Safety practices of the BESS industry, Part 2: Battery analytics

As we have seen in numerous territories in the US and UK in particular, battery energy storage system (BESS) is sometimes perceived by local communities as a potential fire and even explosion hazard.
In this series, we will look at some of the things that companies in the industries are doing to mitigate fire and explosion risk.
In the previous instalment, we focused on BESS product design and spoke with Helena Li, executive president at Trina Solar, about the safety features built in to the design of Elementa 2, the newest BESS solution from the vertically integrated solar PV company’s Trina Storage subsidiary.
This time out, we speak with Kai-Philipp Kairies, CEO of ACCURE, a cloud-based battery analytics solution provider.
Although our discussion took place earlier this year at the Energy Storage Summit EU in February, and some of you will have already read our feature interview from that conversation, publication of the following previously unpublished excerpts is timely.
Just this week, another town planning board in the US state of New York, Oyster Bay on Long Island, declared a six-month moratorium on BESS development. This has been the case for a few other local authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) in New York, while the state wrestles with the aftermath of fires that took place last year at battery storage sites.
Thankfully, no casualties were reported from those fires, and an interagency working group convened by the state’s governor, Kathy Hochul, to investigate and ensure no future incidents can happen, found no lasting damage to human health. However, it’s fair to say reputational damage was done.
At the same time, New York has struggled, like other urban centres worldwide, with the much more serious problem of cheap, poorly made micromobility devices such as e-scooters and e-bikes presenting a serious fire hazard. Again, the protections, regulations, and technologies in and around BESS assets are several steps above what is included in micromobility battery systems, but in terms of public perception, the impact is still harmful to the reputation of batteries in general.
Kairies gives us one example of what he says are many, where his company’s analytics solution was able to step in and solve a potential safety problem and at the same time give reassurances to the local community.
Battery analytics has been explored from several angles on this site, including a series of deep dive webinars with providers TWAICE and PowerUp.
ACCURE’s Kai-Philipp Kairies and a team from rival/frenemy company TWAICE were even persuaded to publish back-to-back articles in Volume 35 of our quarterly journal, PV Tech Power, published last summer.
Dr Stephan Rohr, Sebastian Becker and Dr Matthias Simolka from TWAICE covered the role of analytics in de-risking BESS deployment, while ACCURE’s Kairies took a technical deep dive into analytics and their role in commissioning.

ACCURE was contracted to help at the commissioning phase of a large-scale solar-plus-storage project by National Grid Renewables, the US-based clean energy developer arm of National Grid, operator of the UK’s electricity network.  
The project, a 275MWac solar facility with 125MWh BESS in Texas, was delayed on commissioning, and Kai-Philipp Kairies says the support ACCURE was able to provide brought the timeline of the delay down from the two or three months the developer was expecting to face, to a couple of weeks.
“They were very positively surprised by how much we could help,” Kairies says, with National Grid Renewables then contracting the analytics provider to continuously monitor its entire fleet of BESS assets.
Analytics during the commissioning phase can be used to troubleshoot and fault-find things like cell imbalances, improperly installed modules, battery management system (BMS) failures, and others that, Kairies claims, without the software can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Then there’s what analytics can do on safety. ACCURE claims to have prevented dozens of potential fires for its clients. However, prevented fires don’t tend to make news headlines.
There are dozens of examples of members of local communities around the world being opposed to battery storage systems in their areas. Some of these are around concerns such as visual impact, or industrialisation of greenfield sites, or even—in a growing number of cases—noise from asset operation.
Yet by far, the most common reason cited, at least as far as the pages of anecdotal evidence gathered by this writer to date, is around safety, namely fire safety and explosion risk.
Of course, battery storage asset owners and investors have a vested interest in not seeing their asset go up in flames, but as our interview a while back with battery fire safety expert and former firefighter Paul Rogers at Energy Safety Response Group showed, BESS integrators very often underestimate the depth of feeling among the public and AHJs on this subject.
Real-world data is best proof of safety
One of the reasons National Grid Renewables worked with ACCURE is to be able to show communities the work that it does to ensure safety of its solar PV and energy storage sites, Kai-Philipp Kairies says.
“In the US, there’s been too many battery fires. Let’s just face it, there’s some battery systems that had fires two times in a year,” Kairies says.
Some among the Texas community near the solar-plus-storage site in question had even started a petition: “not even a moratorium [on new development] but to tear it [the project] down,” Kairies says.
“Obviously, that’s problematic. I think we need to take the concerns very seriously, and as an industry, it’s our job to deliver safe systems. So National Grid Renewables said, ‘Hey, we want to do everything we can. So we’re using ACCURE’s Safety Manager to prevent such events’.”
National Grid Renewables “actively promotes” those safety features to the community, Kairies, says, which “seems to resonate well” with the public.
“We can show here that we’ve got his track record of finding stuff before it happens. It’s rare, but if it happens, we’ll find it, and that really just shows the communities that they’re being heard.”
Resources for ESN Premium subscribers:
Using battery analytics to support BESS commissioning: A technical deep dive
Published in PV Tech Power Volume 35
Cloud-based analytics for de-risking BESS deployment and operation
Published in PV Tech Power Volume 35
VIDEO: De-risk and protect your battery assets with digital commissioning and in-life analytics
Sponsored webinar with TWAICE
VIDEO: The economic benefits of cloud-based battery analytics for battery storage assets
Sponsored webinar with PowerUp

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Startup Green Li-ion launches North America’s ‘first’ black mass-to-pCAM battery recycling plant

That capacity is relatively low but the company’s strategy is to set up many of its low-capex units, which use a novel and advanced hydrometallurgical approacy, in existing recycling facilities with an installation time of just a few months.
This allows the facility to convert its black mass from shredding battery material directly into pCAM in a process that takes 12 hours, emits up to 90% fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than virgin materials processing and can achieve 99% purity, the firm claims.
Facilities could then sell that pCAM to CAM or battery manufacturing facilities. pCAM is a mixed-metal hydroxide made up of various critical metals like nickel and cobalt, to which lithium hydroxide is added to create cathode active material (CAM) which can then be used to build batteries.
The US’ Inflation Reduction Act has generous tax credit incentives for battery cell and module manufacturing but there are challenges around building up a local supply chain for the critical metals needed, like cobalt, nickel and lithium. Green Li-ion is also targeting installations of its technology directly in battery gigafactories.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has put put big funds into the recycling sector in the US, with federal loans of US$2 billion to Redwood Materials and US$375 million to Li-Cycle in 2023.
But the end of the year saw Li-Cycle’s future thrown into doubt after it revealed forecasted construction costs for its main recycling facility had nearly doubled, leading to a US$95 million write-down and a process to seek ‘strategic alternatives’ (Premium access).
Leon Farrant, CEO and co-founder of Green Li-ion commented: “Electrification will require manufacturers to exert greater control over their critical mineral supplies. We aim to show American companies the benefits of a customisable and fully vertically integrated battery recycling solution when operating as part of an existing manufacturing process.”
Energy-Storage.news’ publisher Solar Media will host the 2nd Energy Storage Summit Asia, 9-10 July 2024 in Singapore. The event will help give clarity on this nascent, yet quickly growing market, bringing together a community of credible independent generators, policymakers, banks, funds, off-takers and technology providers. For more information, go to the website.

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AI-driven optimiser GridBeyond raises €52 million from investors including ABB, Energy Impact Partners   

GridBeyond uses its artificial intelligence (AI) software to optimise the participation of distributed and front-of-the-meter (FTM) energy assets, including commercial and industrial (C&I) energy storage and demand response, grid-scale storage, and other technologies, in available market opportunities.
That means accessing wholesale markets for day-ahead, intraday, imbalance, frequency regulation and any local distribution system operator (DSO) markets, said CEO Michael Phelan, who spoke with Energy-Storage.news earlier today.
At the same time, for customers that want to maximise their involvement in the energy transition away from fossil fuels through corporate renewable energy power purchase agreements (PPAs) with 24/7 power matching, the GridBeyond platform is used to capture surplus solar or wind power, store it in the battery and then use it at the best time from an economic perspective.
In other words, any clean energy asset that can be optimised for revenue and carbon footprint can be connected to the platform, which the company has been developing since 2010. GridBeyond has more than 2,600MW of assets under management, including more than 500MW of battery storage.
“Using software with human oversight” is the company’s approach, Phelan said.
“A lot of trading to date has been done by humans, with a small amount of software input. We’re almost coming at it from the other side.”
While the human-led approach can work for very large assets, such as grid-scale standalone battery energy storage systems (BESS), GridBeyond realised that, especially when it comes to smaller, distributed assets, “it’s not possible to have a human on every asset.”
“We’ve kind of turned it on its head a little bit and said, ‘If we’re trading lots and lots of small batteries, we’re trading lots and lots of small systems, eventually EVs and various [other] things, we need to be able to turn them into useful blocks of power that can be traded by software, with human oversight and maybe the software acting as a fairly strong co-pilot in terms of making all those trades,” the CEO told Energy-Storage.news.
‘Robotic co-pilot’ for trading energy from distributed assets
A significant portion of the funds raised will be “targeted at the use of AI for energy storage, energy flexibility and the energy transition,” while the rest will help further GridBeyond’s international expansion.
The company is present in markets in the UK and Ireland, where Phelan claimed it is perhaps the biggest aggregator of distributed-scale storage systems below the 50MW mark, and ramped up its push into deregulated US energy markets, such as ERCOT in Texas, during 2023.
The financing, which was led by Klima, the energy transition fund of financial services group Alantra, will help further enhance GridBeyond’s product, described as a Grid Edge Virtual Power Plant solution, so that it can be adapted for all opportunities in the markets it operates in.
“From a technology point of view, we’re continuing to develop the platform so that we can handle, in a co-pilot, almost robotic way, all assets that are available to us.”
As well as furthering its position in the UK, Ireland, and ramping up in US deregulated and even some regulated markets, Australia and Japan are also target markets, Phelan said.
ABB’s minority investment is a strategic one, the automation company said in a release of its own today, that will enable its customers to optimise their distributed energy resources and industrial loads through GridBeyond’s AI and data science-backed energy management solutions.
“They’re kind of adding AI and software to their market-leading hardware. So, they’re one of the leading suppliers of EV charging systems and very strong battery offerings, and they feel that the AI and systems that we have adds a lot of value to those systems,” Phelan said.
“If we work together, then it’s kind of a win-win for everybody.”
Several others among the investors GridBeyond has brought on board in the new round have similarly complementary offerings, albeit in different ways and in different geographies: from Constellation, which is a US utility based in Maryland, electrical engineering and software company Yokogawa Electric in Japan and Energy Impact Partners, which is a venture capital (VC) firm well known in the clean energy space for its investments in everything from EV infrastructure providers to long-duration energy storage (LDES).
Earlier this year, GridBeyond asset development director Scott Berrie took the lead in a sponsored webinar with Energy-Storage.news, looking at the growing appetite for merchant risk in the front-of-the-meter battery storage space, joined by representatives of UK developers Zenobe Energy and Fig Power.
This followed a feature article contributed to our quarterly journal PV Tech Power Vol.36 (Q3 2023) from the company’s US-based team, which looked at the optimisation of battery storage assets in that country’s two leading markets, ERCOT and CAISO.

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Mitsubishi Power’s BESS spinout and ownership restructure to make unit more ‘nimble and fast-moving’

Energy storage business needs to ‘stand on its own’ to compete
The ownership restructure was revealed in Prevalon’s announcement of a supply deal with battery OEM Rept last week, which described ‘Prevalon as a Mitsubishi Power Americas and EES joint venture’, having called it a ‘wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Power Americas’ when the spinout was announced.
The separation of the energy storage activities into a standalone company outside of Mitsubishi Power Americas was about helping it to keep up with the market, as Cornell explained.
“In 2018, we chose three energy transition businesses to focus on – battery storage, solar development and hydrogen, and the plan was to launch, grow them and explore avenues to make them successful, which could be keeping it within Mitsubishi Power, spinning it out or even divesting it,” he said.
“We decided to rebrand the energy storage activities into Prevalon and stand it up on its own, based on its high growth rate, how quickly it needs to move and who it is competing with. The thought was to make it as nimble and fast-moving as possible to help the business.
“We’ve set up a new board with new governance and streamlined a lot of things. It will operate with a low overhead structure but still the backing of Mitsubishi Power.”
Cornell was keen to emphasise that Mitsubishi Power Americas is still heavily involved in the business and that private equity is not involved in the new ownership restructure, a type of investor with some downsides.
Cornell: “We’re not going to be chasing market share for the sake of market share. Once private equity steps in, they have high demands to grow the business and may start seeking to win projects at thin or negative margins. We want to chase projects that are viable, with customers that will value the lifecycle of the project and where we can really add value.”
“The way we’ve capitalised the business means we’re in great shape. We want to grow at a controlled rate with a five year horizon to take Prevalon to be a US$1 billion business.”
Prevalon’s strategy going forward
With a new ownership structure and increased independence from Mitsubishi Power Americas, Cornell discussed Prevalon’s technology and market approach going forward.
“We have about a dozen customers with very large portfolios, and will basically be working with them in their different markets, rather than going into new markets blind,” Cornell said.
The company is executing on large-scale BESS projects in California, Idaho, Oregon, Mississippi, and the Southeast US (states undisclosed), as well as in Chile. Projects have generally moved from mostly being solar-plus-storage a few years ago to now mainly being standalone, while duration is moving beyond 4-6 hours too.
“We expect there will be more emerging energy storage markets in the Southeastern US with the benefits of direct pay for co-ops,” Cornell said, alluding to the ability of non-tax paying entities like electric co-operative utilities to monetise the Inflation Reduction Act’s tax credits by receiving direct payments from the Federal government.
On the technology side, the company has transitioned from its ‘Emerald’ platform to its new ‘High-Density (HD) 511 Integrated Energy Storage Platform’ for which it has partnered with battery OEM Rept. Cornell explained what that meant in separate comments included in our coverage of that announcement yesterday.
Mitsubishi Power is the power solutions arm of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), one of the four companies making up the Japanese conglomerate founded in 1870. MHI has annual revenues of around US$30 billion.

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NHOA commissions 120MWh BESS in Taiwan

The company said its projects in Taiwan provide both ancillary services like E-dReg (Enhanced Dynamic Regulation) as well as behind-the-meter peak shaving services.
It follows its commissioning of a 311MWh system in December, the largest in Taiwan, which was specifically designed for E-dReg as the firm said at the time. That was also for an industrial site of parent company TCC, which acquired a majority stake in NHOA from Italy utility Engie in 2021, with NHOA called Engie EPS prior to that.
TCC’s chairman Nelson Chang said in 2022 that Taiwan will need 90GW of energy storage by 2030 to integrate new renewable energy capacity. Other energy storage technology providers Fluence and Invinity are also active there.
The SuAo announcements just a few days after NHOA’s EV infrastructure division was awarded a grant by the European Union under the ‘CEF Transport – Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility (“AFIF”)’ programme, receiving €17.2 million (US$20 million) to deploy 700 chargepoints in Italy.
Each charging station will either come equipped with on-site BESS technology or be readily adaptable for it which would allow them to efficiently manage and optimise peak charging, the company said.
The energy storage division of NHOA accounts for the bulk of revenues and it grew the segment 33% last year despite a 20% drop in industry-wide prices for BESS, the firm said in February. It has 2GWh of BESS capacity either operational or under construction globally.
Energy-Storage.news’ publisher Solar Media will host the 2nd Energy Storage Summit Asia, 9-10 July 2024 in Singapore. The event will help give clarity on this nascent, yet quickly growing market, bringing together a community of credible independent generators, policymakers, banks, funds, off-takers and technology providers. For more information, go to the website.

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UK’s SSE Renewables completes first 100MWh BESS project in England

SSE Renewables is the renewable energy development subsidiary of UK-headquartered power generator and project developer SSE, which has its roots in public sector electricity suppliers that were later privatised. The company sold its retail utility business in 2019.
Richard Cave-Bigley, director of development and construction – solar and battery at SSE, said the “first-of-a-kind” project for SSE Renewables will be a “fantastic asset”. 
Construction of the 26-unit battery project started in 2022 in conjunction with project partners, technology group Wärtsilä. Completion was marked by the Member of Parliament for Salisbury, John Glen MP, at a ceremony on 12 April. 
As SSE’s flagship site, Salisbury BSS will contribute to SSE’s Net Zero Acceleration Programme, a fully funded five-year investment plan. SSE Renewables will invest over £7 billion (US$8.71 billion) up until 2027 – an average of almost £4 million a day – to deliver low-carbon infrastructure. 
SSE Renewables is also constructing a 150MW battery project in Ferrybridge, West Yorkshire, which is due for completion in the first half of 2025, and a 320MW/640MWh battery project in Monk Fryston, North Yorkshire, which is expected to be completed in up to two years’ time.  
“This welcome investment means supply of energy from renewable sources is reliable. Salisbury is leading the way as we continue our journey to net zero,” MP John Glen said of the new project.
To read the full version of this story, visit Solar Power Portal.

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Australia’s ‘Year of the Big Battery’ could be followed by a ‘Decade of the Smaller Battery’

But we shouldn’t forget that the renewables market overall in the country is largely driven by what happens in behind-the-meter (BTM) settings – on the rooftops of houses where the adoption of solar PV is higher than almost anywhere else in the world.
Energy-Storage.news’ coverage of the latest Sunwiz annual report on energy storage in Australia kicked off with the quote that 2023 was the “Year of the Big Battery.” It also seems, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), that the rest of this decade will be about large-scale batteries too, but AEMO sees residential installations rising sharply beyond that.
“The key figure there was the 12GWh under construction as of the end of the year, versus around 1.5GWh energised during 2023. This year is going to blow 2023 out of the water, so there are a couple of years of very intense development underway,” Warwick Johnston says.
As we’ve seen in the past few months, Western Australia, which has an isolated grid without interconnection to other major states or territories, is a “leading proponent of batteries,” Johnston said. In the wider Australian context, batteries are seen as an alternative or complementary to, the buildout of transmission infrastructure.
“Everyone assumes that transmission [buildout] is going to happen and has to happen, and it’s true that it will unlock a lot of low-cost, bulk renewable energy. But you could be putting more and more energy storage in and virtual transmission and all sorts of things a lot quicker than you can build a transmission line,” Johnston says.
“So, from that perspective, I think that we’re going to have many more years of continued battery deployment until some of that transmission comes in and shakes it up.”
The big battery space—which Sunwiz defines as any project over 10MWh—is one with high barriers to entry. Kickstarted largely with government-funded or supported projects a few years ago, then many of Australia’s major utilities started getting involved, and more recently private investors and developers have taken a lead on some projects.
Johnston wonders how long the so-called “big battery bonanza” can last. He notes once the transmission buildout promised by prime minister Anthony Albanese gets going, “transmission could undercut some of the roles that batteries play.”
Distributed to ‘eat the lunch’ of large-scale
Back in 2015, predictions were made that Australia’s small-scale solar would “eat the lunch” of large-scale PV, and that’s what happened, with rooftop solar PV last year surging to new heights and ground-mount solar farms having a sluggish development and investment path at best.
Sunwiz thinks this will be the case for battery storage too.
“It might be that there’s some years of highly stimulated development [of large-scale batteries] coming, and there’s a huge pipeline,” Johnston says.
“But I think there’s going to be a lot more distributed-scale storage because of the economics, the risk is so low, and consumer appetites and benefits from those batteries are even decoupled from the pure financials often. We’ve got a window of time where there’ll be a lot of rollout before it probably settles back more towards swinging back towards the distributed scale.”
Going back to the PV industry analogy, Johnston says the risk profile of distributed solar is what drives it forward: connection agreements are simple and rubber-stamped by distribution network service providers (DNSPs), and there’s “little chance of a default” with the relatively low cost of financing.
The only real risk is that feed-in tariffs (FiTs) are phased out and lower the economic return, but homeowners would’ve known this would be the case when they installed their system: “once it’s there, they’re not going to take it out.”
Meanwhile, the risk of rooftop generation being curtailed from sending to the grid is pretty small, too.
“So, there are risks for rooftop solar, but they’re far less impactful than the risks that are faced by grid-scale solar,” Johnston says.
Certainly, when it comes to batteries, grid-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) assets can perform multiple applications front-of-the-meter (FTM) that home batteries can’t do.
On the other hand, households are installing batteries to give themselves energy independence and security from grid outages. That’s a key advantage to home batteries, while the phasing out of the FiTs across Australia gives those with rooftop solar an economic reason to add a battery system.
In Germany, according to official government statistics, the attachment rate of batteries to solar PV systems has gone up to an estimated 80%, driven largely by that desire for energy independence and security, and accelerated by the gas crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Sunwiz finds Australia’s attachment rate to be much lower for new systems, around 17% in 2023, but up from 15% the year before. There is also an increasing trend of retrofits at existing PV systems, where the attachment rate is much, much higher, which Johnston says is a result of Australia’s “longstanding success in residential solar”.
Some states with gigawatt-scale solar markets in Australian states now have 100% of their electricity generation needs covered by rooftop PV at certain times of the day.
While Australians don’t have the same energy security concerns as Germans do today, what Australia does have is a “long, skinny grid,” with wires traversing long distances of the country. That means electricity is expensive, with big gaps in price between daytime price of electricity, export prices and nighttime prices.
“Those are the kind of things which lead towards home energy storage systems, and grid-scale storage as well.”
Subsidies still needed to drive scale-up
In fact, Australia’s cumulative installed capacity is weighted towards residential battery storage, with about 46% of the market to 44% for grid-scale storage.
 With such a big installed base that’s set to grow, with payback times of around eight years for solar with storage versus about six years for solar on its own, Warwick Johnston believes more of the installed home batteries should be aggregated into virtual power plants (VPPs) than the roughly 14% that already are.
“The challenge there is that people, having invested all this money in their own power independence, are reticent to hand it back to the network,” Johnston says, given that independence was very often the homeowner’s motivation for going solar in the first place.
Johnston argues that for distributed PV to play a greater role in stabilising the network’s operation, more storage should be “orchestrated” into VPPs.
Getting to that point is challenging in today’s market, and while vendors should do a better job of communicating the benefits of VPP participation, the consultant says it seems likely that government incentives may be needed to stimulate this part of the market.
Perhaps it will depend partly on the experience of the 14% of customers who have already enrolled in VPPs and the feedback they offer.
Johnston notes that some time ago, an Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) programme surveyed VPP enrollees and found that: “people don’t really know what’s going on in their VPPs, it’s like they opt into it and then hope or trust that it’s operated well, and they don’t lose out from it.”
“That’s not really enough.”
Sunwiz’s report outlines the subsidy programmes that exist in Australia today for home batteries, and Johnston says that these, too, are inadequate, as things stand.
“Because it’s going to take so long to remove the impediments to the roll-out of large-scale solar and wind and build the transmission to connect it, the social licence for the transitional transformation to be upheld will require the heavy lifting to be done by or carried for the next year by distributed scale.”
“If we’re going to hit our objectives, then we’re going to need to go faster. The government can play a role in accelerating that.”
Johnston says that the Australian solar industry is “in a bit of pain at the moment.” This is less pronounced than in other markets where solar adoption isn’t as high, but revenues are down due to lower average selling prices (ASPs), and although installation volumes are rising, this isn’t commensurate with those falls in price.
 “So, the solar industry itself needs to be doing more batteries, and if we’re going to be getting on with this energy transformation, then it’s probably time for some external drivers to be created.”
Energy-Storage.news’ publisher Solar Media will host the 1st Energy Storage Summit Australia, on 21-22 May 2024 in Sydney, NSW. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

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Mitsubishi Power Americas’ Prevalon in tie-up with battery OEM Rept

Prevalon will integrate Rept’s long-format modules into its 511 Integrated Energy Storage Platform, which is delivered as a complete assembly to project sites.
Discussing the announcement with Energy-Storage.news, Prevalon CEO Thomas Cornell said Rept will manufacture cells and modules, which will then be assembled by a third party with input from Rept and Prevalon for project delivery.
“We participate in the design part that relates to specific markets, utility requirements, grid interconnection requirements, and we layer our software on to that,” Cornell said.
Rept’s pedigree as a player across the entire battery supply chain was a big plus for Prevalon, Cornell said. Rept is part of the Wenzhou, China-headquartered Tsingshan group which is active in steel smelting as well as the mining of key battery materials like lithium and nickel.
Prevalon has already deployed 1.5GWh of BESS across North and South America using Rept battery cells, and the new agreement looks to increase that beyond 10GWh in the ‘short term’. The new partnership is essentially a deeper cooperation between the two companies, Cornell added.
The latest agreement also designates Prevalon as the service provider for Rept’s battery module fleet throughout the Americas.
Prevalon is a standalone BESS solution company that was spun out from Mitsubishi Power Americas earlier this year, and the start of this month saw it secure its first large-scale order since the spinout, from Idaho Power in the US.
Energy-Storage.news interviewed Cornell in 2022 when the company was still a division of Mitsubishi Power Americas.
Rept has signed supply deals with other system integrators Powin and Energy Vault (a company more known for its proprietary gravity energy storage technology) last year.
Energy-Storage.news’ publisher Solar Media will host the 2nd Energy Storage Summit Asia, 9-10 July 2024 in Singapore. The event will help give clarity on this nascent yet quickly growing market, bringing together a community of credible independent generators, policymakers, banks, funds, off-takers and technology providers. For more information, go to the website.

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Capacity Investment Scheme renewable energy and storage CfDs to begin roll out in Western Australia ‘mid-year’

The CIS will see contracts for difference (CfD) tenders held across Australia, overseen by the federal government but administered by state and territory governments.
Through the CfDs, the country will underwrite projects representing a total of 32GW of renewable energy capacity, including 23GW of variable renewable energy (VRE) generation and 9GW of firm dispatchable capacity—the latter made possible by deploying energy storage.  
It is aimed at enabling the country’s goal of an 82% renewable grid, and pilot tenders in South Australia and Victoria were launched toward the end of 2023, while an existing tender in New South Wales (NSW) got extra funding through the scheme.  
Bowen said on Friday (12 April) that a consultation has opened on the WA scheme, seeking input on how it can be designed and tailored to the specific needs of the state’s Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM). The consultation will remain open until 29 April.
Renewable Energy Transformation Agreement to ‘unlock’ more VRE, dispatchable renewables for WA
South Australia, Victoria, and NSW are all connected to the National Electricity Market (NEM) on the other side of the country. In the NEM, the CIS works by tender participants bidding a strike price against spot market prices. Where revenue expectations are not met, the government tops up the payment; where revenues exceed expectations, the developer or investor-owner of the project pays back the surplus.
According to notes on the consultation issued by the Commonwealth government, a key difference between WEM and NEM is the WEM’s Reserve Capacity Mechanism (RCM), which ensures there is sufficient reserve capacity on the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) grid in WA.
WA’s grid is not interconnected to other major grid networks in the country, unlike the five regional jurisdictions that make up the NEM, and so the RCM sets its reserve capacity requirements two years in advance, for delivery years that run for 12 months from 1 October.
One thing the pair have in common is a need for energy storage. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has forecast a need for between 44-96GW/550-950GWh of storage in the NEM by 2050, and between 12-17GW/74-96GWh in the WEM by that time.
In March, construction began in WA on what is thought to be the country’s biggest battery energy storage system (BESS) project to date by megawatt-hours, a 500MW/2,000MWh asset in Collie, a region which has hosted many of the state’s large-scale thermal generation assets. It is being developed by Synergy, an energy generator and retailer owned by the state’s government.
Minister Bowen also highlighted in his announcement yesterday that the Australian government will work with states to ensure new renewable energy projects get delivered, through the signing of Renewable Energy Transformation Agreements (RETAs).
RETAs could include commitments toward investing in strategic electricity reserves, managing an orderly transition away from fossil fuels and set and maintain reliability benchmarks for projects and associated infrastructure.
The agreements are part of the National Energy Transformation Partnership, which is in turn a framework for the Commonwealth government to cooperate with its state and territory-level counterparts.
Bowen said the RETA in WA, once agreed upon, could unlock 2.3GW of VRE capacity and 1.1GW of firm dispatchable resources.
According to the government Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, at which minister Chris Bowen works, around half of the capacity targeted through the Capacity Investment Scheme will be subject to RETAs.
Energy-Storage.news’ publisher Solar Media will host the 1st Energy Storage Summit Australia, on 21-22 May 2024 in Sydney, NSW. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

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Dominion Energy launches RFP for solar and storage projects in Virginia

The projects will help the utility reach its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, part of which is deploying 3.1GW of energy storage by 2035.
There is one new aspect of this year’s request for proposals (RFPs) in the solar category, as Dominion Energy is looking for proposals within its service territory for non-residential rooftop solar development or mechanically complete projects, specifically on commercial, industrial and government-owned structures.
Specifically, the company is looking for rooftop solar projects with a capacity of less than 3MW in Virginia’s urban centres to reduce the load on the electric grid.
For other solar proposals, the company is seeking both utility-scale projects with a capacity of more than 3MW and distributed projects that are 3MW or less. Dominion Energy will only consider facilities located in Virginia. For distributed projects that are 3MW or less, the facilities must be located within Dominion Energy Virginia’s service territory, where location grid benefits are provided to its customers.
Additionally, proposals for mechanically complete projects that are 5MW or less will be accepted as in last year’s request for proposals.
Other categories in the RFP include new onshore wind projects, new onshore wind projects co-located with BESS and new standalone BESS.
See the full version of this article on PV Tech.

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