Modernising oil & gas: BP Ventures invests in Satelytics
Based in the cloud, the company’s technology features state-of-the-art technology utilising spectral imagery and machine learning (ML) algorithms to detect environmental changes such as leaks, which could prove a core asset in the bid to make oil and gas facilities safer.
Summarising the functions of its equipment, Satelytics details a seven-part process:
1. Data acquisition is carried out via a host of airborne sensors, including satellites, aircraft, drones and fixed platforms.
2. These sensors are able to detect light across the electromagnetic spectrum.
3. However, the sensors are designed to pick up on a limited band of frequencies in order to focus on specific phenomena.
4. Advanced algorithms can then detect these phenomena from data contained in the pixels of the image.
5. ML-driven analytics can then recognise, catalogue and recommend a course of action for the incident.
6. All of this data analytics is rendered on Satelytics’ chosen cloud platform AWS.
7. The company’s dashboard provides the user with a richly detailed visualisation of the data and can be configured to notify people automatically via smart devices.
Commenting on his company’s satisfaction at having been selected by BP, Sean Donegan, CEO of Satelytics, said, “BP’s early use of our detection and quantification software has inspired us to expand our capabilities.
“BP’s investment marks an inflexion point for Satelytics, which will assist us in expanding our technological capabilities and fuel future innovation.”
Developing safety in the industry
The $5mn investment from BP is part of the company’s larger goal of installing methane measuring equipment at all of its sites by 2023, which it hopes will lead to a 50% overall reduction in methane intensity.
“Satelytics is modernising the energy sector by making data about physical assets more accessible and digestible, leading to better decision making,” said Morag Watson, Senior VP of digital science and engineering at BP.
“We are excited to work closely alongside their unique team of scientists and technologists to help them evolve their technology and to continue to move the needle on industry digitalisation.”
Furthermore, David Hayes, MD for BP Ventures Americas and COO, added that the investment indicated the company’s seriousness for tackling climate change and the industry environmental effects.
“Earlier this year we announced our ambition to become a net-zero company by 2050 or sooner and to help the world get to net-zero.
“Advanced technologies such as Satelytics, integrating multiple approaches to efficiently detect emissions, have the potential to be a valuable tool that can support this work,” he concluded.
Form Energy receives funding power for iron-air batteries
Form Energy believes it has cracked the conundrum of commercialising grid storage through iron-air batteries - and some of the biggest names in industry are backing its potential.
The startup recently announced the battery chemistry of its first commercial product and a $200 million Series D financing round led by ArcelorMittal’s XCarb innovation fund. Founded in 2017, Form Energy is backed by investors Eni Next LLC, MIT’s The Engine, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Prelude Ventures, Capricorn Investment Group and Macquarie Capital.
While solar and wind resources are the lowest marginal cost sources of electricity, the grid faces a challenge: how to manage the multi-day variability of renewable energy, even in periods of multi-day weather events, without sacrificing energy reliability or affordability.
Moreover, while Lithium-ion batteries are well suited to fast bursts of energy production, they run out of energy after just a few hours. Iron-air batteries, however, are predicted to have theoretical energy densities of more than 1,200 Wh/kg according to Renaissance of the iron-air battery (phys.org)
The active components of Form Energy's iron-air battery system are some of the cheapest, and most abundant materials: iron, water, and air. Iron-air batteries are the best solution to balance the multi-day variability of renewable energy due to their extremely low cost, safety, durability, and global scalability.
It claims its first commercial product is a rechargeable iron-air battery capable of delivering electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with conventional power plants and at less than 1/10th the cost of lithium-ion and can be optimised to store electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with legacy power plants.
"This product is our first step to tackling the biggest barrier to deep decarbonisation: making renewable energy available when and where it’s needed, even during multiple days of extreme weather, grid outages, or periods of low renewable generation," it states.
Mateo Jaramillo, CEO and Co-founder of Form Energy, said it conducted a broad review of available technologies and has reinvented the iron-air battery to optimise it for multi-day energy storage for the electric grid. "With this technology, we are tackling the biggest barrier to deep decarbonization: making renewable energy available when and where it’s needed, even during multiple days of extreme weather or grid outages," he said.
Form Energy and ArcelorMittal are working jointly on the development of iron materials which ArcelorMittal would non-exclusively supply for Form’s battery systems. Form Energy intends to source the iron domestically and manufacture the battery systems near where they will be sited. Form Energy’s first project is with Minnesota-based utility Great River Energy, located near the heart of the American Iron Range.
Greg Ludkovsky, Global Head of Research and Development at ArcelorMittal, believes Form Energy is at the leading edge of developments in the long-duration, grid-scale battery storage space. "The multi-day energy storage technology they have developed holds exciting potential to overcome the issue of intermittent supply of renewable energy."
Investors in Form Energy's November 2020 round included Energy Impact Partners, NGP Energy Technology Partners III, and Temasek.
In May 2020, it signed a contract with Minnesota-based utility Great River Energy to jointly deploy a 1MW / 150MWh pilot project to be located in Cambridge, MN. Great River Energy is Minnesota's second-largest electric utility and the fifth largest generation and transmission cooperative in the US.
Last week Helena and Energy Vault announced a strategic partnership to identify additional opportunities for Energy Vault’s waste remediation technologies as the company begins deployment of its energy storage system worldwide. It received new investment from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV) in June.
Maoneng has revealed more details of its proposed 240MWp / 480MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in Australia (click here).
The BESS represents hundreds of millions of dollars of investment that will improve electricity grid reliability and network stability by drawing energy from the grid during off-peak periods for battery storage, and dispatching energy to the grid during peak periods.