Batteries, Policy & Regulations, Renewables

Hitachi Sees Strong Market for Energy Storage in North America

Issue 3 and Volume 118.

By Scott Straka, Senior Director, Hitachi America Ltd.

Wind, solar and other forms of intermittent energy are being rapidly deployed throughout North America as a result of the convergence of lower costs, state and federal tax credits, local and state Renewable Portfolio Standards, and increasing consumer demand for clean energy sources. Estimates of the percentage of penetration of these systems in North America range from 15 percent to 30 percent by 2020. As more intermittent resources are integrated into the electrical grid, the demand for both customer-side and grid-side energy storage will rise dramatically. Advanced energy storage systems can provide frequency regulation, spinning reserves, voltage support, ramp rate control, load-shifting, and solar and wind smoothing, among other benefits. Hitachi recently announced its intention to be a market leader in providing these advanced storage solutions in the North American market.

In California, the Renewables Portfolio Standard established in 2002 under Senate Bill 1078, and expanded under SB107 and SB2, is one of the most ambitious renewable energy standards in the country. The standard requires investor-owned utilities, electric service providers, and community choice aggregators to increase procurement from renewable energy resources to 33 percent by 2020. The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) have reviewed the impact of the RPS on the electrical grid and concluded that a significant increase in storage technologies will be needed to counteract the system impact of these renewables. One impact will be a potential over-generation during the afternoon when solar PV and wind generation are typically high. That could be followed by a dramatic ramp up in the need for traditional generation at sundown. Storage would be an obvious solution to both these issues.

As a result, the CPUC recently issued a long-term procurement decision ordering that the three investor-owned utilities procure 1.3 GW of energy storage by 2020. This is a bold directive based on legitimate concerns about the stability of the electrical grid.

Hitachi storage systems currently installed around the world provide solutions for generation, transmission, distribution, and behind-the-meter issues including: frequency regulation, PV and wind power stabilization, spinning reserve, ramp rate management, voltage support, constraint relief, back-up power, microgrid and island grid solutions, and load shifting. The PV and Wind hybrid system in Gansu Province, China, and the Tappi Wind Park in Japan are just a few examples.

The recently announced 1 MW lithium-ion CrystEna1 battery energy storage system package utilizes an advanced lithium-ion technology, combined with a state-of-the art energy control system and a high-efficiency power conversion system. The storage system has been engineered to provide an extended lifetime of 4,000 cycles. It was developed with an emphasis on maximizing the benefits to customers during long-term use.

In the first half of 2014, Hitachi will begin operation of demonstration projects in Somerdale, N.J. (grid side) and Chicago (behind-the-meter). Upon successful conclusion of the demonstration projects, Hitachi will make the CrystEna system available for widespread commercial use for a variety of grid-side and behind-the-meter customer applications.

In addition to the CrystEna system, Hitachi plans to market its lead-acid batteries, lithium-ion capacitors and combined energy storage systems to address a variety of storage needs for both grid-side and behind-the-meter applications.

Hitachi has provided a 170kW lead-acid battery to the New York City Economic Development Corp., a participant in the Secure Interoperable Open Smart Grid (SIOSG) Demonstration Project. The goal of the SIOSG is to build upon the existing infrastructure assets via a scalable smart grid prototype that promotes cyber security. Hitachi teamed with 6-Nines Power, which was instrumental in helping Hitachi develop this project with all of the players in New York.

Hitachi is currently partnering with a smart-grid technology firm, Demansys Energy LLC, to open up the PJM Reliability Pricing Model in PJM to advanced storage resources. Demansys is working to address market rule changes that would be needed, and recently proposed a methodology for doing so to the PJM Planning Committee (see for more information). Demansys and Hitachi plan to begin operations of a demonstration project in New Jersey later this year. Additional demonstration projects include the NEDO microgrid demonstration project in Los Alamos and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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