Category: News

AI machine learning service to be launched for energy storage managment

A new energy demand response start-up is preparing to launch within weeks which will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to manage a portfolio of storage assets and provide real-time energy reserves to the grid.

Upside Energy’s Virtual Energy Store aims to relieve stress on the grid by using predictive algorithms to manage a number of distributed storage resources to reduce reliance on the spinning reserve capacity provided by traditional power stations.

The energy start-up’s cloud service currently coordinates batteries and other devices at around 40 sites but has the potential to manage thousands more across a broad portfolio of technologies, including small batteries within uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), electric vehicles and solar PV.

The company signed a firm frequency response (FFR) bridging contract with the National Grid in November and is currently qualifying its assets before officially launching its commercial service by early March.

Upside will begin by providing initial service to large batteries at Sheffield and Manchester Universities before seeking to take advantage of National Grid’s decision to lower the minimum entry point for its main frequency response tendering market from 10MW to 1MW from April.

The company will seek to build its access to batteries and other smart devices, such as home storage, intelligent hot water tanks or businesses’ reserve power supplies, by offering a second revenue stream in the form of frequency response.

Speaking to Solar Power Portal yesterday Dr Graham Oakes, founder and chief executive of Upside Energy, said: “Somebody with a home battery system is maximising their self-consumption of PV which is giving them an arbitrage value because they’re avoiding buying from the grid. That gives you a 15-20 year payback on a home battery system.

“What we’re doing is then using some of the battery to deliver initially a frequency response service to National Grid and that probably gives you a 50%, maybe even 100% increase on your revenue so that dramatically improves your payback on the battery system and starts to make that economic.

“This is where the algorithms come in because what we now need to be able to do is manage how we optimise between self-consumption, providing services to National Grid, providing services to the distribution network and so on, so we have quite a complex portfolio management problem to work out how to maximise that value. That’s where we start building that machine learning to build those types of algorithms.”

The company is also targeting commercial businesses in an effort to utilise their backup power reserves.

 “There’s quite a few people that are interested because it’s getting them a revenue stream on an existing asset, so its money for free, and also its an environmental benefit because we’re displacing spinning reserve from traditional fossil fuel plant,” Oakes added.

In order to grow this capability, the company has recently been awarded a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) grant worth £98,400 alongside Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. This will be used to fund a researcher over two years to grow the company’s algorithms for grid prediction and demand response portfolio management.

Dr Valentin Robu from the university added: “Demand response is emerging as a key technology to assure the stability of next-generation power grids, and there is an increasing need for smart control strategies that enable distributed energy storage assets to perform demand response.

“Techniques developed in the machine learning and distributed artificial intelligence communities will have an increasing role to play in enabling these efforts.”

Read the entire story

Storage secures 3.2GW of Capacity Market contracts in auction success

Storage projects have landed more than 3.2GW of contracts in the provisional Capacity Market auction results, around 500MW of which has been allocated to new-build battery storage projects.

This week’s auction secured around 52GW of electricity capacity for the winter 2020/21 period and storage – competing for extended 15-year contracts for the first time – landed more than 6% of the total allocated capacity.

Most notably four of the battery projects previously successful within National Grid’s Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) tender also gained 15-year contracts as new build generators in this week’s Capacity Market auction, further endorsing their application for grid stability.

Those four projects are the 10MW Cleator and 40MW Glassenbury projects undertaken by Low Carbon, the 49MW West Burton site being developed by EDF Energy Renewables and the 10MW Blackburn Meadows project being constructed in Sheffield by E.ON UK.

The results also show that some of the unsuccessful EFR projects have also been accepted within the capacity market, such as Centrica’s 48MW Roosecote projects which was also awarded a long-term contract.

Business and energy secretary Greg Clark welcomed the results, lauding the auction’s potential to secure electricity “years in advance”.

“Technological innovation, as part of our low carbon future, will create jobs and opportunities across the UK. We are rebuilding an archaic energy system, bringing forward brand new gas power and innovative low-carbon capacity like battery storage to upgrade our energy mix.

“This is about more than just keeping the lights on. A modern, reliable, and flexible electricity system powers the economy and Britain’s future success,” he added.

But while the results are a positive step forward for battery storage, the lower-than-anticipated clearing price of £22.50/kW have proven not enough to incentivise new-build combined cycle gas turbine generators which are essential to the government’s energy strategy. This was reflected by the capacity awarded to existing generators, which stands at just over 84%.

Jonathan Marhsall, energy analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said the low clearing price suggested that the market considers there to be “more than enough capacity” in the system already.

“Only considering peak load capacity, the current system is often skewed to less efficient technologies that are good for short runs over the winter, but not a sensible long-term plan for the electricity network.

“Making small changes in the system, mirroring policies in both the US and across Europe to prioritise low-carbon flexibility tools such as demand side response and storage could not only keep bills down, but would increase the ease of the ongoing transition to a low-carbon system with renewables at the core,” he said.

The results remain provisional until 20 December 2016.

Read the entire story

Powervault winner unveiled as SPP storage survey uncovers confidence in 2017 market potential

Solar Power Portal and Powervault are delighted to announce the winner of a 4kWh Powervault storage system following a survey which uncovered burgeoning confidence in next year’s UK storage market.

In October SPP partnered with manufacturer Powervault to conduct a survey of the UK market to gain insight from the industry into the development of the nascent energy storage market. One lucky respondent to the survey was picked at random to win a 4kWh Powervault system.

More than 200 installers participated in the survey, and we can now reveal the winner to be Andy Powell from Greencap Energy, who installed the system on his own home last month to act as a proof of concept and a means of proving to customers the benefits of energy storage.

Solar Power Portal went along to view the installation and talk to Andy about his thoughts on the prospects for energy storage in the UK.

Initial results from the survey have meanwhile pointed towards growing confidence that 2017 will be a breakthrough year for energy storage systems, and the time at which they start to really contribute towards an installer’s bottom line.

While 50% of respondents said they had not yet completed a domestic storage install, more than two-thirds (68%) said they were now advertising the technology in anticipation of increased interest from consumers. A significant majority (89%) were generating leads from previous and existing customers, with lithium-ion and lead acid batteries predictably leading the way in the technology stakes.

Of the 200+ respondents, more than a third (34%) said they were confident of installing as many as 25 systems over the course of next year, while a further 15% were more bullish and backed themselves to install at least one a week.

Solar Media will be publishing the full results of the Solar Power Portal/Powervault storage survey within the next issue of Inside Clean Energy, which is published next month. For more information on the forthcoming issue, and how to advertise within it, click here.

Read the entire story

Copyright 2017 Xevent. All rights reserved