Energy storage interest enormous, applications for over 12 GW

Investment interest for the installation of energy storage units is already considerable, even though related licensing and support mechanism frameworks have yet to be established, data presented yesterday by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has shown.

According to the data, RAE, since October, 2019, has received 123 applications for prospective energy storage and pumped storage projects representing a total of 12,229 MW.

Of these applications, 110 concern energy storage systems representing a total capacity of 9,102 MW, the RAE data showed.

To date, RAE has already issued production licenses for 38 energy storage units with a total capacity of 3,582 MW.

A further 12 applications representing 2,447 MW are for pumped storage units, not including a Terna Energy project in Amfilohia, northwestern Greece.

So far, RAE has issued three licenses for pumped storage facilities representing 807 MW.

Energy ministry officials already suspect the energy storage market may experience overheating issues, as has been the case with the RES market.

Energy storage subsidies to ‘cover up to 40% of project cost’

The energy ministry is close to finalizing the shape of its proposal for a competitive procedure concerning investment support qualification for energy storage units through the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility, the ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou informed yesterday during a speech on the first day of a conference titled “Investing in Green Energy Transition: Energy Storage – New Technologies – Energy Saving”.

According to Sdoukou, the ministry is striving to forward its proposal to the European Commission as soon as possible as Athens aims to launch the competitive procedure in the first quarter of 2022.

Investors are expected to be offered 200 million euros through the competitive procedure as investment support for energy storage systems totaling at least 500 MW.

Greece is expected to have determined and notified all qualifying parties by the second quarter of 2023.

The government aims to offer a total of 450 million euros as investment support for energy storage and pumped storage projects.

Sdoukou asserted that this amount will suffice to cover subsidies of up to 40 percent for the development of energy storage systems, necessary to support the country’s increased RES penetration objective set for 2030.

Energy storage subsidy program in 1Q next year

A competitive procedure to offer 200 million euros in subsidies for energy storage projects is planned to take place in the first quarter of 2022, energy minister Kostas Skrekas has told the 6th Delphi Economic Forum, making clear the ministry’s determination to utilize as swiftly as possible funds being made available for energy storage through the national recovery plan, dubbed Greece 2.0.

In the lead-up, the energy ministry intends to invite investors interested in participating in the procedure to submit investment plans in autumn.

The procedure will be based on a related framework, describing the conditions and terms, to require the European Commission’s approval.

The subsidy program will financially support energy storage installations to offer capacity totaling hundreds of MW, the minister told the forum.

The Greece 2.0 national recovery plan, to carry funds expected to be worth a total of 450 million euros, will also be used to support the development of pumped storage stations.

Investors have expressed tremendous interest in the development of energy storage units. RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has received a large number of production license applications for various RES technology units.

Since 2019, RAE has received a total of 98 applications for energy storage units, pumped storage facilities and hybrid stations, representing a total of 8,213 MW, which, along with a prospective pumped storage station set for development by Terna Energy in Amfilohia, northwestern Greece, will reach 8,893 MW.

To date, RAE has granted licenses for the majority of these applications, while 34, representing 4,519 MW, still need to be processed.

 

Terna Energy pumped storage station construction in October

Terna Energy has taken a final investment decision, worth 500 million euros, on the development of a pumped storage station complex in Amfilohia, northwestern Greece, whose construction is planned to begin in October and be completed within four years, the company’s hydroelectric projects director, Yioula Tsiknakou, has informed an IENE online workshop on energy storage.

The complex is planned to generate a total of 816 GWh, annually, and offer a total installed capacity of 680 MW (production) and 730 MW (pumping).

It will consist of two independent upper reservoirs, Agios Georgios and Pyrgos, with respective capacities of approximately 5 and 2 million cubic meters, and power utility PPC’s existing common lower reservoir, Kastraki Lake, developed in 1960.

Over 70 percent of the investment’s funds are planned to stem from the Greek market.

Its construction is expected to create approximately 1,200 jobs while a 100-member workforce will be employed once the unit is in operation.

Pumped storage stations are the most appropriate form of technology for mass energy storage, Tsiknakou, the Terna Energy official, told the IENE workshop.

Pumped storage stations are nowadays the most widespread mass energy storage solution, representing over 94 percent of installed energy storage capacity and offering total capacity of 161 GW around the world.

Recovery fund subsidies worth €400m for energy storage units

The energy ministry plans to allot 400 million euros of EU recovery fund money to the development of central electrical energy storage units. A related proposal by the ministry is headed for inclusion into the national recovery plan.

The aforementioned sum will be used to subsidize energy storage projects and will be made available to investors through a mechanism whose details are still being negotiated by government and European Commission officials.

Once the mechanism has taken final shape it will be forwarded to Brussels’ Directorate-General for Competition and Directorate-General for Energy for approval from both, necessary ahead of its implementation.

Though further details on the prospective support mechanism remain unknown, its subsidies are expected to be offered through a competitive procedure promoting selected projects.

At this point, developments have indicated both central energy storage technologies – pumped hydroelectric energy storage and accumulators (battery units) – will be eligible for subsidy support.

A study on central energy storage conducted by the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) for RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has shown that a combination of these two technologies is the optimal solution, as each covers different needs.

Pumped hydro storage key for decarbonization cost reduction

A new study by independent researchers from Imperial College London has found that just 4.5GW of new long duration pumped hydro storage with 90GWh of storage could save up to £690m per year in energy system costs by 2050, as the UK transitions to a net-zero carbon emission system.

Commissioned by SSE Renewables via Imperial Consultants the report – Whole-System Value of Long-Duration Energy Storage in a Net-Zero Emission Energy System for Great Britain – focused on the benefits of new long-duration pumped hydro storage in Scotland, as the current most established long-duration energy storage technology.

The main benefit of long duration storage compared to short duration batteries is being able to continuously charge up the storage with excess renewables and also discharge power to the grid for several hours or days when wind and solar output is low.

In its recent Energy White Paper, the UK Government set out that long-duration storage technologies like pumped hydro, would play an essential role in decarbonizing UK’s electricity supply by integrating renewable energy and maintaining security of supply.

The study, by Imperial’s researchers, found that 75% of the savings to the energy system would be from the avoided capital expenditure in higher cost electricity generation technologies that would otherwise be needed to meet the UK’s target of carbon neutrality by 2050 whilst meeting security of supply.

 

PPC green plan includes pumped storage, hydrogen, old generator use

Power utility PPC’s green-energy plan represents a key part of the company’s new business plan, along with a newly adopted customer-oriented approach and the digital transformation of production and distribution networks, deputy chief executive Giannis Kopanakis has pointed out during a speech at the 3rd Athens Investment Forum.

PPC’s green energy plan will be based on decarbonization, through a gradual withdrawal of the corporation’s lignite-fired power stations, and RES market penetration, the deputy noted.

Telethermal need coverage, development of large-scale solar energy farms at former lignite mines, and investments in energy storage, biomass, hydrogen and other new technologies all feature in the transition plan for lignite-dependent local economies, Kopanakis told the conference.

As for energy storage, PPC, besides batteries, also intends to develop pumped-storage systems at depleted lignite sites, appropriate for use as small-scale reservoirs.

The development of hydrogen producing facilities, also included in the PPC plan, will greatly depend on decisions concerning the fuel mix the corporation’s new Ptolemaida V power station will run on beyond 2028.

PPC also plans to utilize existing mechanical equipment of lignite-fired power stations either closed or headed for closure through use at other company facilities. Generators at old power stations are planned to be converted into condensers for grid voltage stability. Such systems will be needed as a result of the sharp increase in RES stations.

PPC’s investment plan, budgeted at 2.2 billion euros, is expected to create at least 900 permanent jobs as well as 3,000 temporary positions, for the construction of new projects, Kopanakis said.

 

US wants Greece as partner for pumped storage projects

Recognizing the importance of pumped storage hydropower technology as a means for energy storage, the US is promoting the establishment of a related international forum to bring together countries and companies for co-development of such projects.

According to sources, Greek deputy energy minister Gerassimos Thomas has received an invitation from the US department of energy and the International Hydropower Association requesting Greece’s participation in a US-headed multidisciplinary platform that will seek to reinforce the role of pumped-storage technology in current and future energy systems.

Pumped storage hydropower supply during the pandemic has provided vital energy support for US households, hospitals and schools, American experts have determined.

Washington believes pumped storage hydropower projects are capable of enhancing the reliability of grids and supporting further renewable energy penetration. This technology, regarded as tried and tested, can be further developed in the energy transition era, US experts support.

Pumped storage hydropower currently represents about 94 percent of global energy storage capacity, latest data has shown.

A pumped storage hydropower project planned by Greece’s GEK TERNA in Amfilohia, western Greece, is regarded as a pioneering initiative in Europe.

The country’s energy ministry has approached the European Commission for special funding support for this project, budgeted at over 500 million euros.

 

Pumped-storage project support plan delivered to Brussels

The energy ministry has delivered to the European Commission, for approval, a special support framework proposal concerning a 680-MW pumped-storage hydroelectricity project planned by GEK TERNA in Amfilohia, western Greece.

The project has been on the EU’s list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI) since 2012, while its studies have received Juncker Plan financing.

The total budget of the project, planned to generate 816 GWh annually, is expected to exceed 500 million euros.

Pumped-storage hydroelectricity allows energy from intermittent sources, such as solar, wind and other renewables, or excess electricity from continuous base-load sources, including coal, to be saved for periods of higher demand.

Also, pumped-storage hydroelectricity is a technology that promises major  support for domestic value-added sectors as its investments concurrently create thousands of jobs, boost public revenue, tax collections and social security fund contributions, besides resolving energy issues.

PPC eyeing Dubai pumped storage hydropower project

The main power utility PPC is preparing to submit an offer for the construction of a 250-MW pumped storage hydropower plant (PSHPP) in Hatta, southeast of Dubai City.

The project, estimated to be worth over 450 million euros, is planned to utilize water at the Al Hattawi dam in Hatta, near the UAE’s border with Oman.

PPC aims to take part in the project’s tender as the head of a consortium including Archirodon Construction (Overseas) Co Ltd. and Hitachi – Mitsubishi Hydro Corporation.

The project description includes construction of a higher-elevation reservoir with a storage capacity of 880 million gallons, 300 meters above the Al Hattawi dam, whose storage capacity measures 1.72 billion gallons of water. The dam lies 400 meters above sea level. The distance between the existing dam and prospective higher-elevation reservoir will be approximately 3 to 4 kilometers.

During off-peak hours, turbines are planned to pump water from the existing dam to the higher-elevation reservoir, utilizing solar energy.

Last June, DEWA, the state-run Dubai Electricity and Water Authority commissioned EDF, at a price of 15.8 million dollars, to prepare plans for the project, including design, geological, hydrygeological, environmental and excavation studies.  DEWA announced the completion of this stage in November.

An initial November 18, 2018 deadline has been extended to January 13 following requests by participants.

PPC and Archirodon, a Dutch group headquartered in Dordrecht, are joining forces for the first time following the signing of a MoU for a five-year partnership, announced last October.

Archirodon has maintained an international presence, offering EPC services, for approximately 60 years, including in the Middle East and North Africa regions.

 

PPC, Terna in pumped-storage hydroelectricity project talks

The main power utility PPC is engaged in talks with Terna Energy for a possible partnership concerning the latter’s plan to develop pumped-storage hydroelectricity facilities in Amfilohia, western Greece, and the Cretan region Amari, PPC’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis disclosed at the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair while addressing the utility’s decision to make a decisive turn towards green energy.

The energy sector’s future lies in renewable energy incorporating storage systems, Panagiotakis supported.

“Crete and other areas have potential. We have begun talks with Terna and other firms for the development of such projects by also utilizing existing lakes, such as the artificial lake at the Amari area’s rivers, with wind turbines,” the PPC boss explained.

Pumped-storage hydroelectricity allows energy from intermittent sources, such as solar, wind and other renewables, or excess electricity from continuous base-load sources, including coal, to be saved for periods of higher demand.

Terna Energy plans to develop a 680-MW facility in Amfilohia and a 93-MW plant at Amari, Crete.