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Black & Veatch and Dynapower are latest partnership to tackle grid-scale storage

Infrastructure and engineering firm Black & Veatch and power conversion system maker Dynapower have signed an agreement to collaborate on energy storage, with a focus on grid-scale technologies.

The two companies, both headquartered in the US, announced that the partnership will cover energy storage at both transmission and distribution level. Working in the US and abroad, Dynapower and Black & Veatch said they will develop “storage solutions of all sizes and technologies”.

The deal entails Black & Veatch’s engineering and construction expertise being combined with Dynapower’s inverter technology. Dynapower claims to have already installed 100MW of inverters at energy storage projects worldwide, while Black & Veatch has developed SmartES, a platform for modelling the integration of energy storage systems. According to a recent brochure for Black & Veatch storage systems, the company has provided conceptual designs for balance-of-system for over 100MW of storage projects.

Commenting on the agreement, president and chief executive of Black & Veatch’s energy division Dean Oskvig said renewable energy deployment would be a strong driver for energy storage at grid scale.

“There continues to be an increasing amount of renewable energy being deployed on the grid. These resources often require the support of energy storage to reduce supply variability and improve grid stability,” Oskvig said.

Black & Veatch produced a report that supports the company's own argument for using storage to boost renewable energy integration. Image: Black & Veatch.
According to a report on the US electricity market produced by Black & Veatch, two-thirds of industry participants who responded to a survey said they saw energy storage as the most important technology “for facilitating the integration of variable energy sources”.

Large-scale storage activity appears to be picking up pace, especially in the US and particularly in the states of California and New York. John Cerveny, of technology and trade development group NY BEST, recently told PV Tech Storage about the “forward-leaning view” from New York’s regulators that meant he was optimistic about the prospects for grid-scale storage in the state.

Meanwhile utility Southern California Edison recently procured 235MW of storage in California, surpassing a requirement stipulated by California’s Public Utilities’ Commission (CPUC) for SCE to obtain 50MW of storage as part of an expansion in generation resources. Analyst Dean Frankel of Lux Research, writing in a forthcoming guest blog for PV Tech Storage, said SCE’s 235MW procurement was an “unexpected near term boost that validates energy storage's role as part of the utility grid planning process”.

This week another utility, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is expected to put out and updated tender for energy storage systems that will help the company meet its share of California’s mandate for investor-owned utilities to procure 1.3GW of energy storage.

California and New York are among a number of regions leading the energy storage industry profiled in “To boldly go”, a feature article in the first issue of PV Tech Power, Solar Media’s free tech journal for the downstream photovoltaics industry (subscription required).

Dynapower claims to have supplied inverters to 100MW of energy storage projects to date. Image: Dynapower.

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