TOP 5 energy storage projects of 2020


A decade has begun with a new chapter in the energy industry development - energy storage systems. Leading countries and international companies aim at becoming the leading players in this market. According to BloombergNEF, as of the beginning of 2019 China was producing 73% of all lithium-ion batteries globally, followed by the United States with 12%. The forecasted installed capacity of the battery storage systems will increase 122 times by 2040. It will reach 1095 GW, while a total capacity, not considering pumped hydro, will reach 2850 GWh.

This article is an overview of five biggest energy storage projects to be commissioned or increase their capacity in 2020.

Energy storage project in Dalian, China

This project will be the greatest vanadium flow battery in the world with a 200MW/800MWh capacity. It is being developed by Rongke Power Co. Ltd. та UniEnergy Technologies (UET). The energy storage station will provide the services of shedding peak loads in the grid, and form additional load point for Dalian peninsula, increasing overall grid stability. After full commissioning in 2020 the project will allow to lower a peak load by 8% from expected level.

Tesla’s massive Powerpack battery in South Australia

Tesla built its massive 100MW/129MWh station in South Australia in 2018. Last year the station owner Neoen applied for the license change and increase of capacity by 50MW/64MWh to Essential Services Commission of South Australia, a local energy regulator. Neoen are considering obtaining the license by the end of February, aiming to start operations in the national energy market in March. The company states that the goal of the project is the “support of the grid stability, lowering the risks and incidents’ severity within the grid, while maximizing profits of the shareholders”. The battery is expected to operate for 15 years, bringing profit of approximately 30 million US dollars, which is roughly equal to 2018 and 2019 levels.

Saticoy station in Oxnard, South California

The project has been selected by South California Edison, ending the plans for a new gas-powered station. If the regulatory bodies give permission, in 2020 Strata Solar will build a 100MW/400MWh energy storage station in Oxnard. The project is expected to start in December, and will be connected to the largest system of lithium-ion batteries in the world. SCE plans to develop this system of several energy storage stations with a total capacity of 195 MW, creating a giant energy network. It is supposed to provide stability to the grid around the city of Oxnard.

The largest behind-the-meter storage system in North America

Honeywell announced the launch of the Experion Energy Program, which will build the largest commercial behind-the-meter system in the United States and Canada. The company jointly with NRStor will build and operate 300 MW capacity in total. The system will provide lower energy bills and stable energy supply to the customers.

The energy storage systems will be supported by two state-of-the-art operational centers, which use patented algorithms of peaks forecasting and an AI based optimization. The centers will automatically apply the batteries to deliver the maximum savings for commercial and industrial customers. The technology of Honeywell will provide dispatching, and grid and cybersecurity.

The largest battery storage system in the world, Moss Landing, California

Pacific Gas & Electric has been given a permission from local Regulator for construction of the largest battery system in the world. Its capacity will reach 567.5MW/2270MWh. The system will include four separate projects. The first one will be built by Vistra Energy at the existing power station and have the capacity of 300MW/1200MWh. The other project built by Tesla and operated by PG&E will provide 182.5MW/730MWh from the local substation. All projects are expected to be commissioned by the end of 2020. They will replace three peak gas powered stations.

It is clear the world is moving towards clean energy. But the technical challenges humanity faces in the energy industry are still enormous. Without a doubt, two of them are long distance transmission and storage. However, the trend of energy storage development shows that this industry can have great potential and profitability. Of course, we need to take into account equipment costs, which are still considerably high. But remember what has been happening to the green energy projects costs?