Minnesota utility in talks to build state’s biggest ESS

Published on: August 10, 2017 9:11 amBy: ESJ

 

Retail electric cooperative Connexus Energy is in talks with vendors to create Minnesota’s biggest storage plus solar project as the US state of drives toward its goal of cutting carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.

If the talks are successful the 20MW/40MWh project will see the energy storage system built next to three solar installations, with a combined output of 10MW, that Connexus proposes to build in the summer of 2018.

However, an announcement of the details, included the names of the vendors, of the project has yet to be released.

A Connexus spokesperson told Energy Storage Journal that the company was still in the selection process.

In a pre-prepared statement, Brian Burandt (pictured), vice president of power supply and business development at Connexus, said he believed the project would be the largest of its kind being contemplated in the state. He said. “There are larger projects in the US at this time but this is the largest we know about in Minnesota.”

Storage is seen as an affordable and proven method for managing the variable supply of renewable energy produced by solar panels onto the grid.

Speaking about the state’s de-carbonization goals, Ellen Anderson, executive director of the University of Minnesota, told Energy Storage Journal that the state had a goal of 80% reduction of carbon across the economy by 2050, which is parallel with other states’ goals, with some having more aggressive targets than that.

“The question is ‘how much and how quickly’ the transition will happen. What we are looking at is knowing coal use has already been cut in half, but then it’s a question of, ‘will that be replaced with a renewables infrastructure?’

“We are getting close to a tipping point where the de-carbonization [of the state’s energy mix] is not going to be stoppable. I think it’s not stoppable, but the big question is how fast and who will lead on this and who will lag behind?”

If developed the project could become a milestone in influencing how storage fits into Minnesota’s solar market.

Anderson said the was still a big question over what the state’s energy mix would, but renewable energy standards between organizations and solar energy standards showed that 28% renewables were required by 2025.

“If we don’t start with storage now, and instead look at new fossil fuels solutions and investments, we may not be able to meet the 2025 deadlines and we have to sound the alarm and raise people’s awareness in the Mid-West of that. The decision being made now will determine what that future grid will look like.”

Read More Industry Latest

Analysis and Features

  • $93m funding marks milestone in Canada’s ESS deployment transition

    Industry

    December 7, 2017 10:45 am by Jade Beevor

      An energy storage fund will provide Canadian firm NRStor C&I with C$120 million ($94 million) to validate lithium ion energy storage technology’s ability to deliver revenue stacking and cashflow streams to commercial and industrial customers. The facility signed on November 17 by the company, a subsidiary of NRStor, with European renewable energy financer Susi read more

  • 600 microgrid sites identified to restore Puerto Rico’s power

    Industry

    December 7, 2017 10:43 am by Jade Beevor

      Hospitals and water treatment plants are among the 600 potential sites identified by the US Department of Energy to build microgrids to restore Puerto Rico’s power after hurricanes ripped through the Caribbean in September. Two hundred sites, with a combined 11MW of microgrid technology, have been identified as key locations as authorities look to read more

  • Start-up issues bond to finance mobile power plant in Mali

    Industry

    December 7, 2017 10:33 am by Jade Beevor

      Austrian-based start-up Africa GreenTec announced on December 6 that it was issuing a corporate bond for €10 million ($12 million) as it bids to finance plans to bring mobile power plants to some 12,000 Mali villagers without electricity. The money will fund mobile, 40-foot solar containers — which will contain 41kWp of PV and read more

  • Storage at heart of US initiative to modernize grid infrastructure

    Industry

    December 7, 2017 10:19 am by Jade Beevor

      Investor owned transmission company US National Grid and the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are to investigate how energy storage technologies and advanced monitoring can modernize the east coast transmission grid, it was announced on November 13. The agreement, which came into effect immediately and has no end date, will explore how to read more

  • West Australia pilot project to test distributed energy for off-grid applications

    Industry

    December 7, 2017 10:17 am by Jade Beevor

      A pilot project by Horizon Power to test the commercial viability of using distributed energy resources, including a lithium ion battery, to supply off-grid end users will begin in Western Australia after the Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced on November 20 it would fund the project. ARENA has allocated A$1.9 million ($1.43 million) to read more

Read More Analysis and Features

technology feature

Finding the sweet spot for business

After focusing our early efforts on producing lithium ion batteries to serve the power tool market, we built an integration team for the purpose of exploring other areas where their chemistry read more

company profiles

What is SOLARUNITED?

SOLARUNITED is the premiere association supporting and enabling Upstream Solar and energy storage professionals worldwide. read more

//Elsie change ***********************************