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Review: Testing out the affordable $199 Issomi 300 Wh portable power station & emergency battery

Gone are the days of actually having to be near a wall outlet in order to plug in your AC devices. With today’s new offerings in the portable power station industry, plugging in everything from camping lights to power tools and even charging your electric bicycles can be done literally anywhere. And as I discovered from my testing of the unit, Issomi’s small yet mighty power station can do all of that and more.

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Con Edison to combine battery storage and EV chargers at same site in New York

Con Edison New York

One of the US’s largest energy companies, Con Edison, has announced a contract with Centrica Business Solutions to transform a lot in Brooklyn, New York, into an energy hub complete with 18 350kW EV chargers and a battery energy storage system (ESS). Con Edison claims this will be the first hub in New York City that combines both energy storage and EV charging.

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This breakthrough may revolutionize lithium-sulfur batteries

lithium-sulfur batteries

Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries, given their light weight and theoretical high capacities, are a promising alternative to conventional lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries for large-scale energy storage systems and electric vehicles. But Li-S batteries currently suffer from poor longevity.

Now, scientists from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) in Korea have discovered a new catalyst material’s ability to significantly improve lithium-sulfur battery life, giving them great commercial potential.

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Arizona pushes record energy storage volume and aggressive grid modernization

Arizona’s utility regulator, Andy Tobin, proposed a new energy modernization plan which will update Arizona’s policies on clean energy, storage, biomass, efficiency, vehicles and more.

The sweeping plant, seems to be an intelligent look at the most modern techniques, combined with pragmatic decision-making – to clean a power grid.



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Tesla’s massive battery in Australia was paid up to $1000/MWh to charge itself

Yesterday, Saturday 13th, in South Australia the Tesla battery at Hornsdale Power Reserve was paid AU$1,000/MWh (USD$790/MWh) to absorb excess electricity from the power grid. The battery owners will later be able to sell this energy also.

The battery has become famous for coming online in under 100 days after an Elon Musk Twitter bet and later reacting to a crashed coal plants in milliseconds.



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Wind blowing and sun shining in Colorado – brand new wind or solar plus batteries cheaper than running an old coal plant

Xcel Energy, electricity utility of Colorado, received a batch of bids whose medians were 2.1¢/kWh and 3.6¢/kWh for wind and solar power plus energy storage, respectively. The pricing was released in the public version of the ‘2017 All Source Solicitation.’

The world’s previous low for solar plus storage was a 4.5¢/kWh project in Arizona.



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Florida proposes $10 million to solar+storage for ‘critical disaster resilience facilities’

Florida Representative Holly Raschein has sponsored a new bill in the Florida Legislature to fund a $10 million pilot program installing solar panels and energy storage at strategic public facilities to keep them up and running during critical events and natural disasters.

The program would start on July 1, and run for a single year. The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) will administer and report on the outcomes, with potential expansion.



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Empire State drops $260M on energy storage – sets target of 1500MW new volume installed by 2025

On January 3rd, New York governor Andrew Cuomo delivered a state energy storage target of 1500MW via the private market by 2025 and has put up $260 million in state money to help drive the investment.

In the annual “State of the State” address, varying proposals  – from combating MS-13, to cleaning up the Hudson River, to expanding clean energy jobs – were delivered to start the new year. The energy storage target delivered seems to be an extension or culmination of prior state legislation requiring targets be set.



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Batteries eat 0.3% of duck curve – tracked real time on California power grid

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) – the group that manages 80% of the electricity used in California – has begun showing utility-scale batteries charging and discharging into the power grid via their website.

By resolution, due to a natural gas emergency, the State of California requested large-scale battery based energy storage projects be attached to the grid at the end of 2016, early 2017. Now we get to watch the systems – some that we covered – do their job.



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World’s largest battery: 200MW/800MWh vanadium flow battery – site work ongoing

A vanadium/mining industry PR firm has visited the site of an in development 200MW/800MWh vanadium flow battery in Dalian, China and noted that site work is ongoing. They also stated that most of the product that will fill the site – the vanadium batteries – is already built in the manufacturer’s nearby factory.

This battery is currently the largest planned chemical battery in the world, and part of a Chinese government investment to spur the technology.



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New York state signs law – 20% of USA has energy storage targets and mandates

NY Governor Cuomo has signed into law a bill (AB 6571) directing the state’s Public Service Commission to develop an Energy Storage Deployment Program, including a storage procurement target for 2030.

New York now becomes the fourth US state to have energy storage targets/mandates. California and Oregon have a mandate in place, while Massachusetts has set a law that dictates a target to be finalized shortly. South Australia turned on the world’s largest lithium ion battery just yesterday.



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Solar and battery technology power a novel hurricane resistant floating electric house boat

Arkup, the “avant-garde life on water” company, has designed a new luxury home that integrates solar on the roof and a newly approved lithium ion marine battery system. The main selling features are that it can rise with sea levels via jacks, withstand extreme weather, move as a regular electric propelled boat, and provide it’s own water plus – of course – electricity.



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Tesla Energy update: 110MWh of energy storage and 109MW of solar

In Tesla’s Q3 2017 earnings report, they gave an update on their ‘Tesla Energy’ division. They highlighted being on track to meet the 100-day deployment deadline of the 100MW/129MWh energy storage project for South Australia. Mention was made of the work being done in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria – ‘solar panels, Powerpacks and hundreds of PowerWalls.’

Additionally, Tesla – at multiple points – pointed toward a future of more revenue from energy generation and storage. 11% of the quarter’s revenue came from the Tesla Energy division.



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Smart shipping container offers power grid resilience with ‘self healing’ capability

Electrical grid complexity has increased immensely. Recently, weather damage and intermittent renewable energy production have increased the dynamics that must be managed in a large power grid. In order to address that, the Dutch company Alfen is currently field testing their new ‘cellular smart grid’ solution in Lelystad, the Netherlands.

They have developed a combination of energy storage and finely tuned algorithms to help make electrical grids more resilient and to reduce their downtime.



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Winning Swiss solar powered ‘Solar Decathlon’ home wants to feed, clean and protect you

Four Swiss universities came together to build the US Department of Energy’s 2017 Solar Decathlon overall winner. Eleven teams competed over the course of two years to build a home taking into account modern global demands of “reliability, resilience, and security.”

The Swiss schools – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, School of Engineering and Architecture Fribourg, Geneva University of Art and Design, and the University of Fribourg – scored perfect 100’s in energy, architecture and engineering categories.



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Solar inverters are evolving to support smart home energy storage

Reality is, that most people who want solar power on their home actually want energy storage as well. We want energy storage because if the grid goes down, we want our house to run smoothly – day or not, sunny or cloudy. Additionally, many of us hold onto the dream of disconnecting from The Man.

At SolarPower International 2017 it was clear that the solar+energy storage hardware market – SolarEdgeSonnenBYD, Kehua, Outback, Hauwei, Schneider and others – are almost ready (or in terms of Sonnen/SolarEdge/Schneider – ready today) to serve the home energy demands of the broader population.



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EGEB: Amish solar phone booths; Energy storage record quarter; EU still taxing solar panels; more

offshore wind

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Amish phone booths – McKenna trained a local high-school physics teacher to do installations. About 50 of them are off the grid. One lights up the gazebo in the local cemetery; others are phone booths meant especially for the Amish. Since religious principle dictates no electricity at home, they rely on the booths as a crucial link to the outside world.  The article is really about solar power in Trump voting areas, but the Amish piece caught my attention. Solving problems with solar.



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