Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Jan 30, 2018

Energy StorageBy Heather Clancy

Use it or lose it. Few products in the world have a shorter shelf life than electricity. That’s why pretty much everyone involved in the power sector — from utilities to buyers to start-ups to state regulators — is putting more energy than ever behind ways to extend it.

That’s fuelling a boom in projects and investments centred on advanced battery chemistries and alternative energy storage approaches, such as hydrogen fuel cells and thermal options that use hot water or ice to conserve power. The Holy Grail over time is to create a network of resources that can be used in concert with solar and wind farms. The idea is to balance those intermittent renewable resources, help make it easier to integrate distributed power plants into the grid. 

But energy storage also promises tangible benefits in the short term, especially for demand-response applications that help utilities and businesses manage through “peak” periods when the strain on the electric grid could threaten reliable operations. 

That powerful combination could inspire the deployment of 125 gigawatts in storage capacity worldwide between now and 2030, according to projections — a US$103 billion investment. Notes Bloomberg New Energy Finance Analyst Yayoi Sekine: “The industry has just begun. With so much investment going into battery technology, falling costs and with significant addition of wind and solar capacity in all markets, energy storage will play a crucial role in the energy transformation.” 

You don’t have to be a clean power advocate to appreciate the return on investment. Even U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry is talking up the potential. And an astonishing mix of equipment providers are introducing systems, even big diesel and gas generator companies such as Caterpillar and military contractors such as Lockheed Martin…

Right now, many people tend to equate energy storage with advances in batteries. The battery supporting Tesla’s forthcoming semi-truck, as just one example, will deliver more range at a lower cost than anyone predicted. Millions of dollars are being thrown at start-ups — US$480 million in the first half of 2016 went to companies researching lithium advances, zinc-air innovations and flow science using various electrochemical combinations. The systems they’re testing are meant for both electric vehicles and stationary systems that support buildings or community distribution systems. The Pena Station microgrid in Denver, for example, uses a 1-megawatt system to support the solar resources.

An analysis by Lux Research suggests that lithium-ion will be most cost-effective for applications requiring from 75 kilowatts to 100 megawatts of capacity, with backup ranges of 15 minutes to 8 hours. The capital costs for the technology could fall as much as 36% over the next five years, more quickly than expected, according to research by investment firm Lazard.

Heather Clancy is Editorial Director, GreenBiz Group.

2018 State of Green Business is published by GreenBiz Group in partnership with Trucost, part of S&P Dow Jones Indices. Download the full report: https://www.greenbiz.com/report/state-green-business-report-2018

Photo source: 2018 State of Green Business

 

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 Electrician Forum Brought to You by Schneider Electric             

The Electrician Forum is a monthly column that provides valuable information to electricians and electrical contractors on current industry trends and concerns. 

Schneider ElectricSponsored by Schneider Electric

In this issue: 

Quite simply put if you feel that job site costing and quote development are a lot of work, you are right! To properly assess a job and estimate the required work time, product costs and various other expenses can take more time than is often feasible for a small company. You need to be spending your time completing projects, which can become difficult if you are spending your hours doing cost analysis. We learned this first hand in last month’s edition of the Electrician Forum when Steve Beeby of Beehive Electric discussed the balance required to own and operate an electrical contracting company.

read more...

Watch a portion of the interview conducted by Electrical Industry Canada with Steve Beeby of Beehive Electric

 

Codes and Regulations Brought to You by the CSA Group

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Fluke Hammon Healy

As our population grows and consumers continue to rely on technology for both essentials and comfort, the need for power quality has become vital. Fluke is a leader in this field, offering power quality training seminars, as well as employing power quality specialists with years of industry experience.

This month’s personal profile is a double feature of two of Fluke’s senior power quality specialists, Hilton Hammond and Frank Healy.

Hilton Hammond has been with Fluke since 1995, and in 2013 moved into his current position as Power Quality Business Unit Manager. He has a deep and thorough knowledge of power quality and related electrical instrumentation. 

Frank Healy, Power Quality Product Marketing Manager at Fluke since 2006, has been in the industry for well over three decades. He globally manages Fluke’s power quality products, including measuring instruments and precision power analyzers.

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Copper $US Dollar price per pound

 Sean Freeman

Sean Freeman is a vibrant, enthusiastic and selfless individual who has taken his trade expertise beyond that of a simple career. Not only is he a Master Electrician but he has traveled around the world as an electrical technician delegate with the Red Cross Emergency Response Unit. His skills are a vital part of emergency response and disaster relief.

In 2013 Sean responded to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. In 2014 Sean spent almost a month in Kenema, Sierra Leone working at the Ebola Treatment Centre. There he was responsible for ensuring electricity and clean water were available, and worked to strengthen the infrastructure of the facility. 

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