Wärtsilä to supply and maintain two major interconnected energy storage systems for Texas grid services

At-a-Glance:

Two standalone battery energy storage systems (BESS) totalling 200MW of output will be deployed in Texas’ ERCOT market by the energy division at Wärtsilä Corporation. Finland-headquartered marine and power systems technology manufacturer, which has become one of the biggest system integrators for energy storage in the US market, said today that it has been awarded contracts for the two projects in Southern Texas by developer Able Grid Energy Solutions.To learn more, read, “Texas’ grid to get 200MW of battery storage from Wärtsilä”,“Wärtsilä to supply two major interconnected energy storage systems for Texas grid services”,and“Wärtsilä wins order for utility-scale energy storage to support Texas electric grid.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Wärtsilä Energy will supply its recently-launched GridSolv Quantum advanced energy storage solution to both sites, as well as the company’s GEMS energy management software and controls platform.
  • The systems, called Ignacio and Madero, are thought to be around 100MW each, equalling the US state’s largest battery storage project under construction so far, the 100MW Chisholm Grid BESS which is also an Able Grid project.
  • “Able Grid selected Wärtsilä technology, among other considerations, for its critical safety and cyber-security features. The system complies with all applicable standards, like UL9540A, to ensure sustained safe and reliable operations. In addition, the GEMS Power Plant Controller is U.S.-code based and meets all IEC62443 cybersecurity standards,” commented Sharon Greenberg, Able Grid Chief Operating Officer.

Path to 100% Perspective:

Storage technologies will be essential to maintaining stability in the power grid as the world shifts from power systems based on fossil fuels to renewables and carbon-free and carbon-neutral fuels. Batteries will provide ideal solutions to keep the lights on during normal / average weather, while unusual and extreme weather events such as those recently experienced in California and Texas will require integrated long-term storage solutions that ensure security of supply in the face of seasonal and weather-related variability. Flexible generation power plants are also part of the solution as they can operate on carbon-free and carbon-neutral fuels and can provide the essential firm power component to our power systems of the future.

Top 10 U.S. corporate renewable energy buyers of 2020

At-a-Glance:

Amazon was the number one U.S. corporate buyer of renewable energy in 2020, procuring more than 3.16 GW. Utility-scale solar power also was the most sought-after renewable resource among the country’s major corporations. That’s according to the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), a member-based organization that represents and advocates on behalf of many of the nation’s largest corporate energy purchasers. To learn more, read “Top 10 U.S. corporate renewable energy buyers of 2020.”

Key Takeaways:

  • REBA found that U.S. corporations once again showcased their resolve and commitment to renewable energy with a record-breaking 10.6 GW of contracted capacity.
  • REBA’s group members accounted for 97% of the procurements tracked in 2020. Of the 98 deals reflected in the full report, 72% were for utility-scale solar projects.
  • Amazon is on a path to run on 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of its original target of 2030.
  • REBA reported that 2020 was the first year that multiple U.S. corporate energy buyers announced procurements including battery storage, aligning with broader industry trends as storage technology becomes more accessible.

Path to 100% Perspective:

Corporate renewable energy trailblazers such as Amazon are reaching and exceeding their clean energy goals. Achieving a zero-carbon power sector will require leveraging a mix of technologies and fuels at different steps along the path to 100%. Investment in innovation is proving that reaching renewable energy goals is possible, practical and affordable.

 

Photo: Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

3 graphs that shed light on the ERCOT power crisis

At-a-Glance:

As work continued to restore electric power across the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region, data firm Lium released a series of graphs that offer early insight into the state’s grid performance in the days before the blackouts and immediately after. To learn more, read 3 graphs that shed light on the ERCOT power crisis.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Wind generation progressively slowed and ended up down around 8 GW compared with the prior week.
  • Natural gas generation was suffering shortfalls as well, with a “big crash” in early hours of Monday February 15.
  • Lium concluded that the ERCOT shortfall could have been met had natural gas, coal, and nuclear all been operating at peak summer levels (+9 GW) and if wind were operating at its typical February rate (+ 8 GW).

Path to 100% Perspective:

The recent Texas blackouts demonstrate the importance of having reliable sources of power in the event of extreme weather and natural disasters. Liquid fuels can be stored in large quantities at power plant sites for occasions when gas pressure is too low. In the future, these back-up fuels can be carbon-neutral methanol or ammonia, offering long-term, carbon-free, on-site energy storage. Excess electricity from periods of oversupply of solar and wind energy can be used to produce such renewable fuels locally in Texas.

 

Photo by Charles Fair on Unsplash