WEC Energy Group unveils 310MW solar project in Wisconsin
WEC Energy Group has unveiled plans for a 310MW solar and battery storage project in Wisconsin.
The Paris Solar-Battery Park in Kenosha County would contain 200 MW of solar generation - equal to powering 60,000 homes - and 110MW of battery storage which can store solar power and discharge it at night.
"This project is another concrete example of our commitment to build a bright, sustainable future," said Tom Metcalfe, President - We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service. "As the largest renewable energy investor in the state, we know the importance of clean energy. Projects like this maintain reliability, deliver significant savings to customers and support the goals of the Governor's Task Force on Climate Change."
WEC Energy plans to invest $2 billion in new solar, wind and battery storage projects by 2025 and reduce carbon emissions 70 percent by 2030.
The company's long-range plan aims to save utility customers more than $1 billion over the next 20 years.
If approved, WEC Energy Group utilities We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service, would own 90 percent of the project, and Madison Gas and Electric would own 10 percent.
The project is being developed by Invenergy. If approved, construction is expected to begin in 2022 and the project is scheduled to go into service in 2023.
WEC Energy Group reported net income of $1.20 billion, or $3.79 per share, for 2020, compared with $1.13 billion, or $3.58 per share, for 2019.
For Q4 2020, it recorded net income of $239 million, or 76 cents per share, up from $243.9 million, or 77 cents per share, year-on-year.
Total recently strengthened its presence in the US by acquiring a development pipeline of 2.2 GW of solar projects, and 600 MW of battery storage assets, all in Texas.
The projects have been bought from SunChase Power, a renewable energy company focused on developing utility-scale energy projects, and MAP RE/ES, a private energy investment firm (click here).
The American Clean Power Association (ACP) has formally launched with a new website and ad campaign showcasing the renewable energy industry's potential (click here).
Sakuu Corporation creates 3D printer for EV batteries
Sakuu Corporation has announced a new industrial-grade 3D printer for e-mobility batteries which it claims will unlock the mainstream adoption of electric vehicles.
Offering an industrial scale ‘local’ battery production capability, Sakuu believes the technology will provide increased manufacturer and consumer confidence. Sakuu’s Alpha Platform for its initial hardware offering will be available in Q4.
Backed by Japanese automotive parts supplier to major OEMs, Musashi Seimitsu, Sakuu is set to enable fast and high-volume production of 3D printed solid-state batteries (SSBs) that, compared with lithium-ion batteries, have the same capacity yet are half the size and almost a third lighter.
The company’s KeraCel-branded SSBs will also use around 30%-50% fewer materials – which can be sourced locally – to achieve the same energy levels as lithium-ion options, significantly reducing production costs. Sakuu anticipates the 3D printer’s attributes being easily transferable to a host of different applications in other industry sectors.
"For the e-mobility markets specifically, we believe this to be a landmark achievement, and one that could transform consumer adoption of electric vehicles,” said Robert Bagheri, Founder, CEO and chairman, Sakuu Corporation. “SSBs are a holy grail technology, but they are both very difficult and expensive to make. By harnessing the flexibility and efficiency-enhancing capabilities of our unique and scalable AM process, we’re enabling battery manufacturers and EV companies to overcome these fundamental pain points."
The ability to provide on-demand, localised production will create more efficient manufacturing operations and shorter supply chains, he added.
Sakuu will initially focus on the two-, three- and smaller four-wheel electric vehicle market for whom the company’s SSB proposition delivers an obvious and desirable combination of small form factor, low weight and improved capacity benefits. The agility of Sakuu’s AM process also means that customers can easily switch production to different battery types and sizes, as necessary, for example to achieve double the energy in the same space or the same energy in half the space.
Beyond energy storage, Sakuu’s development of print capability opens complex end device markets previously closed off to current 3D printing platforms. These include active components like sensors and electric motors for aerospace and automotive; power banks and heatsinks for consumer electronics; PH, temperature and pressure sensors within IoT; and pathogen detectors and microfluidic devices for medical, to name a few.
"As a cheaper, faster, local, customisable and more sustainable method of producing SSBs – which as a product deliver much higher performance attributes than currently available alternatives – the potential of our new platform offers tremendous opportunities to users within energy, as well as a multitude of other markets," said Bagheri.
Ongoing research and new funding collaborations
Omega Seiki, a part of Anglian Omega Group of companies, has partnered with New York-based company C4V to introduce SSBs for EVs and the renewable sector in India. As part of an MoU, the two companies are also looking at the manufacturing of SSBs in the country, according to reports.
Solid Power, which produces solid-state batteries for electric vehicles, recently announced a $130 million Series B investment round led by the BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and Volta Energy Technologies. Ford and the BMW Group have also expanded existing joint development agreements with Solid Power to secure all solid-state batteries for future EVs. Solid Power plans to begin producing automotive-scale batteries on the company's pilot production line in early 2022.
"Solid-state battery technology is important to the future of electric vehicles, and that's why we're investing directly," said Ted Miller, Ford's manager of Electrification Subsystems and Power Supply Research. "By simplifying the design of solid-state versus lithium-ion batteries, we'll be able to increase vehicle range, improve interior space and cargo volume, deliver lower costs and better value for customers and more efficiently integrate this kind of solid-state battery cell technology into existing lithium-ion cell production processes."
A subsidiary of Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest private company, Vinfast has signed an MoU with SSB manufacturer ProLogium - which picked up a bronze award at the recent Edison Awards - to accelerate commercialisation of batteries for EVs (click here).
Xin Li, Associate Professor of Materials Science, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, is designing an SSB for ultra-high performance EV applications. The ultimate goal is to design a battery "that outperforms internal combustion engines so electrical vehicles accelerate the transition from fossil-fuel-based energy to renewable energy," according to The Harvard Gazette.
The dramatic increase in EV numbers means that the potential battery market is huge. McKinsey projects that by 2040 battery demand from EVs produced in Europe will reach a total of 1,200GWh per year, which is enough for 80 gigafactories with an average capacity of 15GWh per year.