The Energy Storage Report 2024

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ROUNDUP: TotalEnergies project at California mine, Iberdrola picks Generac for VPP, ex-FERC chair Glick joins Hydrostor

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Another serving of news in brief from around the world in energy storage, featuring TotalEnergies, Hydrostor, Iberdrola and more.

TotalEnergies to finance and install solar-plus-storage system at California mine

French multinational energy company TotalEnergies will install a solar-plus-storage system at a diatomite mining facility in California, US.

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The company announced this week it had signed a deal with the mine’s owner, Imerys, another France-headquartered multinational. The project comprises a 15MWdc ground mount solar PV array, featuring single axis trackers and bi-facial PV modules, paired with a 7.5MWh battery energy storage system (BESS).

It will be installed at Imery’s facility in Lompoc, Santa Barbara County. Diatomite is a soft sedimentary rock that is used in various commercial applications, most commonly for filtration of liquids or as a filler in substances like paint.

TotalEnergies will finance and install the project, as well as provide operations and maintenance (O&M) with the deal structured as a 25-year power purchase and services agreement (PPSA). The new system and its accompanying long-term energy services contract will cover around 50% of the Lompoc site’s electricity demand.

TotalEnergies is the owner of Saft, the French battery manufacturer and BESS system integrator-manufacturer, with the two working together on many of the parent company’s energy storage projects, although the equipment provider for the mine project has not yet been disclosed.

Generac Grid Services platform enables automated demand response for Iberdrola VPP

Iberdrola is using an energy management and aggregation platform from Generac Grid Services at a virtual power plant (VPP) in Spain.

The Spanish energy company has selected Concerto, the distributed energy resources management (DERM) software platform that US-based standby and backup power specialist Generac acquired when it bought out the company making it, Enbala. In acquiring the company and platform, Generac launched its Generac Grid Services division.

Concerto is enabling Iberdrola’s VPP to provide Active Demand Response Services (SRAD) to the Spanish grid through an automated dispatch process, rather than being more manually coordinated previously. The platform was picked by Iberdrola through a competitive tender process held in 2021.

The VPP serves the network of Spanish system operator Red Eléctrica de España, helping it stabilise grid frequency through aggregation of distributed energy resources (DERs) at homes and businesses across the country.

The two companies plan to expand the collaboration further, adding capabilities like electric vehicle (EV) charging aggregation and bidding into a wider number of markets for flexibility services. Similar deals Generac Grid Services has in place with other utilities include tie-ups in the US with Dominion Energy Virginia and Arizona Public Service.

Ex-FERC chair Richard Glick joins advanced compressed air player Hydrostor

Former chair of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Richard Glick, has joined the board of directors at advanced compressed air energy storage (A-CAES) company Hydrostor.

Hydrostor said on Wednesday (17 May) that Glick had been appointed as a special advisor to the board of the company, which has developed a proprietary compressed air technology that it claims is much higher efficient than existing compressed air plants.

That claim is made partly on the basis that the technology is more of a closed loop for heat and therefore doesn’t require the burning of fossil fuels to power compressors, which also has environmental benefits.

In addition to holding the IP for the A-CAES technology, Ontario, Canada-headquartered Hydrostor also acts as developer, with some very large plants exceeding the gigawatt-hour scale in development in Australia and California. The company got an investment commitment worth up to US$250 million from Goldman Sachs in 2022, placing it among the top recipients in the energy storage industry of VC funding for that year.

Glick served as chairman of FERC for two years after being appointed by US president Joe Biden, standing down after his term ended in January this year. Another ex-FERC chair, Neil Chatterjee, recently joined energy storage developer and solutions provider Convergent Energy and Power’s board of directors.   

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