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Roundup: EVs up 68% in 2015, EDF’s PJM project, SolarCity’s complete home solution for H

PJM is thought to offer the most robust pricing for frequency regulation in the US. Image: PJM Interconnection.
ZSW finds EVs have reached 1.3 million worldwide

26 February 2016: The number of electric cars on the world’s roads rose by almost 70% last year, according to new research by Germany’s Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW).

ZSW said the total figure of EVs in use has now reached around 1.3 million. In 2014, around 330,000 new electric cars went on the road while last year that figure leaped to 550,000, a rise of 68%. China added as many as 200,000 new vehicles in 2015, while the US leads the overall picture with 410,000 EVs registered, the most in the world, while around 3% of Norway’s 2.64 million cars are electric, the highest proportion in the world.

EVs are still something of a premium product, perhaps evidenced by the fact that Tesla’s Model S was 2015’s most popular choice. Nissan’s ‘affordable’ Leaf gained 40,270 new registered drivers while the Model S managed 42,370.

Analysis firm Lux Research has told Energy Storage News that its experts see 2017 and 2018 and the beginning of a second wave of EVs. Both Tesla’s Model 3 and Chevrolet’s Bolt are expected to emerge during that time with in an affordable family car price range of about US$30,000 and a range of 200 miles. According to Lux’s Dean Frankel, once the technology reaches both the improved range capability and the lower price point, EV uptake will “explode”.  

EDF to develop frequency regulation project for PJM

24 February 2016: A subsidiary of major French energy company EDF will develop a 19.8MW battery storage project to play into the PJM frequency regulation market in the US.

EDF Renewable Energy, which is in turn the US subsidiary of renewables development arm EDF Energies Nouvelles, is installing 11 containerised units, each of 1.8MW capacity at the project in McHenry County, Illinois.

The batteries, supplied by BYD Americas, will provide the dynamic power reserve sold as an ancillary service to PJM, which is a regional transmission organisation (RTO) responsible for serving 61 million people.

The organisation has put in place hourly provision of grid-balancing frequency regulation services that many have hailed as one of the most advanced examples of such an arrangement in the world. Matt Roberts, executive director of the US Energy Storage Association (ESA) told Energy Storage News that the PJM market was one of the most talked-about topics at the association’s conferences in July last year. Roberts said PJM’s ‘pay-for-performance’ market design was largely to thank.

SolarCity launches 'complete home solution' into Hawaii

24 February 2016: Leading US residential installer and third party leasing company SolarCity has launched an integrated complete home energy solution including solar and storage into the Hawaii market.

Combining SolarCity’s solar offerings with and energy storage battery and smart electric water heaters, the technology ‘closes the loop’ with the inclusion of a Nest Learning thermostat which gives the user and potentially the utility a window into the system. The Smart Home uses the solar PV to store both electricity and hot water for later use. SolarCity is already selling the systems, with both cash purchase and leasing options available.

The launch is the latest high profile move towards higher integration of distributed generation in Hawaii. The islands are the US state with highest installed PV capacity per capita, with a target of reaching 100% renewables by 2045. The VP of Hawaii operations for commercial energy storage provider Stem Inc, Tad Glauthier, recently spoke with Energy Storage News on the state’s efforts and explained the dynamics of why Hawaii is seen as the perfect ‘test bed’ for solar-plus-storage by many. SolarCity in the past month has also announced that it will pair 52MWh of Tesla energy storage with a 12MW solar farm on the Hawaiian island of Kau’ai.

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