Another Solar Company Files Bankruptcy
Following the collapse of solar panel maker Solyndra LLC two months ago, another energy company, Beacon Power Corp., goes bankrupt after receiving a $43 million US loan guarantee. The Massachusetts-based energy company had originally used the loan to support a plant outside Albany, N.Y., storing power to help electric companies manage movements in supply and demand. Unable to raise more funds after the political backlash over Solyndra's $500 million plus bankruptcy filing, the company filed Sunday.
Beacon Power creates flywheels to store power and increase grid efficiency by preventing black outs. Seen as a technology to aid grid reliability, the company received a $43 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy in August 2010. After filing for bankruptcy, Beacon Power owes the government $49.1 million and the state of Massachusetts $3.45 million.
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Last week, the White House announced it would review the Energy Department program, guaranteeing nearly $36 billion in loans to projects in clean energy and other green initiatives.
Energy Department spokesman Damien LaVera said, "Protecting taxpayer dollars remains the top priority for Secretary Steven Chu and the department, which is why we were careful to include many protections for the taxpayer" in the Beacon deal. He said the plant in New York was "operational and generating revenue," making it a "valuable collateral asset."
According to Mr. Chu and the President, some failures are to be expected as we are dealing with new, unproven technologies. Natural gas prices have been low too, making it harder for renewable energy companies to compete.
Beacon has been warned of delisting from trades on Nasdaq, unable to raise more capital. However, unlike Solyndra, Beacon's Stephentown plant in New York continues to operate. The flywheel and battery systems developed by the company have new economic incentives to operate under a rule approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Sungrow links Europe's largest energy storage plant to grid
Europe's largest energy storage project, the 100MW/100MWh Minety plant featuring Sungrow's 1500V energy storage system solutions, has been successfully connected to the UK grid.
The UK experienced the most debilitating blackout in nearly a decade in August 2019. The incident exposed the serious lack of frequency regulation of the national grid and demonstrated that the construction of energy storage projects that can regulate the frequency of the grid in a timely fashion should be prioritised. The Minety project, which began at the end of 2019, considerably mitigates the problem and is designed for facilitating grid stability and maximising renewable energy utilisation.
Sungrow supplied both NCM and LFP battery energy storage system solutions featuring high integration, which minimise the footprint, slash the commissioning duration and significantly reduce the system cost by 5%. The solution well meets the latest UK frequency regulation requirement called dynamic containment - requesting the plant to respond to the power instruction of the grid within 1 second, making the project one of the rare 30% of the UK's storage plants equipped with this function.
"We are proud of being part of this landmark project, offering solutions with extreme efficiency and safety while in compliance with the stringent UK grid codes," said James Wu, Vice President of Sungrow, which shipped more than 800MWh of energy storage systems in 2020.
Battery storage capacity in the UK is likely to heavily increase as move towards operating a zero-carbon energy system. At the end of 2019 the GB battery storage capacity was 0.88GWh. National Grid forecasts it could be as high as 2.30GWh in 2025.
Global energy storage updates
TEVOCS has announced the launch of a powerful series of universal portable power stations that provide reliable power for off-grid situations, travel, home backup and more. With an impressive 2080WH capacity and 2000W output, the TEVOCS power station is billed as 'the ultimate power station for modern life' and is available here.
Enlight Renewable Energy has completed the acquisition of 90.1% of the holdings in Clēnera LLC, a leading and seasoned company in the field of initiation, development, construction and operation of solar energy and energy storage projects in the United States.
Last month Canadian Solar Inc. was awarded the first utility-scale battery storage project in Colombia of 45 MW/45 MWh. The project was awarded in the public tender launched by Colombia's Ministry of Energy and Mines, via its affiliate UPME, the Mining and Energy Planning Unit.