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Joe Deely's picture
Partner Deely Group

Involved with high-tech for last 30 years. Interested in energy.

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  • Aug 19, 2020 5:55 pm GMT
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The first of many large storage projects which will come online over the next couple of years.

Note: good time lapse video showing construction in the press release.

Gateway Energy Storage, currently at 230 MW and on track to reach 250 MW by the end of the month, follows another LS Power battery project, Vista Energy Storage in Vista, California, which has been operating since 2018 and was previously the largest battery storage project in the United States at 40 MW. LS Power has additional projects in development or construction in both California and New York, including Diablo Energy Storage (200 MW) in Pittsburg, California; LeConte Energy Storage (125 MW) in Calexico, California; and Ravenswood Energy Storage (316 MW) in Queens, New York.

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James Kirby's picture
James Kirby on Aug 19, 2020

Storage is a tricky thing to analyze.  Its value for reliability depends upon How long and how far apart contingencies are, which is dependent on the system.  When storage is empty you lose the capacity (The operators would cut load first before they allowed that to happen). When the storage is full you cannot put any more energy into it. A time series model would be needed to properly analyze storage system reliability and economics. As more and more intermittent generation is added these will change.

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Aug 19, 2020

Here is the future usage of storage in California. Seems pretty simple. What am I missing?

- Charge batteries between 10am-2pm when wholesale electriicty is at it cheapest for the day,

- Discharge between 6pm-10pm when wholesale electricity is at its most expensive.

Below example is a warm day in August... obviously would look somewhat different at other times of the year. Still, basically the same outcome.

 

James Kirby's picture
James Kirby on Aug 20, 2020

The joker is wild. Black Swans exist. Nothing about the future is easy. I have been in planning for more than 30 years. You learn to draw your lines with a paintbrush, not a pen.  Remember I said this. I hope I am wrong; I probably am.

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Aug 20, 2020

I'm a big believer in the black swan...

Over the next few years, storage will come online in CA and perform as I said - replacing NG generation. That's the simple part.

5GW/20GWh of storage will also solve the current evening capacity shortage for heat waves like the one we are currently experiencing.

That said, I understand that CA and the Western US needs to have a much more resilent grid and we are in the early days of developing that stronger grid.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Aug 20, 2020

 I understand that CA and the Western US needs to have a much more resilent grid and we are in the early days of developing that stronger grid.

With the blackouts and heatwaves, the headlines are of course focusing on renewables and how they're playing into the current situation, but the grid, the market mechanisms, etc. are going to be the long-term story coming out of this situation. 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Aug 21, 2020

"Over the next few years, storage will come online in CA and perform as I said - replacing NG generation. That's the simple part."

How are you arriving at this simplistic conclusion? Show some numbers.

Batteries can never "replace" NG generation, because they require dispatchable generation to be reliably charged. But for fun, let's accept the untenable premise Californians will be willing to let all the lights in the state go out after two weeks of cloudy, calm weather, when renewables are unavailable.

By my calculation, to power the CAISO grid for just two weeks with batteries would require the construction of 2,057 copies of Gateway, at a cost of $617.1 B ($617,100,000,000) - ~ four times the entire California state budget. The investment would need to be repeated every 10-12 years.

Your statement is not only unjustifiable, it's patently ridiculous.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Aug 19, 2020

For scale:

LS Power's Gateway, the Largest Battery Storage Project in the World, has a storage capacity of 250MWh.

Each day, California burns through 720,833 MWh.
250/720833 = .000347. 

Gateway is capable of storing, then emitting, three one-hundredths of 1% of California daily electricity consumption. Or put another way: the Largest Battery Storage Project in the World could shift three seconds of California's electricity production to another time of the day.

Battery storage is estimated to add an average of 300kg/MWh in CO2 emissions to the electricity that was stored in it, thus Gateway will be responsible for 75 tonnes of additional CO2 emissions each day.

Gateway's storage capacity is less than 2% of LS's 12,920 MW of gas-fired generation capacity. Most is located on the PJM RTO, where 1.2% of LS's capacity is invested in solar/wind.

Arlington Valley (Arizona) – 579 megawatt natural gas-fired combined cycle
Bluegrass (Kentucky) – 486 megawatt natural gas-fired simple cycle
Bridgeport (Connecticut) – 460 megawatt natural gas-fired combined cycle
Griffith (Arizona) – 570 megawatt natural gas-fired combined cycle
Renaissance (Michigan) – 652 megawatt natural gas-fired simple cycle
Riverside (Kentucky) – 836 megawatt natural gas-fired simple cycle
Rocky Road (Illinois) – 330 megawatt natural gas-fired simple cycle
Sandy Creek (Texas) – 288 megawatt coal-fired (reflects Dynegy’s partial interest)
Tilton (Illinois) – 176 megawatt natural gas-fired simple cycle
Springdale (Springdale Township, Pennsylvania) – 623 megawatts, multiple-unit generating facility using simple-cycle and combined-cycle units
Chambersburg (Guilford Township, Pennsylvania) – 88 megawatts, natural gas combined-cycle facility
Gans (Springhill Township, Pennsylvania) – 88 megawatts, natural gas combined-cycle facility
Hunlock (Hunlock Creek, Pennsylvania) – 45 megawatts, natural gas combined-cycle facility
Ravenswood (Queens, New York) – 2,480 megawatts, multiple-unit generating natural gas facility using dual fuel-capable steam turbine, combined-cycle and combustion turbine
Ironwood (Lebanon, Pennsylvania) – 778 megawatts, natural gas combined-cycle facility
Ocean State Power (Burrillville, Rhode Island) – 560 megawatts, natural gas combined-cycle facility
Armstrong Power (Shelocta, PA) – 639 megawatts, natural gas-fired facility comprised of four simple-cycle peaking units
Troy Energy (Luckey, OH) – 640 megawatts, natural gas-fired facility comprised of four simple-cycle peaking units
University Park (Illinois) – 540 megawatt natural gas-fired simple cycle
Wallingford (Connecticut) – 225 megawatt natural gas-fired simple cycle

Just for scale.

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Aug 21, 2020

Thanks for the numbers Bob... always good to see you put something out there.

A couple of changes from my side -

LS Power Gateway "release" the other day was just end of first phase. They are currently adding additional batteries to grow the storage duration to 3 hours by next year with further plans to grow to 4 hours.  Note: the site has the capability - if needed - to grow to support 8 hours of storage.

Using CEC Total System Electric Generation from 2018 CA generation is actually about 780,000 MWh per day.  Because of rooftop solar this is somewhat smaller than it was 5 years ago,

However, storage obviously doesn't need to replace all generation - it just needs to help replace NG and imported coal generation.  These added up to a little less than 300,000 MWh per day in 2018.

So actual calculation for scale on LS Power storage = 750/300,000 = .0025 = 0.25% 

So - assuming that we keep adding additional solar to charge these plants - we will only need 400 of these "storage buildings" to replace most NG and coal generation in CA.

Note: I am not saying that this solves long-term storage issues. 

NG generation is gonna be decimated in CA over the next decade.

In the shorter-term - what matters more for the CAISO grid is the "rated power capacity" of this unit - 250MW.  I think we need about 5GW of additional power capacity in the next year or two to prevent further blackouts. 

James Kirby's picture
James Kirby on Sep 23, 2021

Offshore plants in the North Sea are operating at about 30% of their normal contributions and have been for weeks. Similarly, offshore plants in the Thames River are calm. These events would disrupt the patterns that are normal in the operation of battery storage. If there is no energy to charge the storage then the operators use it solely for grid services and operating reserve. They would be kept full because if there is another contingency the operators could drop the system. Most operators would cut load in preference to cutting the generation from batteries to zero. That's what I was referring to – contingencies which persist over a longer timeframe. So, how much battery storage is long enough? What does this do to economics if you truly want to go to net-zero? And if batteries are impractical, what do you use instead? These are questions, not answers because the answersrequire a timeseries analysis and a lot of judgement as to how big to make the storage facility.

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Sep 24, 2021

Thanks James - I didn't realize that North Sea wind was connected to LS Power batteries in San Diego.

James Kirby's picture
James Kirby on Sep 25, 2021

You're welcome Joe - my point was that the length of time the storage is to provide capacity for is a variable which has a lot of uncertainty in it. Particularly as we had more more intermittent generation and that generation is often subject to the same climate change that we are trying to avoid. Even with our best efforts there will be adverse climate changes. It is not unthinkable that a system comprised of mainly intermittent generation and batteries could find itself short of energy to charge the batteries for the length of time that they need to run and they may do that for longer than the cycle you projected would suggest. Germany is already providing us with an example of the type of thing that can happen.

Would batteries, absent the natural gas-fired generation and coal generation that currently remain in Europe and can compensate for wind output less than 1/3 of that anticipated for apparently weeks, how many batteries would you need, and would it be affordable to provide them? Would it be acceptable for society to run short for that length of time and energy to charge the batteries?

 

I don't claim to have the revealed truth and perhaps you see something that I am missing.

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