Duke to Spend $500M on Battery Storage
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Duke Energy on Wednesday announced plans to spend $500 million on battery storage in the next 15 years, increasing the region's current storage capacity 20-fold and helping to operate the region's energy grid more reliably. The utility is moving ahead on a 9 MW battery project it will install at a Rock Hill, North Carolina substation, as well as a 4 MW battery that is part of a solar-powered microgrid in Hot Springs, North Carolina.
Con Edison has proposed installing solar panels on 350 roofs for low- and moderate-income customers living in New York City Housing Authority developments. The goal of Con Edison’s Community Power project is to bring renewable energy within reach of those who ordinarily lack the means. It could save each resident as much as $78 a year on energy bills, by Con Edison estimations.
CPS Energy broke ground this week on their first solar energy and battery storage project in San Antonio, Texas. The $16.3 million project, which has been in development for three years, will consist of a 5 MW solar power facility and a 10 MW battery storage system. “Today we took a very important step in advancing our technology in regards to battery storage,” Paula Gold-Williams, president and CEO for CPS Energy, said.
Southern California Edison is asking regulators for permission to improve clean energy offerings for customers who can’t install rooftop solar. The utility connects between 3,000 and 5,000 solar roofs per month, but many of its 15 million customers don’t own their homes or have access to a suitable rooftop for solar generation. By the company’s own admission, the existing program to serve those residents with community solar didn’t work well enough.
There are nearly 30 million distributed generation and grid-connected devices installed in homes across the United States, with millions more anticipated by 2023. These devices have the potential to offer flexibility to both customers and the electric grid. A new Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables report forecasts 88 gigawatts of residential flexibility potential in the United States by 2023.
Virginia released its annual 10-year energy plan on Tuesday, recommending development of 3 GW of solar and onshore wind by 2022, and 2 GW of offshore wind by 2028. Dominion Energy, the largest electric utility in the state, has partnered with Denmark's DONG Energy to develop a 12 MW Virginia offshore wind facility and officials say it could ultimately be expanded to serve more than 500,000 customers.
Electrify America, created by Volkswagen AG as part of a settlement from the automaker’s emissions-cheating scandal, filed plans with California regulators to invest a second $200 million in electric car charging infrastructure. The investments will include deploying fast-charging stations in cities including Santa Cruz, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
As renewable penetration grows, the need for energy storage grows as well. However, existing storage technologies may not be able to meet that need. A DOE grant program aims to address that problem by trading efficiency for low cost. Existing storage technologies fall short in terms of duration.