Tesla will acquire Maxwell Technologies, it was announced this week, although it is not clear yet which of Maxwell’s product lines, including ultracapacitors, are of most interest to the Silicon Valley automaker and new energy company.
Automotive giant Toyota and electronics firm Panasonic have announced a joint venture which will look to lead the field in EV battery technology.
BIRD Energy, a foundation jointly created by the US Department of Energy (DoE) and Israel’s Ministry of Energy (MoE) will invest around half the amount required to fund US$12 million of solar, storage, energy efficiency and microgrid projects in Israel.
UK-based power, heating and cooling equipment manufacturer Aggreko is investing £33 million in research and development.
News in brief from around the world of energy storage.
India-based solar manufacturer and EPC player Vikram Solar has signed a collaboration agreement with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), while at the founding ceremony of the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
The real-world performance of batteries paired with “Hywind” - the world’s first floating wind farm - will be analysed by the wind project’s owners, Masdar and Statoil.
New Zealand’s small handful of advanced energy storage systems will be added to with the NZ$2 million (US$1.45 million) trial deployment of a grid-scale Tesla Powerpack 2 by energy generator and retailer Mercury.
While energy storage can be considered “critical” to Australia’s transformation to a distributed, low carbon energy mix, a lack of investment and planning for the technology could have negative consequences for the network.
Two US Senators introduced a bill in Congress at the beginning of this week that would require the national Secretary of Energy to establish research and demonstration programmes and deployment strategies for energy storage, if passed.
In the UK, a new, quarter of a billion-pound innovation competition for batteries has been launched, while plans for overhaul of the energy sector promising a “determined, joined-up, far-sighted and deliberate approach from government” appear to have been met with relish by the industry. Consultant Robert Ede goes beyond headlines to look at what this might really mean in practical terms.
Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities (LG&E and KU), arms of US firm PPL Corporation, have developed a research centre for energy storage at a power plant in Kentucky.
O&M analytics software provider QOS Energy has delivered its energy management system to an R&D project run by French aggregator Sun’R Smart Energy’s examining grid integration of renewables using pumped hydro storage.
South Africa’s main utility Eskom said it has identified a need for as much as 2,000MW of energy storage on its networks, and has opened a testing facility to find the technologies most suitable.
Projects that demonstrate how energy storage can benefit a wide range of stakeholders and the electric grid can compete for US$15.5 million of funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
Powin Energy will supply a 30kW/40kWh battery system for the University of Washington’s Clean Energy Institute.
Kodak and Polaris Battery Labs have collaborated on a support system for new battery manufacturers and products.
Brazil’s energy agency ANEEL has approved the creation of a strategic report on how to integrate energy storage systems into wind and solar applications in the country.
While seeming “tech breakthroughs” garner a great deal of media attention, the three key factors in determining the likely impact of storage tech companies are innovative technology, scalability and a proven track record, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst has said.
ABB has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chennai-based engineering and research organisation, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) to partner on building microgrids and develop R&D in the battery energy storage area.
Energy storage technologies are not the “silver bullet” they have sometimes been hyped as, but nonetheless have a crucial role to play in a decarbonised electricity system, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).