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ROUNDUP: KEPCO and Samsung SDI abroad, Leclanché goes N America, Powervault goes Li-Ion

Aquion and Ideal Power install microgrid at California winery

28 April 2016: A California winery in Sonoma has installed a 32kW solar array and 350kWh storage system using Aquion Energy’s batteries and Ideal Power’s power conversion system.  

A total of 14 of Aquion’s 25kWh M-Line Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI) batteries have been connected to the solar system using Ideal Power’s multi-port power conversion system. The grid-tied microgrid is capable of islanding and operating autonomously, and is also generating sufficient energy that Stone Edge Farm is able to sell a substantial amount of the energy produced back to local utility PG&E.

"Microgrids utilizing renewable energy and energy storage technologies will be a crucial part of the global energy infrastructure moving forward," said Dan Brdar, CEO, Ideal Power. "This project will provide an important model for the development of microgrids in the future.”

The signing of the KEPCO-Samsung SDI MoU. Image: Samsung SDI.
Leclanché targets 'fast-growing' N America markets

26 April 2016: Swiss battery and energy storage maker LeClanché has opened a North American subsidiary claiming the company is seeking to “capitalise on fast-growing market opportunities” in Canada and the US.

A Leclanché spokesman emailed Energy-Storage.News today with the news and said that the company has established headquarters for the division in Dallas, Texas, along with a tech centre in Indiana.

“Leclanché North America will be led by Bryan Urban, an energy industry executive with more than 25 years of experience in the power generation and energy infrastructure sector,” the spokesman said.

Urban has also been on the board of directors of the company for 13 years.

The company recently issued its year-end financial reports and said that one large-scale project in Ontario, Canada, had contributed more than 50% of its 2015 revenues.

This included a US$28.9 million purchase order for the batteries and power conversion systems, from a total US$45 million project which Leclanché is managing and Canadian energy storage designer integrator Deltro Energy is providing EPC services for.

Image: Leclanché.
UK's Powervault launches latest crowdfund drive and Li-Ion systems

26 April 2016: UK residential energy storage maker Powervault, which made headlines with a successful crowdfunder last year, has launched another to support the next generation of its products.

The company says its new systems promise to capitalise on a “smart power revolution” touted by the UK government-appointed National Infrastructure Commission, which Powervault believes is likely to deliver new tariff structures for consumers.

The new models will include Powervault’s first lithium-on based systems, with previous versions using lead acid. They will have a five year warranty and can be charged from the ‘Economy 7’ off-peak night-time tariffs which already exist in the UK.

Powervault said on Wednesday that it had already raised a significant portion of the £1 million investment it is seeking from crowdfunding site Crowdcube.

Korean utility giant KEPCO and Samsung SDI go overseas together

21 April 2016: Utility Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and energy storage and battery provider Samsung SDI have signed a deal to corporate in “targeting the global market” for energy storage.

KEPCO is a partly state-owned company and is responsible for decision making that affects all levels of the electricity system in South Korea. Under the scope of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed last week, KEPCO will investigate overseas markets for viable energy storage opportunities. Samsung SDI would then provide batteries and tender bids for project rights from power companies, while the pair would execute projects together.

This could include smart homes, commercial energy storage for businesses, medium voltage energy storage systems in North America and Southeast Asia, frequency regulation projects and renewable energy-linked installations.

“The MOU executed this time will serve as the cornerstone for targeting the global new energy market well beyond the domestic boundary,” Cho Hwan-Eik, president of KEPCO, said.

In related news, according to a report this week by the Korea Times, Samsung SDI is dropping its fuel cell business to concentrate on more profitable areas.

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