Will giant batteries lead to giant emissions cuts?

July 10, 2017 by  
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States are betting on battery storage facilities, such as Tesla and PGE, to even the flow of renewable power and replace the fossil fuel-based grid.

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Will giant batteries lead to giant emissions cuts?

Could Google become God?

July 10, 2017 by  
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A look into our artificial intelligence-driven future.

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Could Google become God?

Tesla just unveiled the world’s largest battery storage plant

February 1, 2017 by  
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Tesla just completed construction on what it claims is the largest lithium-ion battery storage project in the world. The facility is located at in Ontario, California and it consists of 396 Tesla powerpacks that can store 80 megawatt-hours of electricity – that’s enough to power over 2,500 households for a day or 15,000 households for four hours. Tesla nabbed the contract to build the battery storage facility for Southern California Edison in September 2016, and it was completed by the end of that year. The project consists of two 10 megawatt systems – each made of 198 Tesla Powerpacks and 24 inverters – connected to two different circuits at the Mira Loma Substation. Tesla Chief Technical Officer JB Straubel said “Storage is quite a new thing…and this is a different breed of battery. This is the tip of the iceberg of how much storage we’ll see on the grid .” Related: Solar homes with Tesla’s Powerwall 2.0 are already cost-competitive with the grid in Australia SCE said the facility would allow them to draw more on clean energies like solar power . When clean energy projects produce more electricity than the utility needs, it can now be stores and utilized during peak hours. The Tesla battery storage facility seems like the perfect answer to our energy issues, but MIT Technology Review points out lithium batteries are still expensive, and no one has said how much the facility cost. It’s also not clear how many cycles the Powerpack batteries can go through before they begin to degrade – MIT estimates 5,000 cycles, which would work well in a home but not as well in a grid setting. At the ribbon-cutting, SCE CEO Kevin Payne said, “This project is part of our vision at SCE to take advantage of the wind and the sun, and operate a flexible grid that delivers clean energy to power our homes, our businesses, and our vehicles. Standing here today among these Tesla Powerpacks is a great reminder of how fast technology is changing the electric power industry and the opportunities that will come with it.” Via MIT Technology Review Images via Ernesto Sanchez/Edison International

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Tesla just unveiled the world’s largest battery storage plant

MIT’s new liquid battery charges with gravity – like an hourglass

July 5, 2016 by  
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Harnessing the force of gravity , researchers at MIT have designed a new liquid battery that functions similarly to an hourglass. the gravity-powered liquid battery at MIT could be groundbreaking in its simplicity, efficiency and low-cost. Although it is only a proof-of-concept design at the moment, the team is confident it can create a working prototype. The researchers predict their liquid battery could be used in the expansion of clean energy through enabling more powerful grid-connected storage systems. Liquid flow batteries were first developed in the 1970s. Positive and negative electrons are stored in liquid form and are separated by a membrane. Historically, increasing the  capacity  of a liquid battery required larger tanks to hold more of the charged particle-filled slurry. Expansion of the system has required a complex system of pumps, valves, and tanks, which adds cost and decreases efficiency. Related: Scientists develop new way to generate electricity via seawater The new design from MIT replaces this complexity with a simple, gravity-fed pump that allows for adjusting the rate of energy production by tilting the battery at different angles. The design also is innovative in its inclusion of both liquid and solid battery components. “The concept here shows that you don’t need to be confined by these two extremes,” says Yet-Ming Chiang, Kyocera Professor of Ceramics at MIT. “This is an example of hybrid devices that fall somewhere in the middle.” The design is simple enough that its components could potentially be crafted by 3D printers . The liquid battery design is only the latest innovative battery project to which MIT researchers have contributed. In 2006, a team led by Angela Belcher created a new battery nanotechnology based on a genetically engineered M13 virus. That nanobattery is resilient enough to power small sensors used to identify cancer or other diseases within the body. Via Gizmodo Images via MIT  and Andy Armstrong/Flickr

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MIT’s new liquid battery charges with gravity – like an hourglass

SolarCity’s solar + storage play on Kauai

May 23, 2016 by  
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A test case combining solar arrays, battery storage and distributed rooftop solar tied together with DER services is a new SolarCity offering.

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SolarCity’s solar + storage play on Kauai

REBA shows what it takes to scale corporate renewable energy

May 23, 2016 by  
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Hopeful signs from some of the world’s biggest energy users, meeting last week outside Seattle.

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REBA shows what it takes to scale corporate renewable energy

The power of microgrids gets unleashed

March 29, 2016 by  
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Utilities may not be happy about it, but breakthroughs in battery storage and declining clean energy costs are making microgrids more appealing.

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The power of microgrids gets unleashed

Caterpillar, Honeywell bet against the grid in emerging economies

May 27, 2015 by  
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Microgrids powered by a combination of solar and battery storage — along with new breakthroughs in urban smart grids — offer an affordable way to bring electricity to those without.

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Caterpillar, Honeywell bet against the grid in emerging economies

Manufacturers quietly seize the opportunity to lead on sustainability

May 27, 2015 by  
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Here’s how emerging group leaders are improving the products and supply chains behind the world’s famous brands.

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Manufacturers quietly seize the opportunity to lead on sustainability

How Genentech fuses green building and energy science

May 27, 2015 by  
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The biotech giant’s new Silicon Valley campus leveraged the expertise of nearby Lawrence Berkeley Lab to optimize for both energy efficiency and talent attraction.

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How Genentech fuses green building and energy science

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