Nobody has ever made solar power at night yet, nor wind power when she's in irons. So using these renewable power rigs means having to store some of the energy somehow for low-production times.

Energy Storage News

Energy Storage: How Erratic Energy Sources can Meet our Demands

We can store energy in many ways. To use renewable energy sources, whose supply is intermittent compared to our demand, we need to store energy at times of peak production for use when demand is high. To explore the ways we can store energy, read on...

nickel metal hydride battery

Liquid-cooled nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries have relatively good power and energy.

Photo credit: Warren Gretz, NREL Staff Photographer

01/08/2017 - 4:05pm

Convergents grid scale energy storage units in Boothbay Maine image courtesy of Convergent Energy and PowerFollowing on a pilot energy storage system built in Boothbay in 2015 (pictured), NextEra Energy Resources, operator of the Wyman Station oil-fired power plant on Cousin’s Island in Yarmouth has installed a giant battery the size of 8 shipping containers in a warehouse on the site. The facility has a storage capacity of 16.2 megawatts of power, the largest in New England and a significant percentage of the 30-100 MW needed to meet New England’s power needs on a given day.

Battery storage is hailed as a “non-transmission alternative” way to even out the highs and lows of both energy demand and the intermittent power supply from renewable sources like solar and wind power. Ellen Foley of ISO-New England is quoted as saying, “The role of grid-scale electricity storage will grow as the region moves closer to its clean-energy goals, while maintaining a reliable power system.”

Read it all in the Press Herald.

Image: Convergent's grid scale energy storage units in Boothbay Maine, courtesy of Convergent Energy and Power.

03/03/2016 - 2:02pm

solar panels image courtesy of humble FarmerOn February 25 2016, a coalition of stakeholders - including solar companies, environmental groups, and utility companies - presented to the Legislature a proposal for new solar energy projects in Maine.

The proposal seeks to increase Maine’s current solar capacity to 250 megawatts in the next five years. As part of this, the proposal seeks to end net metering, a popular system that credits utility customers one-to-one on the amount of energy they generate for the grid. That is, customers of CMP and Emera who sometimes draw power from the grid and sometimes send power to it (from their solar panels or other renewable source) pay only for the “net” amount used on their monthly bill.

Net metering has been popular among solar advocates because it has spurred development and provided incentive for consumers to install solar projects. In the absence of net metering, grid-tied consumers would still be credited for their excess electricity, but it would be tied to a rate set by the Maine Public Utilities Commission, guaranteed for 20 years.

Proponents say the proposal strikes a balance between growing solar, creating jobs, and protecting rate payers and utility companies.

For more information about this issue, continue reading at the Portland Press Herald. Read the proposal here.

Image courtesy of humble Farmer.

09/28/2015 - 9:45pm

Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine E2TechThe Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech) and its partners are pleased to host the inaugural E2Tech Expo on October 1, 2015. Events include keynotes from a Fortune 50 company and a venture capital firm; its first-ever “E2Tech Talks” on Maine’s local and global food movements; a high-level plenary panel on cleantech markets, technologies, and public policies; workshops on energy policy, workforce development & career connections, sustainability in the supply chain, and cluster development and seed funding; and dozens of tables featuring environmental and energy companies, products, services, and resources.

You may see the agenda and register here.

06/01/2015 - 12:20pm

Senator Angus King of Maine image courtesy of Angus KingOn May 6, 2015, Senator Angus King of Maine introduced The Free Market Energy Act of 2015, which would establish a set of parameters for the governance of distributed energy resources (DER) such as solar power, stored energy or demand response. Existing policies discourage investment in DER. For example, utilities may levy expensive grid-connection fees on consumers who pursue newer technologies, while current net metering formulas may not properly compensate grid owners when these new technologies are connected.

The proposed act would protect the right of consumers to connect their distributed resources to the grid for a reasonable price while also ensuring that grid owners and operators receive proper compensation to maximize the potential of DER in relation to the grid. The act would also retain the authority of each state to design its own set of rules within its parameters, to properly reflect the state’s needs.

Read the bill here.

05/17/2013 - 11:55am

On April 30, the Energy Department announced that up to $13 million dollars in funding were to be invested to develop and test advanced components and technologies that will enhance the performance of marine and hydrokinetic energy systems. Due to this recent funding opportunity, the Energy Department wants to support projects that will augment the power-to-weight ratio of the marine and hydrokinetic energy systems or improve the reliability of the system through the investment in three component technologies. The Energy Department will choose six projects to develop advanced control systems and assess the performance improvements; and two projects will develop and test a device that minimizes the loads transmitted to other components and increases the device's capability to endure severe conditions.

The DOE is working closely with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to support and endorse increased understanding of the potential environmental effects of marine and hydrokinetic energy devices. This funding opportunity announcement will support the collection of environmental monitoring and experimental data from the marine and hydrokinetic devices and analyses of data.

Read the full story on the Department of Energy's website.

Check out the Energy Ocean International 2013 conference and expo June 10-12, 2013 in Warwick, RI.

10/28/2011 - 12:26pm

A coalition of businesses and organizations gathered in Bangor on October 27, 2011 to launch a petition drive to put a ballot initiative on the 2012 ballot that would require Maine’s utilities to get 20 percent of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020.

“In Maine, as in much of the country, construction work has taken the brunt of this Great Recession,” said Hermon resident Scott Cuddy, a journeyman electrician. “We need help now. We do not want a handout, we want a job. Our jobs come from projects. When a new area of development is identified, we need to exploit that area as soon as we can. Alternative energy generation is just such a field.”

Read all about it in the Bangor Daily News or in Mainebiz.

08/31/2011 - 1:40pm

Thermal Energy Storage of Maine (of Saco, Maine) recently announced that it has completed a capital campaign in which it has raised $250,000. TESM furnishes electrical thermal storage units that use ceramic bricks to save off-peak electricity as heat and release it as needed over time. By capturing lower-cost electricity at times of decreased demand, the bricks allow home and business owners to lock in heating costs equivalent to $2.50 per gallon of home heating oil for two years, according to the company.

TESM also announced that it has hired Justin Schair as Vice President of Development.  Read the full story in MaineBiz.

08/16/2011 - 3:32pm

The US Department of Energy announced on August 15, 2011, that it will guarantee $102 million in loans for Record Hill Wind, LLC to develop a wind power plant in Oxford County.  Partners in the project include former Maine Governor Angus King, former MPBN President Rob Gardiner and Wagner Wind Energy 1, LLC of New Hampshire. The proposed 22-turbine wind power plant encountered opposition by a group called Concerned Citizens to Save Roxbury, who challenged the project's DEP permits.  The Maine Supreme Judicial Court denied this challenge in March of 2011.

Read the whole scoop on the MPBN website.