ROUNDUP: Convergent 40MWh California BESS, Solar-plus-storage in utility RfP, Ex-Younicos CEO Prince joins Largo

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A Convergent Energy + Power battery project during installation in Bolton, Ontario, Canada. Image: Convergent Energy + Power.

19 January 2022: Convergent Energy + Power brings 40MWh BESS online in California

Convergent Energy + Power has brought online a 10MW/40MWh battery storage project in California for East Bay Community Energy (EBCE). 

Energy storage solutions provider Convergent said last week that the battery energy storage system (BESS) it financed and developed will increase grid reliability in California’s Alameda County. It will store energy generated at times of surplus solar PV generation and output it to the grid at peak times when it is most needed. 

EBCE, one of California’s Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) energy suppliers, will control the asset, while Convergent Energy + Power will be responsible for maintenance. 

The system will aid EBCE in its goal of becoming a zero carbon electricity supplier by 2030, which is 15 years earlier than California’s 2045 target date. CCAs have become prolific in their procurements of clean energy, offering their member-customers the option to choose where and from which sources their energy comes from. 

In October, on the opposite coast of the US, Convergent acquired a 5MW/20MWh BESS project in development on New York’s Staten Island from renewable energy developer SMT Energy. Scheduled to come online during this year, the system will earn a mix of contracted and merchant revenues. 

These will be determined by the Value of Distributed Resources (VDER) programme run by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

19 January 2022: Appalachian Power includes solar-plus-storage option in latest Request for Proposals

A new Request for Proposals (RfP) issued by US utility company Appalachian Power gives applicants the option of adding energy storage to their proposed solar PV projects. 

The new RfP calls for up to 1,000MW wind power and/or 100MW of solar PV resources. Projects must be at least 5MW each and be able to achieve commercial operation by 15 December 2025. Solar projects have been given the option of adding battery storage and must be located within Virginia, while wind power projects can be outside. 

Projects must be interconnected to PJM Interconnection’s grid, with the utility anticipating that it will issue RfPs for solar and energy storage power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Appalachian Power, headquartered in Virginia with customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee, is a subsidiary of American Electric Power. As noted by our sister site PV Tech earlier this month, the utility expects to have added 3.3GW of solar and 2.6GW of energy storage resources in its portfolio by 2040. 

As reported then by PV Tech, Appalachian Power unveiled plans to acquire or contract for close to 300MW PV over the next three years, with a major driver being that Virginia has a policy in place, called the Virginia Clean Economy Act, through which it will become carbon neutral by 2050. 

19 January 2022: Ex-Younicos CEO appointed president at flow battery company Largo Clean Energy

Largo Resources, a primary producer of vanadium and vanadium products, has appointed experienced energy industry executive Stephen Prince as president of its Largo Clean Energy flow battery business. 

Prince is former CEO of German-American battery storage pioneer Younicos, which was sold to microgrid and mobile power systems specialist Aggreko in 2017. More recently, he was on the board of Enerox CellCube, another vanadium flow battery company, and was president in North America for Centrica Business Solutions. 

As one of the world’s only three primary vanadium producing companies, with extraction operations in Brazil, Largo Resources is targeting becoming a major vertically-integrated player in the flow battery space. It acquired IP, personnel and tech from defunct US flow battery company VIONX and has set up offices and technology centres in the eastern US.

It closed its first vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) deal late last year. Enel Green Power, via its parent company Endesa, is purchasing a 1.1MW/5.5MWh VRFB system from the company for installation at a solar farm in Mallorca, Spain.

Largo Resources and its strategy for entering the energy storage market was profiled in a 2021 article for our quarterly journal PV Tech Power, along with another primary vanadium producer, Bushveld Minerals.

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