8minutenergy moves into energy storage with 1 GW pipeline

Energy storage has become big news, and as it does major players in renewable energy are getting in on the game. On Tuesday 8minutenergy Renewables announced that it has developed a 1 GW pipeline of energy storage projects, both standalone energy storage and combined solar and storage, all of which have sites secured and/or interconnection agreements in place.

The developer says that these projects span the United States, but are mostly in California, Texas and the U.S. Southeast, and has further noted that is it “shortlisted” by several utilities. 8minutenergy notes that it plans to leverage relationships with utilities, including California’s four largest, and will utilize storage to make solar a dispatchable resource.

And while these projects are “early stage”, 8minutenergy says that it expects to begin construction on projects no later than the first quarter of 2018.

The company puts the capacity of most of the projects at 10-100 MW. Unsurprisingly lithium-ion batteries dominate the choice of technology, but 8minutenergy notes that it is also considering flow batteries.

“We believe the proven, bankable technology currently is lithium-ion, but we continue to observe and test promising new technologies to verify their performance before going to market,” 8minutenergy told pv magazine. “From our perspective, technologies need to mature and demonstrate scale and long-term performance before we are able to take advantage of newer technologies that offer longer life or lower costs.”

8minuteenergy says that most of the batteries it has chosen offer 4-hour storage duration, stating that this provides the highest value when “stacking” services, meaning that one battery system is able to provide multiple services including energy shifting, frequency regulation and response, ramping and VAR control when needed.

And not all of the portfolio may be batteries, as the developer has also mentioned flywheel technology, a technology which is optimized for different services than batteries. And for these storage technologies, 8minutenergy notes that it is working wth multiple manufacturers.