Panasonic, Tesla to start production of solar cells in New York

Japanese electronics company Panasonic and U.S. electric car maker Tesla said Tuesday they plan to begin production of photovoltaic cells and modules at a factory in Buffalo, New York. The two companies said they finalized an agreement calling for Tokyo-based Panasonic to pay capital costs for the manufacturing. Palo Alto, California-based Tesla made a "long-term purchase commitment" to Panasonic. Their statement gave no financial figures. The factory in Buffalo is under development by SolarCity, a San Mateo, California-based solar panel company owned by Tesla. The PV cells and modules it produces will be used in solar panels for non-solar roof products and solar glass tile roofs that Tesla

A Testing Ground for Energy Storage in the Shadow of Mt. Fuji

A patch of land in the shadow of Mount Fuji is becoming a testing ground for energy storage, with some of Japan’s leading companies trying to develop technologies such as spinning flywheels and fuel cells. The government of Yamanashi, a prefecture 102 kilometers (63 miles) west of Tokyo, is hoping that by attracting companies such as Panasonic Corp. and Toray Industries Inc. it can become a kind of Silicon Valley for energy storage development. As part of a project in Kofu City, the prefecture has built a 1-megawatt solar power station that’s being made available to developers of storage devices who want to run tests under closed conditions, according to Masaki Sakamoto, an official in charg

What Business Model Will Succeed in Energy Storage?

As the cost of batteries, fuel cells, and renewable energy more broadly come down, it's becoming clear that energy storage will be a big business in the future. It can smooth out the variability inherent with wind and solar, provide valuable services to the grid, and move cheap renewable energy created during the day to hours when it's most needed. It's becoming more clear that energy storage will be valuable, like wind and solar energy a decade ago. What's not yet clear, though, is the answer as to how energy storage will generate value for investors. Creating a business model that can exploit the advantages of energy storage to make money will be key. And the industry may be perilous for t

Energy storage megashift: 10 of the best battery projects across the globe

As 2016 draws to a close, reflects upon a year that saw energy storage evolve from a relatively abstract low-carbon concept into a crucial catalyst in the global transition to clean energy. The world will witness an international 'megashift' towards energy storage - batteries in particular - within the next 10 years. That was the prediction made by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) in the summer of 2015. A year later, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) went a step further, estimating that he annual investment in energy storage systems will increase six-fold to $8.2bn (£6.7bn) in 2024, and to $250bn (£197bn) by 2040. This massive growth in energy storage - first in the

Vanadium-Flow Batteries: The Energy Storage Breakthrough We've Needed

The latest, greatest utility-scale battery storage technology to emerge on the commercial market is the vanadium redox battery, also known as the vanadium flow battery. V-flow batteries are fully containerized, nonflammable, compact, reusable over semi-infinite cycles, discharge 100% of the stored energy and do not degrade for more than 20 years.Most batteries use two chemicals that change valence (or charge or redox state) in response to electron flow that convert chemical energy to electrical energy, and vice versa. V-flow batteries use the multiple valence states of just vanadium to store and release charges. read the full article by James Conca on

The world’s first nickel zinc smart battery: An interview with Tim Hysell and Todd Higinbotham of Zi

ZincFive, Inc. has created the world's first nickel-zinc smart battery, a reliable and environmentally friendly alternative to many of the safety concerns associated with lead acid and lithium ion batteries. Nickel-zinc will be only the fifth battery chemistry in history to globally scale. It was originally invented by Thomas Edison and was his dream battery chemistry, but he wasn't able to commercialise it. ZincFive has now done just that. Intelligent transportation, traffic, data centers, automotive and telecom need safe battery backup to keep systems operating, even when the utility power dies. Nickel-zinc is being used right now in intelligent transportation systems across North America

How Tesla came out of nowhere and reinvented the car as we know it

Regardless of where one stands on the topic of electric cars, it’s difficult to argue that Tesla Motors hasn’t disrupted the automotive industry. The Californian company is no longer written off as simply a startup with a dim future; its unique breed of fast, luxurious electric vehicles has gotten the attention of product planners from virtually every major automaker. This is how it all began... (read on

Inside construction of the world's largest lithium ion battery storage facility

The largest battery storage system in the world will also be one of the fastest constructed in history. In August, San Diego Gas & Electric tapped energy storage company AES to install two energy storage projects totaling 37.5 MW, 150 MWh. When completed, the larger, 120 MWh project is expected to be the single biggest lithium ion battery in service on a utility grid in the world. Both battery facilities are expected to be online by the end of January 2017 — nothing short of miraculous in an industry where deploying assets, especially newfangled technologies, can take years. And the companies are not alone. Southern California Edison and Tesla announced a 30 MW, 80 MWh project in September t

European Rivals Line Up Against Tesla in the Race to Build Gigafactories

Tesla’s recent purchase of German manufacturing automation specialist Grohmann Engineering comes as an increasing number of Gigafactory rivals spring up across Europe. Tesla announced the Grohmann deal last month after Swedish media reported that its former supply chain vice president, Peter Carlsson, was planning to open a battery gigafactory of his own in Sweden. The announcement means at least five gigafactories are now slated for the continent. Tesla itself is planning a European gigafactory in the wake of the Grohmann acquisition. The facility will be used to build batteries and cars. Meanwhile BMZ opened the first phase of a German battery manufacturing facility in May. LG Chem has unv

China Set To Invest $174 Billion In Hydro & Wind Over Next 4 Years

China is set to spend $174 billion on hydro and wind energy infrastructure over the next four years according to reports from the country’s National Energy Administration obtained by Reuters. Reuters reported on Tuesday that blueprint documents from China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) for the wind and hydro sector showed that the country is set to spend at least 1.2 trillion yuan ($174 billion) between 2016 and 2020. Specifically, Reuters said that the NEA plans construction of new wind farms to provide approximately 300,000 new jobs by 2020, and to have a market-based subsidy system for the wind industry as well. Given China’s large-scale ambitions for renewable energy, and its lea

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