Energy Storage News Global news, analysis and opinion on energy storage innovation and technologies Thu, 23 Mar 2023 16:48:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Energy Storage News 32 32 TotalEnergies’ solar-plus-storage project to offset 40% of power demand at Colorado cement plant Thu, 23 Mar 2023 16:48:35 +0000
TotalEnergies’ BESS project at its Dunkirk refinery is currently France’s largest battery storage project, delivered by subsidiary Saft. Image: TotalEnergies.

French energy major TotalEnergies has partnered with building solutions company Holcim to deploy a solar PV and battery storage project at the latter’s cement plant in Colorado.

A power purchase agreement (PPA) and energy storage agreement have been signed with minimum 15-year terms, for the power plant, pairing a 33MWdc solar PV array and 38.5MWh battery energy storage system (BESS).

TotalEnergies will be responsible for installation and operations and maintenance (O&M), with the system expected to be commissioned in 2025, Holcim said earlier this week.

It is expected to cover around 40% of energy demand at Holcim’s Portland Cement plant in the Colorado city of Florence. The plant produces 1.8 million tonnes per year of various grades of cement, opened in 1996.

Portland Cement already has various environmental technologies installed, such as a desulfurization scrubber that removes over 90% of sulfur dioxide emissions and dust collection systems that reduce its nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, according to a Holcim factsheet.

Cement production, like steel or various chemicals, is considered a difficult industry sector to decarbonise fully, partly due to the requirement for quality high-temperature heat in addition to power.

As a company, Holcim is targeting the powering of all its US operations with renewable energy by 2050.

The battery storage system will reduce Portland Cement’s draw of power from the grid, which should help Holcim manage its own costs of electricity through peak shaving – commercial and industrial (C&I) electricity customers in most of the US are charged a higher cost of electricity drawn from the grid during coincident peaks.

This can account for a significant portion of costs, while the reduction of the site’s demand will help the local grid. has asked TotalEnergies for a few more details on the BESS, such as whether Saft, the France-headquartered battery manufacturer and BESS manufacturer/integrator that TotalEnergies owns will be the technology provider. This story will be updated in due course on receipt of answers for that and a couple of other enquiries.

The solar PV array meanwhile will feature bifacial modules on a single-axis tracking system. Through the PPA and energy storage agreement, Holcim will receive roughly 71,000MWh of power per year.

TotalEnergies is one of the very few legacy energy companies with its business based around fossil fuels that has implemented a net zero target, for 2050, in line with many national economies’ policy targets.

The company wants to reach 100GW of renewable generation by 2030, with an interim 2025 target of 35GW, around double the 17GW installed renewable energy capacity it had in its portfolio as of the end of 2022.’ publisher Solar Media will host the 5th Energy Storage Summit USA, 28-29 March 2023 in Austin, Texas. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

Canadian Solar doubles storage shipments in 2022 but expects just c.5% growth in 2023 ‘transition year’ Thu, 23 Mar 2023 14:18:21 +0000
crimson largest biggest energy storage 2022 canadian solar recurrent energy
Crimson Energy Storage in California, at 1,400MWh, was the largest single site BESS project to come online in the US during 2022. It was developed by Canadian Solar’s developer division Recurrent Energy. Image: Recurrent Energy.

Canadian Solar doubled its energy storage shipments to 1.79GWh in 2022 although expects significantly lower growth in 2023.

The PV module manufacturer’s energy storage system integrator subsidiary CSI Energy Storage contributed around 6% of total sales, with the rest from solar module shipments. That ratio is likely to grow, however, with significant growth in its battery storage business and a much larger pipeline than for solar.

It grew its contracted battery storage order book to US$1 billion as of the start of 2023, while its overall battery storage development pipeline is 47GWh, compared to 25GW for solar. Based on the ratio of revenue to GWh shipments, that storage pipeline could equate to over US$11 billion in long-term revenues.

However, the company is providing FY2023 guidance of 1.8-2GWh of battery storage shipments in 2023, meaning growth somewhere between 0.5% and 11.7%, of 5% as a mid-point. The wider battery storage market on the other hand is expected to roughly double deployments in 2023.

A lot of this is down to moving from a white labelled utility-scale energy storage product to its own manufactured Solbank product, announced in September, and the long lead times in the sector.

Commenting on this, CSI Solar president Yan Zhuang said: “2023 is going to be a transition year for our battery storage shipments, especially considering the longer order fulfillment lead times for battery storage compared to solar. This is why we expect flat deliveries year-over-year in 2023. However, we have very strong visibilities over our long-term growth.”

Canadian Solar CEO Shawn Qu added that the lower growth reflects “….this year’s transition from white label to our own manufactured products.”

Zhuang later expanded: “So we need to work on certification, bankability stuff. So that’s the pipeline we have today is more towards second half of this year, not first half of this year. So in terms of recognition and shipments, it’s kind of very much skewed to the end of this year. And however, if you look at our signed contract, the signed contract carries about US$1 billion already. And that number is increasing every quarter rapidly. So we’re expanding our total storage SolBank capacity towards 10GWh by [100%]. Reason behind this, we know next year, we’re not going to have enough capacity. So next year will be the real growth. This year is a transition.”

Long-term pipeline

Some 12GWh of the 47GWh pipeline is more advanced with grid interconnections secured, with the remainder described as ‘early-stage’. A third of the advanced pipeline is in North America and South America, each, with 22% in EMEA and the remainder in China and Asia Pacific (excluding Japan).

The 47GWh pipeline overall breaks down geographically as follows: 41% in North America, 10% in South America, 27% in EMEA, 16% in China, with the bulk of the remaining 4.5% in the rest of Asia Pacific and a small amount in Japan.

Just 320MW of the pipeline, all in Asia Pacific, is under construction as of 31 March, 2023, with the remainder of the 12GWh more advanced pipelined described as ‘backlog’ and ‘advanced pipeline’.

CSI Energy Storage recently secured major orders from UBS and Blackstone’s Aypa Power. The developer arm of Canadian Solar, Recurrent Energy, also deployed the largest lithium-ion battery storage project commissioned in 2022, Crimson, in California, at 1,400MWh.

CSI Energy Storage also recently launched its residential battery storage product the EP Cube.

Conference call transcript from Seeking Alpha.’ publisher Solar Media will host the 5th Energy Storage Summit USA next week, on the 28-29 March 2023 in Austin, Texas. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

Kore Power deploying 41MWh BESS for Arkansas solar-plus-storage microgrid Thu, 23 Mar 2023 14:15:02 +0000
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Producers Rice Mill’s facility in Stuttgart, Arkansas, which the new microgrid facility will power. Image: Producers Rice Mill.

Vertically integrated energy storage company Kore Power is deploying a 41.2MWh BESS for a microgrid in Arkansas, US, with more downstream projects coming soon, president Jay Bellow told

Kore will install a 41.2MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) for the solar-plus-storage microgrid project being developed for a facility run by Producers Rice Mill, a co-operative of 2,000 rice farmers.

The microgrid will ensure uninterrupted power to the facility which processes, stores, and ships the harvest to customers in the US and globally, milling some 40 million bushels of rice annually. CS Energy will install the 20MWac solar PV component of the project, which is being developed by Scenic Hill Solar.

No estimated completion date has been provided for the project, which the companies claimed is the largest commercial and industrial (C&I) solar project in Arkansas history and one of the largest microgrid projects in the United States.

Kore is deploying the BESS through its integrated energy storage solutions arm Kore Solutions, formed when it bought system integrator Northern Reliability a year ago.

The microgrid for Producers Rice Mill will allow the facility to continue operating during periods of electric curtailment by the local utility, as well as mitigate power quality issues and intermittent stoppages through its rapid response. It means renewables will provide 67% of the facility’s energy needs.

Kore is also building a KOREPlex lithium-ion gigafactory in Arizona, opening in 2024 with a 6GWh capacity eventually rising to 12GWh, and ramping up its existing China facility from 2GWh to 6GWh.

Jay Bellows, President, KORE Power, provided more details on the company’s microgrid work, other projects and broader developments in these responses to questions from What sort of potential does KORE Power see in the microgrid space, versus the other areas the company is targeting?

Jay Bellows: As with many pieces of the energy storage sector, we anticipate significant growth in microgrid deployment. The C&I market, in particular, and the ability to island facilities is a particular market we see growing. The combination of renewable generation and storage combined to be able to harness the energy for when it’s needed, and, of course it will also be driven by the Inflation Reduction Act incentives. KORE Solutions is well-positioned to support this development building on the decades of experience that Northern Reliability brings to these projects. While we are also focused on utility scale energy deployments and opportunities in EV charging, microgrids will remain a key part of our business.

From a technical, design or installation (or other) perspective, what are the main differences between working in the microgrid space and in other types of stationary BESS projects?

Microgrids offer nuances that add layers of technical and operational benefits and complications. Adding generation to the equation, and the ability to “island” a facility or location, means that the developer has to have the skillset on the control’s side to make all of that happen.

Microgrids make locations self-sufficient and allow them the ability to be completely independent of the grid. Depending on electrical loads, internal equipment and needs, microgrids can be incredibly technical in both design and deliverable. Thus, there can be unique engineering challenges when compared to developing a standalone storage project or bringing BESS to an existing solar or wind project. These challenges can range from site design to ensuring the different parties are on the same page throughout the project. With this project we’re lucky to have a team that works very well together.

Does this work tie in with the acquisition of Northern Reliability in terms of developing the KORE Power system integration capabilities and offering?

Absolutely, in the time since the acquisition, our teams have been working together to develop new products that build on the KORE Power cells. This is one of a number of projects or offtake agreements that we will be announcing in coming weeks and months.

A quick update on KORE Power’s vertically-integrated strategy, from producing cells domestically to supplying complete solutions and further downstream work, as in this project, would be welcome.

Civil works at the site of the KOREPLex began late last year and is continuing. Our timeline has us producing cells at that facility in the first half of 2025. Meanwhile, as mentioned above, we are working on a number of exciting products at the KORE Solution’s facility in Vermont. Beyond just deliverable solutions, we also have our state-of-the-art Network Operating Center (NOC), based on over 50 years of industry knowledge, we are able to monitor, maintain, support, manage and operate systems from afar. We can assure that the systems are always working as they should, when they should and ensuring safety at all times. 

How does this differ from the type of work that the NOMAD joint venture will be doing – I expect I know the answer there, but I think readers will want to hear it explained from the company’s perspective.

Obviously, we are very excited about the NOMAD and all of the potential applications for transportable power. But for a project like this, Producers Rice Mill is a single location that operates all year round, with predictable energy usage, so a stationary solution was ideal for this application.

Gigafactory in Arizona moving ahead

The timeline of H1 2025 for the first output of battery cells from the KOREPlex facility in Arizona is slightly later than the previous communicated aim of late 2024. The firm recently closed the first half of a US$150 million fundraising round for the facility.

More recently it contracted Siemens Smart Infrastructure to provide the facility’s critical electrical infrastructure and energy management solutions to automate and digitalise the facility’s operations. Siemens Financial Services led the first part of the aforementioned fundraise round.

Kore’s facility is set to benefit from the tax credit incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act.’ publisher Solar Media will host the 5th Energy Storage Summit USA, 28-29 March 2023 in Austin, Texas. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

European Commission approves Romania’s €100 million in grants for battery storage projects Thu, 23 Mar 2023 11:05:08 +0000
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A solar project from developer Econergy in Romania. The country’s solar sector is set to grow substantially, which will help the battery storage market kick on. Image: Econergy.

The European Commission has approved a €103 million (US$125 million) package of direct grants from the government in Romania for battery storage projects.

The financial support in the form of direct grants was announced by the government in November 2022, reported by at time, and will go towards at least 616MWh of battery storage projects.

That is based on a maximum grant/MWh of €167,000. Other thresholds under the scheme are a maximum of €15 million per beneficiary and a maximum of 100% of the project’s funding gap.

Projects will be selected by 31 December, 2023, and need to be completed by 31 December, 2025.

The programme will receive €79 million from Romania’s portion of the Recovery and Resilience Plan, the EU-wide scheme to mitigate the negative economic effects of the Covid pandemic, while the government will fund the rest. Finland and Greece are also using the funding pot to support energy storage projects.

Romania is currently targetting 30.7% renewable generation in its electricity mix by 2030. The country hasn’t had many utility-scale energy storage projects in recent years but a booming solar market is set to help the battery storage follow on. As covered in the most recent edition of PV Tech Power, our sister site PV Tech’s quarterly journal, solar developers are moving into Romania ahead of a new contracts for difference (CfD) scheme.

The first large-scale battery storage system was inaugurated back in 2018 by Portuguese utility EDP’s renewables arm EDP Renováveis while local reports said a 7MW unit started construction in Spring 2022 from Austrian firms Core Value Capital, Gerdan Real Estate and Green Source.’ publisher Solar Media will host the inaugural Energy Storage Summit Central Eastern Europe in September this year. This event will bring together the region’s leading investors, policymakers, developers, utilities, energy buyers and service providers all in one place, as the region readies itself for storage to take off. Visit the official site for more info.

Spearmint Energy buys 900MW BESS portfolio in ERCOT Wed, 22 Mar 2023 17:22:20 +0000
Acciona Energia ERCOT Texas qcells
A two-hour, 190MW/380MWh battery storage project in Texas owned by Qcells. The market has recently moved past one-hour durations. Image: Qcells USA.

Developer Spearmint Energy has acquired a portfolio of battery energy storage system (BESS) projects totalling 900MW in the ERCOT, Texas market, set to come online in 2025.

Spearmint Energy, which was formed recently and bought its first project in mid-2022, has acquired the portfolio from “one of the largest developers and operators of clean energy projects in the United States”.

The portfolio is called ‘Nomadic’ and comprises three projects of 300MW each located in the counties of Cooke, Galveston, and Brazoria. The projects may reach a combined energy capacity of 2,000MWh of an average duration of 2.2 hours.

The Spearmint team will now complete the remaining development work for the portfolio and the first project is set to reach notice to proceed in early 2024 and with a commercial operation date (COD) some 12-18 months later.

It builds on the firms purchase of a Revolution, a 150MW/300 MWh project in West Texas, on which engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor Mortensen began construction in November 2022 with an estimate COD in mid-2023.

Andrew Waranch, Spearmint CEO and recent author of a guest blog for said: “A collection of state-of-the-art energy storage projects, Nomadic will enable Spearmint to continue to execute our mission of facilitating the clean energy revolution through the delivery of renewable power to the grid efficiently, safely, and where communities need it most.”

Texas is the second-largest BESS market in the US with around 2.7GW operational as of the end of 2022. The interconnection queue is in the high double-digit of gigawatts and growing.

BESS projects in the state mainly provide ancillary services RRS (regulation reserve service) and RRS-FFR (fast frequency response) as well as energy trading around the most congested nodes of the grid. The state has a highly deregulated energy sector with no centralised capacity auctions and relative freedom to set up generating units to play into energy markets.

The devastation of Storm Uri in February 2021, which saw millions of people go days without power and directly or indirectly led to several hundred deaths (or more), provided a stark reminder of increasing the grid’s resiliency and reliability.

ERCOT is effectively an islanded grid, with no interconnections to either the Eastern or Western Interconnections, the US’ two large grids within which its several ISOs (CAISO, PJM, MISO etc) operate different territories.’ publisher Solar Media will host the 5th Energy Storage Summit USA, next week on 28-29 March 2023 in Austin, Texas. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

ESS Inc. gets UL1973 certification for flow battery modules Wed, 22 Mar 2023 17:04:39 +0000
Jennifer Granholm (left), the US Secretary of Energy, visited ESS Inc.’s Wilsonville, Oregon factory last year. Image: Business Wire.

ESS Inc. has received UL1973 certification for the battery modules in its utility and industrial flow battery energy storage systems.

The company, headquartered in Oregon, US, said earlier this week that the S200 modules powering its Energy Warehouse commercial and industrial (C&I) products and Energy Center large-scale utility and grid battery storage have received the key certification.

ESS holds the IP for its proprietary flow battery technology, which is based on an iron and saltwater electrolyte. Not only is it safer from a fire risk perspective than lithium batteries, but is also non-toxic, unlike the electrolyte used in some other flow batteries, according to ESS.

UL1973 concerns the safe operation of battery energy storage system (BESS) technology, including evaluation of the systems’ ability to withstand simulated abuse conditions within the charge-discharge and usage parameters specified by the manufacturer.

As such it is considered important if not essential in making technologies bankable, as well as making it far easier or quicker to get site-level permitting, commissioning and negotiate other obstacles in the early lifecycle of a BESS project.

This was explained in an interview with by Matt Harper, the president of Invinity, another flow battery company, which achieved UL1973 certification last year for its VS3 modules.

Furthermore, recent updates to UL1973 as well as an overview of the certification and how it works were given in a webinar hosted by with experts from standards organisation CSA Group in October last year.

Meanwhile ESS, which went public in late 2021, claiming to be the first long-duration energy storage (LDES) provider to do so in the US, ended 2022 with 800MWh annual production capacity for its flow battery.

The company has claimed some big orders, including a 2GWh multi-year deal with California municipal utility SMUD, and has licensed its tech to a partner in Australia, but only banked US$894,000 revenues for the whole of last year, and will be looking to start realising the revenues from those and various other deals. Representatives claimed in an interview with this site last year that ESS is receiving significant interest from major players across the energy space.

Watch the webinar: ‘Assessing the impact of updates to UL 1973 for stationary energy storage systems’, presented by with CSA Group, on our YouTube channel here. You can also register to view it from’ on-demand page.’ publisher Solar Media will host the 5th Energy Storage Summit USA, 28-29 March 2023 in Austin, Texas. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

‘Agile working method’ helped DNV get Southeast Asia’s biggest BESS online in just six months Wed, 22 Mar 2023 14:38:58 +0000
Sembcorp’s 200MW/285MWh BESS project on Jurong Island. Image: Sembcorp.

Adopting an “agile working method” without taking any shortcuts on safety or other standards was crucial to DNV testing and certifying a 200MW battery project in Singapore in “record time”.

When it came online a few months ago ahead of an official inauguration event in February, the battery energy storage system (BESS) project was notable for a few different milestones that it marked.

For one, it is Southeast Asia’s largest battery storage facility to date, at 200MW/285MWh, built on Singapore’s Jurong Island, host to industrial parks and much of the city-state’s energy infrastructure. The BESS helps to integrate higher shares of variable generation from solar PV onto the grid.

It also meant that Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA), which awarded the project to domestically headquartered developer Sembcorp, was able to achieve a national 200MWh deployment target for energy storage by 2025.

It was also reported by this site when Sembcorp and EMA hosted the opening event that it had been delivered in just six months, from Sembcorp receiving the contract in mid-2022 to commissioning in December.

While battery storage projects do tend to have much faster lead times than many other types of energy and infrastructure assets, typically, a project of this size would take around 15-18 months, according to DNV.

DNV witnessed the required testing, processed raw data collected and approved the final commissioning reports which came from the BESS providers, Huawei and Envision. While DNV said it was not able to comment on the technical differences in testing and evaluating equipment at the site from two different OEMs, project senior engineer Modini Yantrapati did respond to a few other questions from about the project. What type of independent evaluation work did DNV carry out on the project?

Modini Yantrapati, project manager, DNV: DNV was appointed as an independent risk management company to witness the commissioning tests for the Sembcorp 285MWh BESS and conduct data analysis to provide technical memos for the successful operations as per local grid requirements.

What sort of testing or other work needed to be carried out, perhaps regarding ensuring the project met all the applicable local regulations, in addition to any relevant international standards?

MY: Singapore has not yet formulated mandatory compliance requirements specific to BESS.

However, DNV followed its GRIDSTOR Recommended practice, developed from international standards and lessons learnt from various grid-connected projects, from October to December 2022, to ensure a systematic approach with various parties involved such as OEMs, EMS providers in adherence to the planned timeline (Editor’s note: GRIDSTOR was first published in 2016 and has since been updated by DNV).

An agile working method was adopted by DNV with its site presence and providing solutions on-the-go.

What can this project inform stakeholders in Singapore and across the wider Southeast Asia region about the prospects and potential for energy storage?

This project is a testimony to the great collaboration of stakeholders involved to achieve record-time installations on Jurong Island in Singapore, despite prolonged periods of rain during a few days during those months.

This also proved to be an efficient way to best integrate energy storage into Singapore’s energy networks, which will be required for it to achieve a targeted 2GW of solar PV capacity by 2030 and for emissions to peak by that time.

Soon, solar-plus-storage solutions will be sought out as “package” as required by the growing electricity demand in the wider Southeast Asia region.

Region seeing real ‘uptick in investments’

DNV Energy storage systems lead for the APAC region, George Garabandic, who was project manager for the Sembcorp BESS evaluation, said last year in an interview for our quarterly journal PV Tech Power (vol.33) that there has been a real “uptick in investments” in energy storage in Southeast Asia.

This has followed several prior years of market-seeding activities by DNV and other stakeholders, with Garbandic citing the interest accelerating rapidly in Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia as well as in Singapore. Investment activity began going up about three to four years ago, before a significant ramp up in the last year or two.

One of the key pieces still missing to help provide a business case more investors can become comfortable with, said Garabandic, is a “unifying and a firm grid interconnect norm, which is valid for every single large utility-scale renewable project”, with many countries in the region close to or arriving at full hosting capacity for renewables on their grids.

“Once this is available, then potential investors will look at these new interconnect norms, that will encompass some level of dispatchability of renewables, and based on these norms, they will provide the necessary storage capability within their renewable parks and maintain compliance,” the DNV APAC lead for energy storage said.

Read an extract of the article ‘Southeast Asia’s emerging energy storage opportunities’ on this site here, or subscribe to PV Tech Power to read the article in full.’ publisher Solar Media will host the 1st Energy Storage Summit Asia, 11-12 July 2023 in Singapore. The event will help give clarity on this nascent, yet quickly growing market, bringing together a community of credible independent generators, policymakers, banks, funds, off-takers and technology providers. For more information, go to the website.

Utilities in Wisconsin MGE, WEC invest in another large-scale solar-plus-storage plant Wed, 22 Mar 2023 11:49:29 +0000
The Koshkonong Solar Energy Centre will be operational in late 2025. Image: Invenergy

US energy company Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) will buy output from a solar and battery storage centre with a total capacity of 465MW in partnership with WEC Energy Group’s subsidiaries We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service (WPS). 

The Koshkonong Solar Energy Centre, in Wisconsin’s Dane County, is expected to begin operation in late 2025 and will include 300MW solar energy capacity and a 165MW battery storage system.

MGE will own 30MW of solar energy and 16.5 MW of battery storage from Koshkonong. We Energies and WPS will own the remaining 270MW solar capacity and 148.5MW battery storage from the centre.

“We are working aggressively to reduce our carbon emissions at least 80% from 2005 levels by the end of this decade and achieve net zero carbon electricity by 2050,” said Jeff Keebler, MGE’s Chairman, president and CEO. 

The Koshkonong Solar Energy Centre got regulatory approval in April 2022 and is one of three announced investments by MGE in large-scale solar energy and battery storage. Following the latest deal, MGE will also own a 10% share of the Paris Solar-Battery Park and the Darien Solar Energy Centre, both of which are under construction. 

US developer Invenergy is working on both the Koshkonong and Paris projects, while a developer for Darien had not been announced when MGE and WEC put the project up for Public Service Commission of Wisconsin approval in March 2021, as reported by

Darien will pair 250MW of solar PV with a 75MW battery energy storage system (BESS), and will be jointly-owned by the two utilities in a similar structure to the Koshkonong deal. Meanwhile, Paris Solar-Battery Park will combine 310MW of solar PV with 110MW BESS with both Darien and Paris originally scheduled to go online in 2023. WEC and MGE were granted Commission approval to buy the Paris project in March 2022.

This story first appeared on PV Tech.

Additional reporting for by Andy Colthorpe.’ publisher Solar Media will host the 5th Energy Storage Summit USA, 28-29 March 2023 in Austin, Texas. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

‘Innovation tender’ solar-plus-storage project commissioned in Saxony, Germany Wed, 22 Mar 2023 11:25:44 +0000
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The solar-plus-storage project in Saxony. Image: Leipziger Stadtwerke.

A solar-plus-storage project has been commissioned in Saxony, Germany, the first in the state from the recent ‘innovation tenders’ to do so.

The project pairs a 13.5MWp solar PV array with a 3.7MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) from Intilion, the lithium-ion energy storage arm of the Hoppecke battery company.

Developer and independent power producer (IPP) Qair Energy developed the project in collaboration with the utility Stadtwerke Leipzig which will operate the site in Priestewitz, in the district of Meißen.

The companies claimed that the project is the first in the state from the Federal Network Agency’s innovation tenders for co-located projects to connect to the grid in Saxony. The tender, which took place in two lots in early and late 2021, saw around 400MW of energy storage capacity awarded contracts.

The contracts allow asset owners to receive a fixed Eurocents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) sum, in addition to market-based revenues they are able to earn. But they require the energy storage portion to only charge from the renewables, something which has been criticised by industry participants interviewed by for a special report on the Germany market for PV Tech Power (sister site PV Tech’s quarterly journal).

Priestewitz Mayor Manuela Gajewi said: “The construction of new photovoltaic systems and wind power should not be the only goal for the expansion of renewable energy: more efficient systems, the expansion of the distribution grid and the development of efficient energy storage solutions must be the focus.”

“After all, what use is green energy if it does not arrive at the place and time where and when it is needed. We are therefore pleased that the linking of green energy with innovative storage technology is being used in our community of Priestewitz.”

A media statement added that a subsidy-free green power purchase agreement (PPA) with a fixed term and fixed price was concluded with the funding partner Umweltbank. Umweltbank focuses on ecology and energy transition loans.

The first innovation tender solar-plus-storage projects in Germany started coming online last year, with energy firm RWE announcing it was ‘weeks away’ from turning on a 14.4MW PV, 9.6MWh project in April 2022.

The utility-scale market picked up over the course of the year, going from around 30MW of deployments in 2021 to between 200-400MW deployed in 2022, depending on whose numbers you choose. LCP Delta provided data to yesterday which said 236MW was deployed last year and 215MW will be deployed this year.

SSE puts £100 million into Scotland pumped hydro project but new policy needed for FID Wed, 22 Mar 2023 10:10:00 +0000
Coire Glas pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) SSE
A render of the inside of the Coire Glas pumped hydro energy storage (PHES). Image: SSE.

UK utility SSE has put £100 million (US$123 million) into its Coire Glas pumped hydro project in Scotland for pre-construction activities, but said that new policy is needed for it go to final investment decision (FID).

SSE has confirmed it will allocate £100 million in capital to boost Coire Glas – a Scottish-based pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) project with the potential to be the “biggest” in 40 years.

Situated near Loch Lochy, between Fort William and Inverness, the Coire Glas project could more than double Britain’s total current electricity storage capacity and would require a capital investment of over £1.5 billion to construct.

The project would be capable of delivering 30GWh of long duration storage, though SSE said its estimated 2031 completion date is “…subject to positive development progress and prevailing policy environment”.

Announcing the £100 million funding, Gregor Alexander, finance director at SSE, was more specific: “Whilst Coire Glas doesn’t need subsidy, it does require more certainty around its revenues and it is critically important the UK government urgently confirms its intention on exactly how they will help facilitate the deployment of such projects.”

The need to change the UK’s electricity market to create the right signals for large flexibility and long-duration energy storage (LDES) assets was a talking point at the Energy Storage Summit in London last month. In one panel discussion, Robert Hull of Riverswan Energy Advisory said of the UK’s many PHES projects:

“The market signals are just not there for large flexibility assets. They are ready to go but can’t because of the way the market is designed.”

SSE hopes to make a final investment decision on Coire Glas in 2024. Excess energy would be taken from the grid to pump water 500 metres up a hill from the Loch to a upper reservoir similar in size to around 11,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. When required, this water would then be released to power the grid when intermittent energy generation capacity, such as solar and wind, is low and demand is high.

Michael Matheson, net zero and energy secretary for the Scottish government, agreed that the market needs to change for the PHES sector to grow:

“The Scottish government has long been supportive of pumped hydro storage capacity, which we believe will play a key role in the energy transition and is a vital component of a more flexible, resilient and secure electricity supply.”

“However, it is critical that the UK government puts in place the appropriate market and regulatory arrangements to support the industry’s development as a matter of urgency. Only with a supportive policy environment can this sector realise its full potential.”

Additional reporting by George Hynes from Solar Power Portal.