Duke Energy Could Spend Half a Billion Dollars on Battery Storage—Or a Lot More

Utility Duke Energy announced Wednesday that it <a href="https://news.duke-energy.com/releases/duke-energy-to-invest-500-million-in-battery-storage-in-the-carolinas-over-the-next-15-years" >plans to deploy $500 million</a> worth of energy storage over the next 15 years.


It&rsquo;s worth unpacking what this means for the regulated utility, which covers most of North and South Carolina. A major vertically-integrated utility publicly committing to storage is still a novelty at this point, and $500 million is worth almost as much as the entire U.S. grid storage market for this year, based on Wood Mackenzie data.


Upon further inspection, Duke&rsquo;s $500 million plan does not refer to contracted procurements or any sort of binding commitment. Instead, it is a depiction of the battery storage installations predicted in the company&rsquo;s latest 15-year plan.


The number nevertheless says a lot about where the electricity industry is heading. And the utility could end up investing even more in this rapidly growing grid technology.

Checking the math

Duke Energy spokesperson Randy Wheeless <div class="post-limited-image"><img alt="" class="modal" src="http://feeds.greentechmedia.com/content/images/articles/Duke_Energy_Battery_Map_XL.png" style="max-width: 100%" /></div>
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Lithium Battery Hopeful Innolith Rises From Alevo’s Ashes

Executives from the battery maker Alevo, which <a href="https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/alevo-files-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy">went bankrupt last year</a>, are hoping to relaunch the business with a different focus, under a new brand.


Alan Greenshields and Sergey Buchin, Alevo&rsquo;s chief technology officer and chief operating officer, respectively, have purchased the intellectual property held by Alevo in Switzerland. They also bought its research and development facility in Bruchsal, Germany, and its only operational battery plant, located in the U.S.


Because of Alevo&#39;s distressed position, a company administrator said earlier this year that <a href="https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/alevo-administrators-to-wrap-up-sale-in-couple-of-weeks#gs.wYNmigk">the sale price</a> was shaping up to be "surprisingly low."


The company is now being rebooted this week under a new name, Innolith, and with a focus on R&amp;D rather than battery manufacturing.


Innolish, which is registered in Basel, Switzerland, will look to license its technology to third-party manufacturers. The firm is about to sign agreements with a contract manufacturing company and a large <div class="post-limited-image"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/GreentechMedia?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></div>
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ElectrIQ Raises $6 Million Seed Round to Finance Home Storage Push

Bay Area startup ElectrIQ raised a $6 million seed round to support its challenge to the home storage incumbents.


Earlier this month, the company&nbsp;<a href="https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/electriq-launches-smart-home-battery-system-for-8999#gs.fV9SWgo">released a new product</a>, the PowerPod, which packs 11 kilowatt-hours of energy capacity, an inverter and smart home integration into one $8,999 package. That left the question of how a 17-person startup could sustain competition with the likes of Tesla&rsquo;s Powerwall or LG Chem&rsquo;s Resu.


The company offered up some answers this week.


It has raised $6 million in a combination of debt conversion financing and new equity financing. <a href="http://www.greensoil-investments.com/greensoil-building-innovation/">GreenSoil Building Innovation Fund</a>, a Canadian firm backed by real estate owners and developers, led the round, which also included several dozen unnamed smaller investors.


&ldquo;This provides sufficient capital to get us to scale in the volumes and manufacturing that we&rsquo;re expecting next year,&rdquo; said Frank Magnotti, the board member who stepped into the CEO <div class="post-limited-image"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/GreentechMedia?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></div>
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6 Charts Showing the Renewables Threat to Natural Gas

The scale of the threat facing gas-based electricity generation from renewables and energy storage was outlined this week at the Global Power &amp; Energy Exhibition in Barcelona, Spain.


Rory McCarthy, senior storage analyst for Wood Mackenzie Power &amp; Renewables, illustrated for attendees how the business case for using renewables in place of natural gas is becoming more compelling following declines in solar and wind costs.


That business case is also improving as a result of massive increases in battery storage, where the U.S. leads the world in terms of operational and planned capacity.


Today, storage capacity amounts to around 6 gigawatt-hours worldwide, but Wood Mackenzie predicts a more than tenfold increase, to at least 65 gigawatt-hours, by 2022. The U.S. will continue to lead this build-out, thanks to its more mature market.


<img alt="" src="http://feeds.greentechmedia.com/content/images/articles/Global_Energy_Storage_Deployment_Wood_Mackenzie_2.png" style="max-width: 100%" />


&ldquo;The U.S. market is probably five years ahead of everybody else,&rdquo; said McCarthy. &ldquo;They did <div class="post-limited-image"><img alt="" src="http://feeds.greentechmedia.com/content/images/articles/Seven_world_record-low_solar_PV_PPA_prices.png" style="max-width: 100%" /></div>
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ARPA-E Funds Research on Energy Storage That Can Last for Days

Long-duration energy storage&nbsp;&mdash; batteries or other technologies that can store energy for at least four hours of continuous operation, or possibly even longer&nbsp;&mdash; accounts for a minority of the grid-scale energy storage deployed today.&nbsp;


There are many reasons for this, including the cheapness and relative reliability of lithium-ion batteries for short-duration applications. As well as the, shall we say, less than stellar record of long-duration battery startups that have gone bankrupt or failed to deliver on their promises.&nbsp;


Over the past year and a half, we&rsquo;ve seen <a href="https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/aquion-the-bill-gates-and-kleiner-perkins-funded-advanced-battery-startup#gs.0Ok44ZI">Aquion run out of cash</a>&nbsp;for its saltwater batteries,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/alevo-files-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy#gs.I48VOzA">Alevo&nbsp;close down</a>&nbsp;its mystery long-duration lithium-ion play,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/lightsail-energy-cheap-compressed-air-storage-hibernation#gs.vWJxYd4">LightSail&nbsp;fold its compressed air</a>&nbsp;storage business, and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/distressed-vizn-seeks-lifeline-following-staff-layoffs#gs.p2ya=Tc">ViZn Energy&nbsp;lay off all but two staff</a>&nbsp;as it seeks new funding for its flow battery.&nbsp;


But with the growth of intermittent wind and solar power on the grid, and states like Hawaii and California pushing ahead <div class="post-limited-image"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/GreentechMedia?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></div>
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ElectrIQ Launches Smart Home Connected Battery System for $8,999

Home automation has now entered the energy storage market at multiple price points.


Bay area startup ElectrIQ (pronounced &ldquo;electric&rdquo;) unveiled a new battery system this week that links up to home automation and energy management devices. The PowerPod has a starting price of $8,999, inclusive of batteries and inverter.


That puts it in striking distance of the low-priced Powerwall from Tesla and the Resu from LG Chem, once inverters and auxiliary equipment get factored in.


Earlier this month, the U.S. branch of the German battery company sonnen moved into premium home automation markets with the <a href="https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/sonnens-new-strategy-raise-price-sell-to-high-end-home-automation-market#gs.3Jkhs7s">new ecoLinx product</a>. For a starting price of $26,000, that device boasts a longer battery life than the earlier eco model, faster response to blackouts and integration with leading high-end home automation platforms.


The appeal of clean backup power <a href="https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/how-to-sell-energy-storage-when-the-economics-dont-work#gs.eu2uMgY">swayed many an early adopter</a>, even though batteries cost more than the typical generator <div class="post-limited-image"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/GreentechMedia?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></div>
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Lithium-Ion Storage Installs Could Grow 55% Every Year Through 2022

There&#39;s a broad consensus that the world will deploy more grid storage in the coming years than it does today, but few people agree on exactly how much more.


Here&#39;s a new prediction: Global lithium-ion battery deployments over the next five years will grow by 55 percent annually, according to a <a href="https://www.greentechmedia.com/research/report/the-future-of-lithium-ion-batteries-demand-technologies-and-investments">new report</a> from GTM Research.


In other words, annual lithium-ion installations will grow more than eight-fold, from 2 gigawatt-hours in 2017 to 18 in 2022.


This growth is starting from a tiny baseline &mdash; for comparison, electric vehicle sales produced demand for 112 gigawatt-hours of batteries in 2017 alone. With 55 percent annual growth, though, grid storage will soon be substantial enough to alter the performance of electrical systems around the world.


<img alt="" class="modal" src="http://feeds.greentechmedia.com/content/images/articles/lithium-ion_55_percent_CAGR_XL.png" style="max-width: 100%" />


The U.S. will continue to <a href="https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/us-leads-global-storage-development-but-chinas-catching-up#gs.tOVQ8xw">lead the pack</a> in deployments, followed by China, Japan and Australia. The investments that states are putting in now with early <div class="post-limited-image"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/GreentechMedia?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></div>
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The Global Race to Build the World’s Biggest Battery

Elon Musk sparked a competition for the world&rsquo;s biggest battery.


Ever since Tesla completed the 129-megawatt-hour Hornsdale Power Reserve battery plant after <a href="https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/tesla-fulfills-australia-battery-bet-whats-that-mean-industry#gs.u4jqvM0">Musk&rsquo;s high-profile Twitter bet</a>, others have been looking to beat it.


This summer, for instance, saw two &ldquo;world&rsquo;s biggest battery&rdquo; announcements coming out within days of each other. Given different commissioning dates, both might actually claim the prize for a while. But which country will ultimately end up with the biggest battery?&nbsp;


Here is a rundown of the top contenders, based on announcements made to date.&nbsp;

South Korea

LS Industrial Systems (LSIS) and Macquarie Capital Korea have won the contract to build and operate a 175-megawatt-hour battery storage system across five sites owned by SeAH, a steel conglomerate, <a href="http://www.lsis.com/media/news/">LSIS announced</a> in July.


LSIS did not give a commissioning date for the energy storage project but said it would be used to save cheap nighttime electricity <div class="post-limited-image"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/GreentechMedia?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></div>
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The Death-Defying Reinvention of Advanced Microgrid Solutions

On paper it looked like a triumph.


Advanced Microgrid Solutions closed a $34 million Series B last summer with a <a href="https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/advanced-microgrid-solutions-raises-34m-from-a-whos-who-of-strategic-invest#gs.u23LPHw">&ldquo;who&rsquo;s who of strategic investors&rdquo;</a>&nbsp;&mdash; folks like DBL Partners, GE Ventures and utility-backed VC firm Energy Impact Partners. That was a hefty sum for an energy storage startup.


What hadn&rsquo;t been reported previously is that AMS almost ran out of money before that funding came through. Founder and CEO Susan Kennedy saved her company by cashing out her retirement fund to invest $1 million in a bridge round.


That commitment helped her assemble a total of $5 million, which kept the company alive until the Series B closed. Securing that round also required an overhaul of the strategic vision Kennedy was pitching to investors.


The company <a href="https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/advanced-microgrid-solutions-to-build-50mw-of-hybrid-electric-buildings#gs.aQ3pVUA">burst onto the scene in 2014</a> as a tiny project developer that somehow nabbed a 50-megawatt behind-the-meter storage contract with utility Southern California <div class="post-limited-image"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/GreentechMedia?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></div>
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Siemens Backs Northvolt as Gigafactory Fever Takes Hold

The industrial giant Siemens has announced a &euro;10 million (USD $12 million) investment in the Swedish battery manufacturing venture Northvolt.


Siemens said in&nbsp;<a href="https://www.siemens.com/press/en/pressrelease/?press=/en/pressrelease/2018/corporate/pr2018050201coen.htm" >a press release</a>&nbsp;that&nbsp;the agreement would include equipping Northvolt&rsquo;s upcoming lithium-ion gigafactory with an enterprise IT platform to enable &ldquo;the digitization of the entire value chain, from the design of the battery cell to production and services.&rdquo;


The partnership will also see Siemens becoming a Northvolt battery customer once the gigafactory begins operating in 2020.


The "digital enterprise" system will support everything from manufacturing planning and design software to automation, including industrial communications networks and cloud solutions, Siemens said.


&ldquo;Siemens sees the Northvolt initiative as a reference project for the battery production of the future,&rdquo; according to the company.


Cutting-edge IT is viewed as an important ingredient in helping gigafactories achieve the efficiency levels needed to deliver rock-bottom battery prices.&nbsp;


In 2016, Tesla purchased German <div class="post-limited-image"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/GreentechMedia?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></div>
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Another Flow Battery Maker Tries Residential—in Germany

A startup hopes to crack Germany&rsquo;s residential energy storage market with a flow battery, despite problems for the technology elsewhere.


VoltStorage, of Olching, Bavaria, is commercializing Europe&rsquo;s first redox flow battery for home use in a move that echoes Redflow&rsquo;s brief excursion into the residential market in Australia.


The VoltStorage Series 100 battery, with 3.6 kilowatts and 6.8 kilowatt-hours of capacity, was being offered at a preorder <a href="https://voltstorage.com/vorbestellung/" >price of &euro;5,999</a> (about USD $7,060). It is not clear if this price includes installation costs and sales tax.&nbsp;


For comparison, the 4.6-kilowatt, 13.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion Tesla Powerwall <a href="https://www.tesla.com/de_DE/powerwall" >sells for &euro;7,350</a> ($8,650) in Germany, including supporting hardware and 19 percent sales tax, with installation costing up to a further &euro;3,300 ($3,890).&nbsp;


Assuming the VoltStorage price excludes installation but includes sales tax, buying the flow battery will cost more than a third more per installed kilowatt-hour of capacity than <div class="post-limited-image"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/GreentechMedia?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></div>
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After Long Period of Silence, Ecoult Returns to Multi-Megawatt Battery Market

Ecoult, the advanced lead-acid battery maker, is back in the grid-scale energy storage game with a 2-megawatt project for an unnamed government client.


The project is the first megawatt-scale project for the low-key Australian manufacturer since it installed a 1-megawatt battery for ancillary services, peak shaving and emergency backup on the PJM Interconnection grid in 2016.


&ldquo;This project is significant and combines the opportunity to benefit from revenue for the provision of ancillary services when the grid is operating with the ability for the facility to island from its own renewable and diesel resources if the grid fails,&rdquo; said CEO John Wood.


Ecoult sells a unique supercapacitor-plus-lead-acid-battery combo called the UltraBattery, or "UltraFlex" for units up to 20 kilowatts, which excels at cycling with a partial state of charge (PSOC). It has only installed a handful of large-scale systems over the years, though.


Its first major deployment was a 1-megawatt, <div class="post-limited-image"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/GreentechMedia?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0"></div>
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