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New and improved grid-scale energy storage technologies are gaining popularity. Pumped hydro storage is efficient, but installations are expensive and time-consuming to build. Lithium-ion batteries are common in small applications, but building large-scale lithium-ions remains prohibitively expensive. Ultracapacitors and flow batteries have their niche uses. And some cutting-edge solutions aggregate many small amounts of storage, whether from electric vehicle batters, uninterruptible power supplies, or the thermal storage embodied in water heaters. Scroll down for insight into this important sector.

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Smart grid wins: the latest smart grid projects and developments

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid companies, smart grid projects
As usual, it’s been a busy week for smart grid projects. Read about OwnEnergy’s agreement to provide wind power to Yahoo! Inc., S&C Electric’s energy storage project with Australia’s Ergon Energy and a smart grid partnership between DOE, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Chattanooga’s EPB.

Really? Breakthrough said to be the “next big thing” in battery technology

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, battery technology, EV batteries, EV charging, electric vehicles, energy storage
Scientists from a Singapore technical university have come up with a battery capable of recharging to 70% capacity in two minutes, and it will last much longer than today’s lithium-ion batteries. The development could affect many industries and markets, particularly electric vehicles.

Pioneering Enel to launch business incubator for smart grid tech innovation

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, Enel, smart grid business incubator
Italian utility Enel has always been a pioneer in the utility industry, and shows no signs of stopping. With financial backing from the EU, Enel is launching a business incubator for clean tech startups with new innovations in smart grid-related technologies.

New standard signals the next era in grid-scale storage

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy storage, energy storage standards
What is it going to take to get energy storage off the ground? Sure, the market is growing but there have always been obstacles to widespread adoption and solid growth. Newly released plug-and-play energy storage standards could help clear some of those roadblocks. Read about a new draft specification from MESA Standards Alliance and SunSpec Alliance.

A quick scan of smart grid and related markets

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid markets, market research, market forecasts
The energy industry environment changes constantly and while market forecasts aren’t written in stone, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on what the analysts envision for the future. Click to read about predictions for programmable DC power supplies, demand response, energy storage and other markets.

Smart grid wins: a smart cities collaboration, Hawaii’s smart grid upgrade and more

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid companies, smart grid projects
Read this week’s smart grid wins for a quick look at a new smart cities project collaboration, Hawaii’s progress with its smart grid technology upgrade, a new acquisition for Schneider Electric and more projects and developments.

North America's two biggest energy storage projects

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy storage, grid-scale energy storage, research and development
Two grid-scale energy storage technologies are being put to the test, one in California and another in Utah. The large projects, involving lithium-ion batteries and compressed air, are expected to yield serious answers to questions regarding storage capabilities, benefits and value. Click to learn more about the projects.

Smart grid wins: Checking in with the latest projects and developments

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid companies, smart grid companies
This week’s collection of smart grid wins features news from companies large and small, well-known and not so well-known. Read the story for an overview of an array of projects in addition to two new partnerships for Riello UPS and Itron.

Energy storage: Is the time finally right for grid-integrated water heaters?

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy storage, grid-scale energy storage, demos and pilot projects
It’s an old idea, the concept of using a fleet of water heaters for energy storage. But with the help of new technology, demonstration projects are proving that water heaters (and space heaters) can be an effective element in grid-scale energy storage strategies.

Unions see the handwriting -- they are retraining for a net zero energy world

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid job training, electric utilities
We recently reported on Italian utility Enel’s new program to train the skilled workforce needed for a modern, decentralized electric grid. Innovations in training are happening in the U.S. too. Thousands of union electrical workers will be trained every year in smart grid technologies like grid-scale storage, renewable energy and advanced energy efficiency at the new Net Zero Plus Electrical Training Institute. Click for details.

This week’s smart grid wins... new projects, new partnerships

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid wins, smart grid companies, smart grid vendors, smart grid projects
This week’s smart grid wins roundup includes news from all over the map, from Germany and France to Hawaii and Ontario. Read the story to learn about a variety of new projects from Siemens, Itron, Stem, Schneider Electric and others.

Quinone-based batteries could reduce need for metals, but project costs are high

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy storage, flow batteries, Lux Research
Battery costs must drop if the stationary energy storage market is to grow as hoped over the next few years. New technologies look like promising ways to get around the need for metals like vanadium, but two Lux Research analysts report that project costs remain a concern.

What utilities forget when they analyze storage (Hint: It has to do with benefits)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy storage, utility business case, strategy, electric utilities
Reducing the cost of energy storage technologies is important. It’s good business. But guest author Rogers Weed points out that it is just as valuable to increase the benefits storage systems provide. As he points out, business cases are referred to as cost-benefit analyses for a reason.

Grid-scale storage breakthrough? Flow batteries get new life

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy storage, energy storage R&D, flow batteries, electric utilities
Today’s energy storage technologies aren’t all about lithium-based batteries. Much improved and more cost efficient next-generation flow batteries are attracting a lot of interest and investment. Here are two examples of the new technologies that could very well make it to the grid-scale energy storage market.

Forget lead and lithium. How about grid-scale batteries based on... water?

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, energy storage, grid-scale energy storage technologies, smart grid research and development
In an attempt to sidestep the disadvantages of today’s grid-scale energy storage technologies, researchers are developing a water-based battery that does not include expensive rare metals or toxic chemicals. The project is in its early phase, but an interesting one to follow.

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