Long Read: The Dawn of Megastorage

Plummeting costs, industry maturity, and the ever-increasing penetration of global renewables are expanding the use cases for battery storage technology. Over the past year and a half, storage projects are increasing significantly in both scope and capacity.

Department of Energy Announces $40 Million in Funding for 29 Projects to Advance H2@Scale

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced approximately $40 million in FY 2019 funding for 29 projects to advance the H2@Scale concept. The focus of H2@Scale is to enable affordable and reliable large-scale hydrogen generation, transport, storage, and utilization in the United States across multiple sectors. Funded through the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), with contribution from DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy, the selected projects will advance hydrogen storage and infrastructure technologies and identify innovative concepts for hydrogen production and utilization including grid resiliency.

S&T Powers High-Tech, Living Laboratory with New Microgrids to Study Advanced Lead Battery Technologies

Missouri University of Science and Technology has installed two new advanced lead battery microgrid systems at the campus’s EcoVillage, a living laboratory of solar homes S&T students designed and built to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. Missouri S&T’s Microgrid Industrial Consortium is using the EcoVillage to test advanced lead battery energy storage in stationary grid-tied applications for potential use as a renewable energy source for communities of the future.

New Lithium Hydroxide Factory in Western Australia Wins Federal Approval

Earthworks for a new lithium hydroxide factory in Western Australia are expected to begin this month after the $1bn project received federal environmental approval. The plant owned by the world’s largest lithium producer, the US chemical company Albemarle, was approved by the Western Australian government in October and is estimated to create up to 500 jobs in construction, with another 100 to 500 operational jobs once it is operational. Australia’s trade minister, Simon Birmingham, said the plant would provide a much-needed local jobs boost and supply a growing global demand for lithium, which is used in renewable energy storage.

Mexico Gets Its First Grid-Scale Battery—at a Car Factory

Mexico energy authorities have been developing an energy storage strategy to balance out the country’s recent surge in solar power plants. What appears to be the first and largest battery to come online, though, does something else entirely. The 12-megawatt/12-megawatt-hour device switched on in October to deliver reliability and power quality at a 130-megawatt microgrid serving an automotive factory campus in Monterrey. The device handles spinning reserve, voltage support and frequency for the fully self-contained electrical system.

NantEnergy Acquires Sharp’s Energy Systems & Services Business in US

NantEnergy has acquired Sharp Electronics Corporation’s US-based energy systems and services business, which develops and delivers energy management systems across the country. As part of the deal, NantEnergy retained the entire Energy Systems and Services team, including Carl Mansfield, former general manager and founder of Sharp’s energy system and services group. Mansfield will continue with NantEnergy as vice president, system solutions. Among the products that NantEnergy will acquire includes the SmartStorage behind-the-meter energy storage system.

Battery Storage to Become $1.2trn Market, with Australia Leading the Way

Australia is set to lead the global energy storage boom, which according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) will grow to a $1.2trn industry. The global energy storage market is set to draw in $1.2trn investment by 2040 and the cost of batteries is also set to significantly decrease. The report, entitled the Long-Term Energy Storage Outlook, predicts a strong uptake of stationary energy storage, thanks to households trying to maximise solar self-generation and networks working to balance increasingly renewable grids.

Virginia 10-year Energy Plan Includes 5 GW of Renewables, EVs, Grid Modernization

Virginia released its annual 10-year energy plan on Tuesday, recommending development of 3 GW of solar and onshore wind by 2022, and 2 GW of offshore wind by 2028. Dominion Energy, the largest electric utility in the state, has partnered with Denmark’s DONG Energy to develop a 12 MW Virginia offshore wind facility and officials say it could ultimately be expanded to serve more than 500,000 customers.