Category: Energy storage

Hydrostor is developing truly massive grid storage in watery caverns

Read the full story at Canary Media.

Dozens of companies are building breakthrough technologies to store clean power for hours on end. Canadian startup Hydrostor could beat them to market with a combination of water and caves.

After operating its technology in Ontario’s wholesale market for two years, Hydrostor last week won a government grant worth 4 million Canadian dollars ($3.2 million) to pay for design work for a project that could deliver as much as 500 megawatts. That’s more capacity than the largest lithium-ion battery plants that are now operating. But Hydrostor’s facility would be able to discharge for up to 12 hours, longer than is typically cost-effective for batteries.

Google spinoff Malta nabs $50M Series B for thermal long-duration storage

Read the full story from GreenTech Media.

Malta converts electricity to thermal energy and back again, theoretically unlocking up to 200 hours’ worth of energy storage.

Thermal energy storage startup EnergyNest secures US$130 million investment

Read the full story at Energy Storage News.

An investment worth €110 million (US$131.5 million) has been agreed by ‘thermal battery’ manufacturer EnergyNest which would make infrastructure equity investor Infracapital its biggest shareholder.

Infracapital is the infrastructure equity arm of FTSE 100-listed global investment management firm M&G Plc. In November Infracapital committed nearly US$200 million to investing in UK battery storage and electric fleet transport solutions provider Zenobe Energy.

Highview Power to develop first major cryogenic energy storage plant in UK

Read the full story at Greentech Media.

Highview Power is taking its unusual cryogenic or liquid air storage from demonstration to commercial scale.

The company is developing its first large-scale system in the northern part of the U.K., it revealed Monday. The first project will have a capacity of 50 megawatts/250 megawatt-hours and could be up and running by 2022.

It’s not a done deal: Highview is still looking for offtakers to secure contracted revenue that could balance merchant activity in Britain’s wholesale markets. But Highview has a location locked down at a retiring thermal plant site and is working on procurement for the construction phase.

If built as described, this project would mark a milestone for the exotic technologies challenging mass-market lithium-ion batteries for longer-duration grid storage. Battery plants have begun supplying several hours of power in certain markets, but they are not economic for storing days’ or weeks’ worth of renewable power. A motley crew of technologies is vying to fill that gap, including flow batteries of various chemistries, giant block-stacking cranes and some mysterious but well-funded designs

A strategy to rejuvenate dead lithium inside batteries

Read the full story at TechXplore.

Li-ion batteries and other emerging lithium-based battery technologies are currently used to power a wide range of devices, including smartphones, laptops, tablets and cameras. Despite their advantages, batteries containing lithium do not always retain their performance over time.

One of the main reasons for the performance decay observed in some Li-based batteries is that the lithium contained within them sometimes becomes inactive or “dead.” This “dead lithium” can cause capacity decay and thermal runaway, which can ultimately reduce a battery’s lifespan and impair its performance.

Researchers at Zhejiang University of Technology in China and Argonne National Laboratory in the U.S. have recently devised a strategy to restore inactive lithium in Li metal anodes. This strategy, outlined in a paper published in Nature Energy, is based on a chemical reaction known as iodine redox.

Corporate funding for solar surges in Q1, but venture capital eyes are on storage, Mercom finds

Read the full story at Utility Dive.

While investors increasingly seek solar company stocks for reliable returns, energy storage is the new rising star of energy venture capital, according to Raj Prabhu, CEO of the Mercom Capital Group.

After a steady recovery in the third and fourth quarters of 2020, total corporate funding for the solar sector rose 21%, from $6.7 billion in Q4 2020 to $8.1 billion in Q1 2021, according to a recent report by MercomA second report found that venture capital investment in battery storage, smart grid and energy efficiency companies is up 410% year-over-year.

Solar, an increasingly mature industry, is now largely seen as a reliably profitable investment, attracting fewer but larger deals, Prabhu said. Storage still brings in far less investment but is drawing in venture capitalists looking for the next big energy technology.

Americas to ‘lead global storage by 2025’

Read the full story at

The Americas region will overtake Asia Pacific by 2025 to lead the global energy storage market, with a total capacity of 371 gigawatt-hours in 2030, according to Wood Mackenzie.

Pennsylvania regulators take ‘first key step’ to identify storage-boosting strategies

Read the full story at Utility Dive.

Pennsylvania should enact policies to encourage pairing energy storage with solar energy to build a more resilient and cleaner grid, according to a new report released by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). 

The Pennsylvania Energy Storage Assessment, prepared by Strategen Consulting, recommends building grid-scale solar energy arrays coupled with battery storage. The report also identifies several policy measures that could increase storage development, including setting an energy storage target, using public funding for storage projects and evaluating electricity rates tied to grid services. 

“This is the first key step to identifying strategies to overcome any barriers we might have to getting the full value of energy storage,” said David Althoff Jr., director of the energy programs office for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. “We recognize that our need for storage is expanding … as part of our larger market opportunity for renewables in our state and states around us.”

Recycling – A batteries passport

Read the full story from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have devised a method to identify the unique chemical makeup of every lithium-ion battery around the world, information that could accelerate recycling, recover critical materials and resolve a growing waste stream.

Similar to how plastics are stamped with a recycling code identifying their makeup, Li-ion batteries could be encoded with what ORNL researchers described as a Battery Identity Global Passport, which could be accessible as a scannable QR code or a computer chip. This method could help recyclers more efficiently locate in-demand materials and accommodate the wide variety of designs used to manufacture Li-ion batteries.

Groupe Renault, Veolia & Solvay partner to recycle end-of-life EV battery metals in a closed loop

Read the full story at Green Car Congress.

Groupe Renault, Veolia and Solvay are partnering to enable the circular economy of EV battery metals in Europe through closed-loop recycling. The existing Veolia and Solvay consortium, created in September 2020 (earlier post), is thus reinforced with Groupe Renault’s position and experience in circular economy and in the life cycle of EV batteries.

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