Regulators seek to remove barriers to electric grid storage

THE HILL; BY TIMOTHY CAMA – 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted Thursday to implement rules that are designed to remove barriers to grid-level batteries that store electricity.

The new regulation requires that electric grid operators pay and treat storage operations similarly to how they treat power plants.

“This order will enhance competition and promote greater efficiency in the nation’s electric wholesale markets, and will help support the resilience of the bulk power system,” the commission said in a statement after its vote.

All five of the commissioners — three Republicans and two Democrats — voted in favor of the proposal.

“Not only is this rulemaking a win for both consumers and industry, but it is also the kind of positive regulatory action that removes barriers to competition, allowing emerging technologies to compete in the marketplace,” said Commissioner Neil Chatterjee, a Republican.

“It is something of a cliche to refer to electric storage as a game changer, but it is also true. Given the ongoing changes in our nation’s resource mix, and the changing capabilities needed to serve customers, electric storage is poised to provide a critically important role,” said Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur, a Democrat.

Storage technology has made significant strides in recent years, but still plays a relatively small role in the electricity mix. Only about 23 gigawatts of storage capacity is in operation nationwide, the vast majority of which is hydroelectric plants that can pump in reverse to store water that can later be run through the plant, according to the Energy Information Administration.

One of the primary uses for electricity storage is to take power during periods of low demand and dispatch it when demand and prices are higher.

But as intermittent energy sources like wind and solar power grow in use, storage can hold power generated when the wind or sun is strong so that it can be used later, when demand outpaces generation.

Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) had been two of the most vocal voices calling for FERC’s storage rule.

“We’re already seeing powerful new batteries help renewable energy beat out fossil fuels. This rule will help continue that success, reducing carbon pollution and providing Americans with dependable, low-cost energy,” Whitehouse said in a statement.

The storage industry praised FERC’s action.

“With this morning’s unequivocal action, the FERC signaled both a recognition of the value provided by storage today, and more importantly, a clear vision of the role electric storage can play, given a clear pathway to wholesale market participation,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of the Energy Storage Association.

See the full article here.

Joint Project of W. Boylston Municipal Lighting Plant, Mass. Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. and Amber Kinetics Awarded Mass. ACES Grant

by  | Dec 7, 2017

Project Demonstrates Amber Kinetics’ Readily Deployable Four-Hour Flywheel Energy Storage Technology

Energy storage advantages offered by Amber Kinetics’ four-hour discharge duration steel flywheels will be demonstrated by the West Boylston Municipal Lighting Plant (WBMLP), which was awarded a highly competitive Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES) grant by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) earlier today.

WBMLP will deploy a 128 kW storage plant (16 Amber Kinetics 8 kW flywheels) that will be operational before the end of 2018. The demonstration, a joint project by WBMLP, Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC) and Amber Kinetics, was selected from “a very competitive round of the program,” said MassCEC.

The innovative system will be interconnected to an existing WBMLP solar energy distributed generation facility and will demonstrate readily replicable projects that will prime Massachusetts for increased commercialization and deployment of energy storage technologies.

“We look forward to demonstrating the significant economic and performance benefits of our flywheel energy storage system to West Boylston Municipal Light Plant,” said Ed Chiao, chief executive officer, Amber Kinetics. “And through the participation of Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company, to share those benefits with other municipal utilities, for deployment both behind and in front of the meter.”

“We are very excited to host and showcase a unique, readily deployable, replicable, sustainable technology that will help diversify energy storage options available in the Commonwealth,” said Jonathon Fitch, general manager, WBMLP.  “We will be the first in the Northeast to demonstrate how Amber Kinetics’ flywheels bring value to our customers.”

In addition to providing a safer, more sustainable alternative to chemical batteries, the project will enhance the value of WBMLP’s solar system by storing and shifting the use of that energy into peak periods, reducing WBMLP’s peak load and transmission and capacity charges, capturing energy arbitrage opportunities and increasing WBMLP’s grid reliability. Payback is anticipated in under four years.

With 40+ years of experience helping municipal utilities achieve their strategic vision and optimize their energy portfolios, MMWEC will play a key role in the project, monitoring and evaluating project metrics.

“These grant awards represent the commitment of Massachusetts municipal utilities to the state’s carbon-free energy goals,” said MMWEC Chief Executive Officer Ronald C. DeCurzio.  “This project will serve as a demonstration project for other municipal light plants, and we look forward to sharing replicable aspects with other utilities interested in pursuing energy storage technologies.”

Amber Kinetics’ flywheel energy storage systems offer substantial benefits for a wide range of utility and commercial applications. The firm’s breakthrough technology extends the duration and efficiency of flywheels from minutes to hours, resulting in safe, economical and reliable energy storage for a variety of utility-scale applications, including load shifting, peak shaving, frequency regulation, renewable firming and spinning reserve.

Amber Kinetics’ flywheels are designed for high utilization with no performance degradation, zero variable O&M, and minimal maintenance. They perform with the same high efficiency and instantaneous response time in normal and extreme climates. The flywheels are 98 percent steel by weight, which is recyclable at project end. The flywheels and related equipment have no emissions and require no storage or disposal of hazardous chemicals.

 About Amber Kinetics
Winner of pv magazine’s Array Changing Technology Award 2017, Amber Kinetics began shipping pre-commercial flywheels in September 2016 and commercial units in 2017. To date, the company’s fleet of demonstration units has accumulated 27,000 hours of run time domestically and abroad. The firm is headquartered in Union City, CA. For information, visit amberkinetics.com.

About WBMLP
The West Boylston Municipal Light Plant (WBMLP), a community owned municipal light plant (MLP) located in central Massachusetts and has provided reliable and low cost electricity service to approximately 3,500 customers in West Boylston MA since 1908.

About MMWEC
MMWEC is the joint action agency for public power in Massachusetts, providing a variety of power supply, financial, risk management and other services to the state’s consumer-owned, municipal utilities.  MMWEC was created in 1969 and became a non-profit, public corporation and political subdivision of the Commonwealth in 1976, empowered to issue tax-exempt bonds to finance energy facilities for the benefit of municipal utilities and their customers.

Media Contact
Catherine Rips
Amber Kinetics
media@amberkinetics .com
Cell: (760) 413-3432

Join MESA at Energy Storage STUDIO – Nov 14-15

The Energy Storage STUDIO Conference covers the advancement and integration of technology to support electric service. Unlike other conferences, STUDIO brings together utilities, technology developers, and other stakeholders for

  • expert technical study,
  • peer-to-peer education,
  • an exchange of real world solutions,
  • objective-minded learning,
  • and an intimate, non-sales pressure environment

As an attendee, you will convene with technology leaders and come away with the knowledge necessary to accelerate energy storage solutions that support a clean, resilient, safe, and affordable grid.

Use code SUPORG10STU17 to receive a 10% discount on registration!

About ESA

As the national trade association in the U.S., the Energy Storage Association (ESA) is the leading voice for companies that develop and deploy the multitude of energy storage technologies that we rely on every day. Our member companies research, manufacture, distribute, finance, and build energy storage projects domestically and abroad. Our collective efforts help to create new, competitive markets and a fair regulatory environment that reflects the value provided by energy storage to millions of residential, commercial and industrial customers. www.energystorage.org

About EPRI

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) conducts research, development, and demonstration projects for the benefit of the public in the United States and internationally. As an independent, nonprofit organization for public interest energy and environmental research, we focus on electricity generation, delivery, and use in collaboration with the electricity sector, its stakeholders and others to enhance the quality of life by making electric power safe, reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible. www.epri.com

 

MESA Technical Workshop: Understanding and Implementing Open Standards for Energy Storage

Monday, November 13 | Cleveland, OH | 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST

The MESA Standards Alliance will host a technical workshop at the Energy Storage STUDIO conference on Monday, November 13. Modular Energy Storage Architecture (MESA) is an open, non-proprietary set of specifications and standards developed by an industry consortium of electric utilities and technology suppliers.

The workshop will be focused on one of MESA’s specifications under development, MESA-ESS, and will provide an overview of the specifications and strategies for implementing and integrating MESA-ESS.

MESA-ESS provides a standard framework for utility-scale energy storage system (ESS) data exchanges. The draft specification addresses ESS configuration management, ESS operational states, and the applicable ESS functions from the IEEE 1815 (DNP3) profile for advanced distributed energy resource functions.

Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback on implementation, and learn from colleagues.

Cost
Free to MESA members
$300 per attendee for MESA non-members (Fee waived with membership. Fee can also be credited towards membership with MESA.)

Click here to register or contact Margot@mesastandards.org for more information.

To learn more about existing installations and announcements from MESA members, check out this recent press:

NEW: See the draft agenda here.

 

Southern California Utility joins the MESA Standards Alliance

NEWS RELEASE

Southern California Utility joins the MESA Standards Alliance

Nation’s leader in large scale energy storage procurement to help drive open standards for energy storage

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA, August 1, 2017) ─ Southern California Edison (SCE), one of nation’s leaders in energy storage procurement with close to 500 MW of energy storage contracted, has joined the MESA Standards Alliance (MESA) to drive the development of standardized communication specifications for energy storage systems. SCE joins thirty manufacturers, software suppliers, and public and private utilities, whose objective is to accelerate the growth of the energy storage industry through the development of an open, non-proprietary set of communication specifications and standards for grid scale energy storage systems.

“Standardizing the communication architecture for grid-scale energy storage will enable SCE to operate a variety of energy storage technologies from different vendors, may lead to reduced non-recurring engineering costs, and optimize our grid to meet specific needs and use cases,” said Erik Takayesu, SCE director of Grid Modernization Planning and Technology. “As the energy storage industry matures, SCE is committed to being a leader in the development of standards to support the future grid and enabling the deployment of energy storage systems at a better price point for our customers.”

Mike Rowand, MESA Board Chair and Director of Technology Development at Duke Energy, stated: “MESA is leading the standards effort for energy storage communications with the recently released MESA-ESS draft specification that provides a standard DNP3 framework for communications between utilities and energy storage systems. SCE is a utility leader in advancing the energy storage industry and we look forward to working with them to accelerate and test MESA’s efforts.”

About the MESA Standards Alliance:

The MESA (Modular Energy Storage Architecture) Standards Alliance is an industry group of 25+ vendors and utilities whose mission is to accelerate the growth of the energy storage industry through the development of an open, non-proprietary set of specifications and standards for energy storage systems. Founded in 2014, MESA is advancing a new, component-based approach to energy storage that gives electric utilities more choice and allows battery, power converter, and software manufacturers to reach more customers and reduce costs. For more information about MESA or to join MESA and participate in developing standards for the energy storage industry, visit www.mesastandards.org

Contact:

Darcy Wheeles, MESA Standards Alliance

Phone: 415.602.4213

Email: darcy@mesastandards.org

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Snohomish County PUD Launches Second Energy Storage System

Jason ZyskowskiNeil Neroutsos | Jul 12, 2017

Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) has brought on-line its second energy storage system at a utility substation. The battery storage systems aim to transform the marketplace and how utilities manage grid operations. They also are designed to improve reliability and the integration of renewable energy sources, which are rapidly growing in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.

The projects were made possible in part by a US$7.3 million investment from the Washington State Clean Energy Fund. The Snohomish County PUD’s systems are built using an innovative approach known as Modular Energy Storage Architecture (MESA). It offers a nonproprietary and scalable approach to energy storage. What sets MESA apart from other energy storage efforts is it uses standard interfaces between equipment components, such as the power conversion system, batteries and control system. These provide utilities more choices, reduce the complexity of projects and, ultimately, lower costs.

An industry consortium of electric utilities and technology suppliers developed MESA for the purpose of clearing barriers to growth in energy storage. More than 30 organizations have joined the MESA alliance as members or partners, including Snohomish County PUD, Seattle City LightPacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Duke EnergyDoosan GridTech and General Electric.

See full article here.

Join MESA at Energy Storage North America 2017

August 8-10, 2017 in San Diego, California

Energy Storage North America (ESNA) is the largest conference and expo for grid-connected energy storage in North America. With a focus on building the grid of the future, ESNA 2017 will bring together policymakers, utilities, commercial and industrial customers and storage industry stakeholders for energy storage site tours, networking, workshops, and learning sessions. ESNA 2017 will take place August 8-10 at the San Diego Convention Center.

MESA Standards Alliance is a proud partner of this must-attend event. Register today with our discount code ESNANOW for 10% off your conference registration. 

Nuvation Engineering Launches Nuvation Energy

Nuvation launches new brand providing electronic hardware and software solutions for large-scale battery energy storage. The company brings over 20 years of power engineering design experience to the industry as well as a field-deployed 4th generation battery management system that can manage up to 48 1250VDC battery stacks in parallel.

Sunnyvale California. March 24, 2017. Electronic design firm Nuvation Engineering has announced the launch of Nuvation Energy, a brand dedicated to providing products and services for large-scale battery energy storage. The battery energy storage industry has been growing at a rapid pace over the last five years due to increased demand from utilities and electric vehicle manufacturers as well as significant performance improvements and cost reductions in battery chemistry. In 2013 Nuvation launched Nuvation BMS™, its fourth-generation battery management system targeted at grid-scale energy storage. Developed over eight years, Nuvation BMS can manage tens of thousands of battery cells and up to 48 1250VDC stacks in parallel.

Today, Nuvation BMS is in the field managing systems such as:

  • Alevo’s 2MW/1MWh lithium-ion GridBank™ energy storage containers
  • Stalwart Power’s 17kWh solar PV smoothing ESS
  • Island-grid lead-acid battery monitoring systems used in the South Pacific
  • Energy storage systems for secondary power in recreational vehicles

“The decision to create Nuvation Energy emerged after Nuvation Engineering began fulfilling numerous requests for our off-the-shelf battery management systems and found strong demand for many other aspects of our power engineering and electronic design expertise.” said Michael Worry, Nuvation CEO. “Nuvation developed its own first-time-right Integrated Design to Manufacturing engineering methodologies while completing more than 800 electronic design projects over the past 20 years. This multi-disciplinary experience enables our energy storage customers to rapidly overcome many of the more complex aspects of designing solutions for heavily networked and data-driven utility grids.  Today Nuvation Energy is working with ESS developers on a wide range of product development challenges from battery pack design and energy storage system integration to custom energy management solutions.” This year Nuvation added a low-voltage BMS to its product family and began expanding its remote battery monitoring and management software to include a suite of energy management support features.

 

Media Contact

Joseph Xavier 

Director of Marketing

Direct: 519-594-0072

joseph.xavier@nuvation.com

www.nuvation.com|www.nuvationenergy.com

MESA and SunSpec to Convene Technical Workshop for Device Level Specification – January 25-26 in Sunnyvale, CA

MESA and SunSpec will convene a technical workshop for the MESA-Device/SunSpec Energy Storage specification. Nuvation will host the workshop on January 25-26 in Sunnyvale, CA. The workshop is intended for two audiences: 1) MESA and/or SunSpec members implementing the specification and 2) members or prospective members who would like to implement the specification but need an introduction to available tools and direct technical assistance.

The workshop will provide an overview of the specifications and an introduction to available tools to assist in implementation of the MESA-Device/SunSpec Energy Storage specification. It will also feature multiple work sessions with technical experts to develop and test existing control interfaces, evaluate effectiveness of combined specified solutions, and explore/identify gaps in MESA-Device/SunSpec Energy Storage.

We hope you can join us for this event! Additional details are below.

Register through Eventbrite or purchase tickets below.

Time
Wednesday, January 25, 9am-5pm PT (followed by happy hour and dinner to be hosted by Nuvation on site).
Thursday, January 26, 9am-1pm PT

Location
Nuvation, 151 Gibraltar Ct, Sunnyvale, CA 94089

Cost
$50/person for MESA/SunSpec members

$3000/organization for MESA/SunSpec non-members (Fee waived with membership. Fee can also be credited towards membership with either organization.)

Contact
Margot Malarkey, Program Manager, MESA Standards Alliance. Margot@mesastandards.org or (415) 820-4417

 

MESA Standards Alliance Publishes Specification for Utility Control of Grid Scale Energy Storage

(SAN FRANCISCO, Ca., November 15, 2016) – The MESA Standards Alliance (MESA) has released the first draft of a protocol for communications between utility control centers and energy storage systems (ESS). The open, non-proprietary specification, referred to as MESA-ESS, provides a standard framework for utility-scale ESS data exchanges. Specifically, the draft addresses ESS configuration management, ESS operational states, and the applicable ESS functions from the IEEE 1815 (DNP3) profile for advanced distributed energy resources (DER).

“MESA-ESS enables electric utilities or grid operators to scale deployment of energy storage and manage energy storage assets and fleets of multi-vendor assets to meet specific needs and use cases with minimal custom engineering,” said Mike Rowand, Director of Technology Development at Duke Energy and MESA’s Board Chair. “As energy storage systems multiply on utilities systems, MESA’s work will greatly reduce the complexity of managing these distributed assets.”

The MESA-ESS specification is an important step in supporting the use of non-proprietary communication standards, promoting interoperability, and minimizing the amount of non-recurring engineering that is required to integrate an ESS into utility control systems using DNP3. The draft specification was developed by a technical work group of MESA members, partners, and staff over the last 18 months based on the work by the DNP Users Group. MESA’s draft specification can be downloaded for review and testing; utilities, vendors, and other stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback for incorporation into future versions. Additionally, this work will feed into a larger effort to update the existing DNP3 Application Note on distributed energy and storage, which is expected to be completed in 2017.

“MESA’s work to standardize energy storage system communication requirements builds upon and complements previous efforts in this area. This is an important body of work for the Users Group to consider as we update the DNP3 Application Note,” said Ron J. Farquharson, President for the DNP Users Group. “We appreciate MESA’s efforts to jumpstart the process to improve communications for storage systems and we look forward to continuing the collaboration.”

More information and the draft specification can be found at www.mesastandards.org. The Technical Work Group will be accepting public input throughout 2017 and subsequent drafts and updates will be posted on MESA’s website. For more information about the DNP Users Group visit: www.dnp.org.

About the MESA Standards Alliance:

The MESA (Modular Energy Storage Architecture) Standards Alliance is an industry group of 25+ vendors and utilities whose mission is to accelerate the growth of the energy storage industry through the development of an open, non-proprietary set of specifications and standards for energy storage systems. Founded in 2014, MESA is advancing a new, component-based approach to energy storage that gives electric utilities more choice and allows battery, power converter, and software manufacturers to reach more customers and reduce costs. For more information about MESA or to join MESA and participate in developing standards for the energy storage industry, visit www.mesastandards.org.

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Contacts:

Darcy Wheeles, MESA Standards Alliance

Phone:  415.602.4213

Email: darcy@mesastandards.org