California requires state’s biggest utility to rely on batteries for demand peaks

From Bloomberg: A New Era of Batteries Spells Trouble for Gas in America, By  Mark Chediak January 11, 2018 California, the state that helped birth the global boom in battery-toting electric vehicles, is trying to spark a similar transformation for utilities. And that spells trouble for power plants all across the U.S. that run on natural gas. The California Public Utilities Commission approved an order Thursday that …

Renewable energy bids in Colorado for Xcel Energy

Citizens’ input/Letter to Editor of Denver Post: Renewable Electricity Now: Good for the Environment, Good for the Ratepayers It is now clear that the costs of wind, solar and battery storage have recently dropped dramatically, and adding large amounts of these clean technologies to our electric grid can reduce costs to ratepayers.1  Yet Xcel Energy has declined to perform a …

Battery breakthroughs

December 21st, 2017 by Steve Hanley  on Clean Technica Batteries are the key to the zero carbon future, there’s little argument about that. But today’s batteries are less than ideal in many respects. They cost too much, are too big, weigh too much, function poorly in low temperatures, are prone to catch fire under certain circumstances, or simply don’t last long enough. …

The Death Of Oil: Scientists Eyeball 2X EV Battery Range

By Tina Casey on Clean Technica, 19 Dec 2017  For someone who’s all in for fossil fuels, President* Trump sure has a thing for electric vehicles. Last October the US Energy Department announced $15 million in funding to jumpstart the next generation of “extremely” fast charging systems, and last week the agency’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory announced a breakthrough discovery for doubling …

Siemens Gamesa expects to deliver stored energy at a cost of less than €0.10 ($0.12) per kilowatt-hour with hot rock storage technology

By Jason Deign, GTM, 18 Dec 2017 – Siemens Gamesa Starts Building Hot Rock Plant for Long-Duration Grid Storage: The Future Energy Solution project in Hamburg will use surplus power to heat rocks to 600 degrees Celsius. An artistic approximation of the experimental technology that will store surplus energy by heating up 1,000 tons of rock. Photo Credit: Peter Hindmarsh / …

Ag + solar solutions in fields and smart solar greenhouse

November 26th, 2017 by Steve Hanley on Clean Technica Putting solar panels on a roof is a good idea. Growing food in a greenhouse is also a good idea. But putting those ideas together usually doesn’t work because the solar panels block out the sunlight the plants inside need to flourish. Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have created new solar …

Energy-storage company and home builder are teaming up to make peer-to-peer energy sharing a viable player in the clean-energy landscape

Fast Company 12 Oct 2017 This Solar-Powered Development Will Be The Largest Virtual Power Plant In The U.S. When it’s complete, the Jasper sonnenCommunity will create a virtual power plant that will be able to aggregate enough solar energy to make it comparable to a small power plant. [Photo: Mandalay Homes] By Eillie Anilotti If you live in Frankfurt, Germany and …

Battery life factors

From Clean Technica What shortens lithium battery life? High temperatures. Overcharging or high voltage. Deep discharges or low voltage. High discharges or charge current. Electric vehicle have become a common sight on streets today, and many people have started to enjoy the quiet comfort, getting used to charging at night and silently doing errands. Photo of a BMW i3 at …

A utility-scale solar project demonstrated how solar can compete with natural gas over grid services and cost

Excerpt from Utility Dive, by Herman Trabish, 16 Oct 2017 a recent pilot successfully showcased how renewable energy can be used for reliability services to balance the wind and solar penetration on CAISO. CAISO (California ISO) collaborated with developer First Solar and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on a 300 MW solar power plant project that showed renewable energy …

NREL new battery for utilities to store electricity costs 100x less than the conventional lithium ion batteries in use today, now need to extend lifespan

Oct 2017 by Steve Hanley on Clean Technica You can take this story with a grain of salt, literally and figuratively. Researchers at MIT, responding to a challenge issued by the US Department of Energy, have developed a new battery for use by utility companies to store electricity that costs 100 times less than the conventional lithium ion batteries in …