On July 9 at 7:35 p.m., California’s power grid hit an all-time peak for battery storage. But that record is just one of many. All-time peaks—like the 2,519 megawatts on that evening—are going to be happening with regularity as more battery storage systems come online. What’s more interesting is the development of the projects that are helping to set those records, and the implications for transforming the grid into one that doesn’t need fossil fuels.
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Efforts to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 are likely to remain out of reach as copper supply fails to match demand amid growing use of solar panels, electric vehicles and other renewable technologies, data from S&P Global showed on Thursday.
Italian startup Energy Dome accomplished that this week. The company vowed last year that it would successfully demonstrate its novel technique for storing vast amounts of clean electricity and use it to build a full-scale power plant. Earlier this month, it completed a 2.5-megawatt/4-megawatt-hour unit in Sardinia. Then on Tuesday, Energy Dome announced it raised $11 million in bridge funding to buy equipment for a 20-megawatt/200-megawatt-hour facility for major Italian utility A2A.
Grid-scale energy storage installations quadrupled in the first quarter of the year, compared to the same period in 2021, but geopolitical and domestic conflicts kept figures from being higher, according to the U.S. Storage Monitor report published by Wood Mackenzie and the American Clean Power Association on June 15.
‘Innovative long-duration storage technology’ from Lockheed Martin will be deployed at the US Army’s Fort Carson in Colorado. A megawatt-scale unit of the aerospace and defense technology company’s GridStar Flow flow battery energy storage system will provide back up power in case of grid outages and reduce fossil fuel consumption at the facility.
Toyota is launching a residential 5.5 kWh battery storage system, which uses the company’s electric vehicle battery technology, the company announced on June 2. The small system can power a home day and night when connected to a photovoltaic rooftop system, encouraging solar installations, according to Toyota.
At least a dozen storage projects meant to support growing renewable energy supplies have been postponed, canceled or renegotiated as labor and transport bottlenecks, soaring minerals prices, and competition from the electric vehicle industry crimp supply.
Both utility-scale energy storage and distributed storage resources will play a key role in helping Hawaii maintain the reliability of its grid as it prepares to shutter a 180 MW coal plant on the island of Oahu, experts said at the Hawaii Energy Conference on Tuesday.
How do you bottle renewable energy for when the Sun doesn’t shine and the wind won’t blow? That’s one of the most vexing questions standing in the way of a greener electrical grid. Massive battery banks are one answer. But they’re expensive and best at storing energy for a few hours, not for days long stretches of cloudy weather or calm. Another strategy is to use surplus energy to heat a large mass of material to ultrahigh temperatures, then tap the energy as needed. This week, researchers report a major improvement in a key part of that scheme: a device for turning the stored heat back into electricity.
Battery storage is quickly moving from the margins to near the center of the U.S. energy system. In 2021, the market added 3,508 megawatts of battery storage capacity, an amount more than double from the prior year, according to a report issued last week by the research firm Wood Mackenzie and the American Clean Power Association, a trade group.