Energy Storage: A Turbulent Second Quarter Foretells Major Changes

John Petersen The second quarter was a turbulent period for investors in the energy storage and vehicle electrification sectors. Johnson Controls (JCI), C&D Technologies (CHHP.PK) and the enchanted, mystical, gravity defying Tesla Motors (TSLA) were up a little. Everybody else was down as fear, loathing and uncertainty ran rampant and the congenital birth defects of EVs and batteries to power them proved to be insurmountable obstacles for all but St. Elon of Palo Alto, the patron saint of expensive toys. While the second quarter wasn't pleasant for most of the companies I track, I draw some comfort...

ePower’s Series Hybrid Electric Drive – Unmatched Fuel Economy for Heavy Trucks

John Petersen Over the last couple weeks there’s been a lot of message board chatter about ePower Engine Systems, a transportation technology company that has selected the PbC® battery from Axion Power International (AXPW) for its series hybrid electric drivetrain for over-the-road freight haulers who drive heavy Class 8 tractors. Since I introduced ePower to Axion and have tracked their progress for a couple years, I called ePower’s CEO Andy Claypole to ask his permission to share what I’ve learned about ePower’s hybrid electric drivetrain. After a series of phone calls and e-mails, Andy graciously...

How Aggregation Will Destroy Niche Markets for Smart Grid Energy Storage

John Petersen Last week I introduced a new study titled "Energy Storage for the Electricity Grid: Benefits and Potential Market Assessment" that was commissioned by the DOE's Energy Storage Systems Program, identified seventeen discrete storage applications for the electricity grid, discussed the technical requirements of each application and summarized the potential economic benefits. If the Yahoo! message boards are any indication, investors are already jumping to inaccurate and wildly optimistic conclusions because they don't understand that many storage applications are synergistic and every storage system purchaser will try to maximize the value of its investment by capturing...

The EIA Offers Another Reality Check For Energy Storage Investors

John Petersen On December 14th the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a policy-neutral statistics and analysis agency within the Department of Energy, announced the release of reference case statistics for its Annual Energy Outlook 2010, an exhaustive compendium of current data and expected trends that covers the entire spectrum of energy production, consumption and pricing at the regional and national level. For numbers freaks like me, the EIA worksheets are a bottomless well of fascinating minutiae. Since most investors would find the raw data mind numbing, I spent some time pouring through the EIA's data in an effort to wrap...

Ultralife Batteries, Inc. Awarded $7.4 Million Battery Contract by U.S. Defense Department

Ultralife Batteries Inc (ULBI) has been awarded a new production contract for its BA-5390/U battery valued at approximately $7.4 million, by the U.S. Defense Department. This contract is independent of the Next Gen II, Phase IV five-year battery contract for the BA-5390 and four other rectangular military batteries, which the company was awarded in December 2004. Deliveries under this $7.4 million contract are required to be completed by May 14.

Energy Storage: Four Break Out Stocks and a Short Circuit

John Petersen On December 16th I wrote "My favorites for a strong 2012 include AONE, MXWL, AXPW.OB, ZBB, JCI, ENS, ACPW and XIDE. They all merit serious attention from investors who want exposure to the energy storage sector." Since then four of my favorites have bottomed and turned sharply higher while the Pride of Palo Alto endures a short circuit. The following table compares today's closing prices with the December 16th closing prices for those five companies. Exide Technologies (XIDE) has been a roller coaster over the last two years. In January 2010 its 10-day...

Active Power Receives Order for First Parallel Multi-Megawatt UPS System

Active Power Inc (ACPW) announced that it has received its first order for two multi-megawatt systems in a parallel configuration. With this order, the total number of megawatt UPS systems sold is now eleven, with eight of these sales occurring in the last 4 months. Active Power's products are a proven alternative to problematic battery-based systems. CleanSource flywheel technology uses the kinetic energy from a constantly spinning steel flywheel to eliminate the need for lead acid battery-based systems.

Hydrogenics Awarded Contract by Gas Natural to Deliver Hydrogen Station to Spanish Wind Farm

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced that they have been awarded a contract for over EUR 500,000 to deliver a hydrogen station to Gas Natural SDG, a Spanish-based energy services multinational with approximately ten million customers in Spain, Latin America, Italy and France (www.gasnatural.com). Gas Natural will use a Hydrogenics' HySTAT(TM)-A Hydrogen Station at the Sotavento Galicia wind farm to produce up to 60 Nm3/hr of hydrogen. The hydrogen will be used to fuel an internal combustion engine generator, which in turn will supply electricity to the electric grid.

Ten Alternative Energy Speculations for 2008: Batteries, CHP, and Transmission

This article is a continuation of my Ten Alternative Energy Speculations for 2008, with picks #8, 9, and10 published last Thursday.  If you haven't already, please read the introduction of that article before buying any of the stock picks that follow.  These companies are likely to be highly volatile, and large positions are not appropriate for many investors.   My least risky picks (#8,9, and #10) are part of that same article; my most speculative plays (#1-3) will are here. #7 Electro Energy, Inc. (NasdaqCM:EEEI) $0.68 Electro Energy has risen 36% in the month and a half since I last...