Duke Energy commits to US$6 billion investment including up to 50MW of battery energy storage

29 August 2017: NYSE-traded US utility Duke Energy will drop the building of a nuclear power plant while committing to investments in renewable and clean energy technologies in Florida, including ‘up to’ 50MW of battery energy storage.

Duke Energy Florida announced Tuesday that it has filed a revised settlement agreement with the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) which includes plans for investment in grid modernisation, solar, smart meters, EV chargers and battery storage.

If approved by FPSC in December, the plan, which replaces a previous one in place since 2013, will go into effect early next year. Duke Energy said it would constitute some US$6 billion in investment.

Major features of the revised settlement include the addition of 700MW of PV facilities over the next four years — including the development of a 74.9MW PV project in Hamilton County.

In addition, Duke Energy plans to install more than 500 electric vehicle charging stations and up to 50 MW of battery storage through pilot programmes within the state.

By no longer working on the Levy Nuclear Project, residential customers will see a reduction of US$2.50 per 1,000 kWh through the removal of unrecovered Levy Nuclear Project costs. Duke Energy will absorb more than US$150 million in costs that would have been recovered through rates.

Additional reporting by Conor Ryan.

Application put in for 200MW PV farm with energy storage in New South Wales

30 August 2017: Australian renewable energy developer CWP Renewables has applied to build a 200MW solar PV plant with an as-yet-undefined energy storage element, next to a vast wind farm in New South Wales.

CWP made filings last week with the New South Wales government’s Planning & Environment department for the facility, including the required Preliminary Environmental Assessment which details the plans.

The company is already developing the nearby Sapphire Wind Farm, a 270MW generation project with turbines 200 metres tall. The proposed Sapphire Solar Farm could therefore share some offices, maintenance facilities and point of connection to the local 330kV transmission network operated by TransGrid. The opportunity to co-locate the facilities made it a more attractive location for the solar PV plant than alternatives and could establish a renewable energy ‘hub’ for the area, CWP said.

“The project may include an energy storage system which would consist of batteries housed in enclosures the size of a shipping container,” the environmental assessment reads.

CWP talked up the benefits of adding the battery in making the solar energy generated dispatchable at times of high demand and of course in mitigating the effects of the variable output of power from the plant.

The company has yet to decide the size of the energy storage facility or the duration for which it will be able to store energy. It also appears to be open to different technologies, stating that it will assess lithium, lead acid, sodium sulphur, nickel hydride batteries as well as mechanical technologies which could include flywheels.

SunPower building solar carports and 2MWh of Stem’s energy storage at California college

29 August 2017: SunPower will build clean energy facilities including multiple-megawatt solar carports and a 2MWh energy storage system at a college in Santa Rosa, California.

SunPower high efficiency PV panels will be deployed at two carport sites on the 100 acre Santa Rosa campus adding up to 2.6MW, while a separate 1.3MW carport system will be installed at Petaluma, another campus of the college.

Combined with the carport will be a 1.3MW / 2MWh battery energy storage system supplied by Stem, which specialised in intelligent energy storage for commercial and industrial (C&I) customers. Using that energy storage system, the college will be able to lower the demand charge portion of its bill.

On Tuesday, Energy-Storage.News reported on a study from the US’ National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that said as many as 5 million C&I customers could potentially reduce their electricity bills with energy storage by using it to curb their demand charges, which are premiums payable for periods of high electricity use and can make up to 70% of C&I bills in some cases.  

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