy to power the facility.

Apple’s investment is expected to create up to 500 construction jobs as well, the state said.

Apple said it expects to start construction in 2016 after GT Advanced Technologies Inc., the company’s sapphire manufacturing partner, clears out of the 1.3 million square foot site. The $2 billion investment is in addition to the $1 billion that Apple had earmarked to build scratch-resistant sapphire screens at the same location.

The investment comes a few months after GTAT filed for bankruptcy protection in October, citing problems with the Arizona facility. Shortly after its bankruptcy filing, GTAT said it planned to lay off more than 700 employees in Arizona.

In October 2013, Apple had agreed to build a sapphire factory in Mesa that GTAT was going to operate. At the time, Apple had said the new factory was going to create 2,000 jobs and move an important part of its supply chain to the U.S.

However, the project struggled to produce a consistent level of sapphire at the quality demanded by Apple. In the end, Apple did not use sapphire from the facility for its latest iPhones. After GTAT’s bankruptcy, Apple has said it was seeking ways to preserve the jobs lost at the Mesa facility.

Arizona’s governor said the state did not provide additional financial incentives to keep Apple in the state. For the original investment in 2013, Arizona provided $10 million to Apple to sweeten the deal for the company.”<

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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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