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Regulators approve energy storage plans, but question their cost and overall benefits



Potomac Edison, a unit of FirstEnergy Corp., received approval from the Maryland Public Service Commission for two battery energy storage projects in Allegany and Frederick counties, the latter of which will be paired with a new electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging station.

Potomac Edison proposed the two projects in response to the state’s Energy Storage Pilot Program, which was established in 2019 to examine new technologies that could have a transformative impact on electric distribution systems. The program required all investor-owned electric utilities to submit at least two energy storage proposals for the commission’s consideration.

Service reliability

The 1.75 MW, 8.4 MWh battery energy storage project in Allegany County would provide back-up power to more than 1,000 customers in Allegany and Washington counties during outages, enhancing service reliability in an area west of the town of Hancock.

The circuit is located in a rural area and has suffered from challenging tree-related reliability issues. Tree trimming alone is not expected to be enough to improve reliability across the circuit. The battery will offer islanding capability, providing power to customers in the event of loss of power at the local substation or a fault on the line. The battery is an alternative to building a connection to another circuit, which Potomac Edison said could cost $1.9 to $2.06 million.

Tree-trimming alone was not expected to be enough to enhance reliability on the rural circuit.

Potomac Edison plans to partner with storage developer Convergent Energy + Power on the project. Under an early agreement with Convergent, Potomac Edison would have been able to reserve the system (and charge it to full capacity) for up to 20 days each calendar year. The utility said that would be sufficient to cover all high-risk days based on historical weather and outages. Following an objection from the regulatory commission’s staff, however, Convergent raised the number of available days to 50.

The project is expected to participate in PJM wholesale markets, but no revenues will flow directly to the utility or its customers. Instead, revenues will lower the annual contract price. All market risk remains with the contractor, Convergent.

Potomac Edison estimates a total cost of the project at $5.55 million over a 10-year period. Potomac Edison also foresees that the project will produce benefits equal to around $3.5 million.

BESS and EV charging

In the second project, Potomac Edison will install a battery energy storage system at the Maryland Department of Transportation Park and Ride Lot in Urbana, located in Frederick County. The project will be adjacent to a new Potomac Edison electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging station, located near the Interstate 270 and Route 80 interchange, and will bundle battery energy storage with EV charging.

Owned and operated by Potomac Edison, the $1.1 million system will include a 500 kW battery. The BESS would provide 1,000 kWh during a two-hour discharge period, providing around eight hours of DCFC EV charging at a charging rate of 125 kW, and require 4.8 hours to charge to full capacity.

Regulators questioned whether the BESS paired with EV charging might actually increase emissions at certain times.

Image: Pixabay/joenomias

Potomac Edison also intends to use the BESS for demand management, frequency regulation, and energy arbitrage (via PJM markets); revenues earned will offset the overall costs of the BESS.

In the event of an outage, the Urbana fast-charging station will be able to run off of battery-supplied energy. The battery system is expected to provide 1,000 kWh of energy.

Potomac Edison estimates the cost of the Urbana Proposal at around $1.1 million for capital costs and another $1 million of O&M costs through December 2036, including a 25% contingency. The utility estimated quantifiable benefits of $305,626, including air emissions reductions; public health adverse-impact reductions; peak shaving; EV charging payments; energy arbitrage; PJM markets; and reliability.

Ratepayer interest?

In comments, both the staff and the state’s Office of People’s Counsel (OPC) voiced concerns with the proposed project’s low benefit-to-cost ratio. After several adjustments, OPC calculated the present value benefit-to-cost ratio at 0.07. It said that the low benefit-to-cost ratio casts doubt on whether the project is in the ratepayer interest.

OPC also estimated that the charging station will, as a result of round-trip efficiency losses, result in a “substantial increase” in carbon dioxide emissions, which it estimated at 1.1 tons of increased carbon dioxide emissions in the first year of operation. OPC argued that Potomac Edison improperly claimed emissions benefits during periods when the project is participating in PJM’s RegD market, during which OPC said the project would likely result in increased emissions.

“…with a projected cost-effectiveness ratio at or near zero, we do not find that spending several million dollars in ratepayer funds to develop this project is in the public interest.”

Regulators agreed that the Urbana BESS project is not cost effective, but will be part of an EV charger system along a major highway and will help test a new model for handling distribution demand requirements for EV charging.

The commission concluded that the Potomac Edison projects appear well conceived to produce valuable additional data and experience which will form the foundation for the next phase of utility-scale energy storage in Maryland.

Two commissioners—Jason Stanek and Mindy Herman—offered a partial dissent to the order, saying that the potential benefits of pairing a lithium-ion battery with an electric vehicle DC fast charger, when compared to the costs, “is concerning.”

They said that it “appears unlikely” that the costs to develop, operate, and maintain the project will be offset by the projected benefit streams, some of which are “unquantifiable.” They also expressed concern over the possible rise in air emissions. They said “with a projected cost-effectiveness ratio at or near zero, we do not find that spending several million dollars in ratepayer funds to develop this project is in the public interest.”

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Stonebridge Bets Its Earnings On Delivering Sizeable Savings to Fuel Operators



OKLAHOMA CITY, June 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Stonebridge Consulting, an operations optimization consultancy dedicated to the energy industry, today announced that it’s putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to saving oil & gas operators money. The firm is launching a holistic diesel fuel spend assessment program called FuelFilter. The assessment is engineered to deliver net savings on an operator’s diesel fuel spend, inclusive of a performance-based contingency fee paid to Stonebridge, or it’s free.

“In the same way that a fuel filter screens unwanted contaminants from reaching your car’s engine, the FuelFilter program is designed to identify and eliminate hidden costs which unnecessarily raise an operator’s diesel fuel spend and negatively impact enterprise performance,” said Adam Hutchinson, President of Stonebridge. “On average, we’re finding up to 10% savings on annual fuel spends. For companies who spend millions on diesel annually, the savings can be substantial.”

Fuel spend, though a significant contributor to CapEx, is often overlooked as a material savings opportunity by oil and gas operators, explained Leo Oei, Vice President of Operations Consulting at Stonebridge. “Stonebridge research confirms that most operators peg fuel pricing to published indexes, then add margin and freight. While this is a generally accepted structure for fuel contracts from a costing standpoint, pricing by index leaves many determinants of price unchecked.”

The FuelFilter assessment instead analyzes spending comprehensively, including fuel contracts, invoicing, products, index, freight, margin, ancillary charges, taxes and fees, and field tickets confirming actual fuel delivery. Resulting from the analysis, energy operations experts at Stonebridge are able to identify major contributors to cost and risk—from supply security to safety; and from operational performance to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) compliance. Moreover, the FuelFilter program highlights any/all cost savings opportunities.

“Often, the devil is in the details,” Oei said. “In an environment with escalating fuel prices, supply disruptions due to natural disasters or cyber security threats, and tightening ESG requirements, our clients are receiving maximum value from their fuel providers by improving invoicing and payment terms, lowering compliance costs, and discovering value in many other unseen aspects that make up fuel spend.

Stonebridge hatched the idea for the FuelFilter assessment given its 20+ years of experience working with large fuel distributors, oilfield service companies, and operators.  In all cases where the FuelFilter assessment has been conducted, clients have discovered significant hidden value.

“We found great undiscovered value in the fuel spend assessment conducted by Stonebridge,” said Dan McDonald, Director of Supply Chain at Laredo Petroleum, Inc. “Because Laredo is driven to identify every available opportunity for cost improvement while protecting the quality of our products and services, the FuelFilter program was a natural fit for us. It identified contract, risk, and ESG savings that were sizable.”

According to Oei, a FuelFilter assessment can be conducted in 7 to 14 days and requires minimal investment of operator time and resources. “Best of all,” he said, “Stonebridge only gets paid a portion of the savings we identify. There is no risk to the customer.”

For a free FuelFilter assessment, contact Stonebridge Consulting at [email protected] or visit the company’s website:

About Stonebridge Consulting

Stonebridge Consulting, a Sierra Digital company, delivers operational excellence to the energy industry, backed by 100% domain focus, deep expertise, and reusable project IP and solution accelerators, including Peloton®Ready, EnerHub™ and EnerPubSM. The firm helps customers deliver projects faster, generating measurable improvements in operational efficiency, and saving delivery time and costs by as much as 50%. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the firm maintains offices in Houston, Denver, Tulsa, and Sydney, Australia.

CONTACT: Thomas Merrill, SVP of Branding & Marketing
[email protected] 

SOURCE Sierra Digital Inc.

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Global Clean Hydrogen Market Outlook and Forecast 2021-2026: Supportive Government Policies to Enable Market Growth



DUBLIN, June 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The “Clean Hydrogen Market – Global Outlook and Forecast 2021-2026” report has been added to’s offering.

The clean hydrogen market by revenue is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 14.01% during the period 2020-2026.

The market is likely to witness steady growth in the upcoming year. The rising global warming due to the maximum emission of carbon dioxide to the environment contributed from transportation, industries, power generation are the major factors increasing the demand for clean hydrogen.

The APAC region has the highest contribution in carbon dioxide emission to the environment, followed by North America. To curb the emission from vehicles and reduce air pollutions, the demand for fuel cell vehicles is increasing across the regions. The hydrogen can be used to charge these FCV vehicles, and henceforth, there is a huge scope of clean hydrogen in transportation applications.


The clean hydrogen market research report includes a detailed segmentation by technology, end-user, geography. The alkaline electrolyzer is one of the easiest hydrogen production methods as it produces 99.9% pure gas. The electrodes which are used in the techniques are robust zirconium dioxide based diaphragms and Nickel coated stainless steel. The alkaline electrolyzer is expected to grow due to its low price compared to other electrolyzers.

PEM electrolysis is more dynamic and responsive to changing power inputs requirement than alkaline electrolyzer. The key components in the PEM electrolyzer are the bipolar plates with flow channels, current collectors, and membrane electrode assembly. The market for PEM electrolyzer will also increase during the forecast period because it provides the pure form of hydrogen. Many companies and government bodies consider PEM the best suitable electrolyzer for hydrogen production during the coming years.

The transport sector contributed the largest share of 45.20% to the overall green hydrogen market in 2020. While some companies are selling hydrogen cars in selected countries, battery-operated electric vehicles are being chosen by an increasing number of car manufacturers worldwide.

A project under consultation by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) aims at increasing this fleet to 50,000 taxis in Paris by 2030, as part of a billion-euro investment to add 11 GWh of hydrogen storage capacity in the city.


Germany, France, Spain, Netherland, and others have already released a national hydrogen strategy and clean hydrogen as energy-efficient strategies. The clean hydrogen projects are ramping up, as multiple companies have announced major low or zero-carbon hydrogen projects in Europe. In Europe, the German government to create demand for hydrogen about 90 to 110 Tw by 2030.


Key players such as Linde Plc, Air Liquide, and others are involved in several ongoing sustainability partnerships in the global market.

Companies with better technical and financial resources can develop innovative products that could threaten competitor products. Vendors must develop new technologies and remain abreast with upcoming innovations to have a competitive advantage over other vendors. The requirement of clean hydrogen in the industry will arise due to their zero-emission of carbon dioxide to the environment and create lucrative market opportunities.

Key Vendors

  • Linde plc
  • Air Liquide
  • Engie
  • Uniper SE
  • Siemens Energy

Other Prominent Vendors

  • Air Products Inc
  • Clean Hydrogen System
  • Cummins Inc
  • Toshiba Energy System & Solution Corporation
  • Nel ASA
  • SGH2 Energy
  • SunGreenH2
  • Green Hydrogen
  • Fuel Cell Energy
  • Plug Power
  • McPhy
  • Arkema
  • Symbio
  • ACWA Power
  • CWP Global
  • HyPoint
  • Enapter
  • Hytech Power
  • Hyon
  • Ballard Power System
  • Bloom Energy
  • Rouge H2 Engineering GmbH


1. How big will the clean hydrogen market size by 2026?
2. Which segment accounted for the largest clean hydrogen market share?
3. Who are the top companies in the clean hydrogen market?
4. What are the factors driving the green hydrogen market?
5. Which region is expected to hold the highest market share in the clean hydrogen market?

Key Topics Covered:

1 Research Methodology

2 Research Objectives

3 Research Process

4 Scope & Coverage
4.1 Market Definition
4.2 Base Year
4.3 Scope Of The Study

5 Report Assumptions & Caveats

6 Market at a Glance

7 Introduction
7.1 Overview
7.2 Different Types Of Hydrogen
7.3 Clean Or Green Hydrogen
7.3.1 Challenges for Clean Hydrogen
7.4 Requirement of Clean Hydrogen
7.5 Cost Analysis
7.6 Quadrant Analysis of Consumption And Production Of Green Hydrogen
7.6.1 Importers
7.6.2 Self Sufficient
7.6.3 Exporters
7.6.4 Limited Potential

8 Growth Opportunity by Segment
8.1 By Technology
8.2 By End-User
8.3 By Region

9 Impact Of COVID-19

10 Frequently Asked Questions
10.1 How Big Is the Clean Hydrogen Market?
10.2 What Is the Estimated Growth Rate for The Market?
10.3 Which Segment Accounts for The Largest Market Share?
10.4 Who Are the Key Players in The Market?
10.5 What Are the Key Growth Drivers for The Market?

11 Major Clean Hydrogen Project Summary
11.1 Australia
11.2 China
11.3 Spain
11.4 Saudi Arabia
11.5 Belgium
11.6 UK
11.7 France
11.8 Netherlands

12 Market Opportunities & Trends
12.1 Advantages Of Clean Hydrogen
12.2 Cost Competitiveness
12.3 Broader Use Of Hydrogen & Benefits For Power Systems

13 Market Growth Enablers
13.1 Supportive Government Policies

14 Market Restraints
14.1 Physical & Chemical Properties Of Clean Hydrogen
14.2 High Production Cost

15 Market Landscape
15.1 Market Overview
15.2 Market Size & Forecast
15.3 Five Forces Analysis

16 Technology
16.1 Market Snapshot & Growth Engine
16.2 Market Overview
16.3 Alkaline Electrolyzer
16.4 PEM Electrolyzer
16.5 SO Electrolyzer

17 End-User
17.1 Market Snapshot & Growth Engine
17.2 Market Overview
17.3 Transport
17.4 Power Generation
17.5 Industrial

18 Geography
18.1 Market Snapshot & Growth Engine
18.2 Geographic Overview

For more information about this report visit

Media Contact:
Research and Markets
Laura Wood, Senior Manager
[email protected]     

For E.S.T Office Hours Call +1-917-300-0470
For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call +1-800-526-8630
For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900

U.S. Fax: 646-607-1904
Fax (outside U.S.): +353-1-481-1716

SOURCE Research and Markets

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Unstable Abandoned Mines Pose Greater Safety Risk, Potentially Extend Under Interstate Near Rapid City



RAPID CITY, S.D., June 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Unstable subsurface mines that have forced evacuations in the Hideaway Hills neighborhood extend farther than previously disclosed and pose a broader risk to the region, including potentially a stretch of Interstate 90, according to recent independent geophysical studies.

Data from soil-resistivity studies indicate that unstable mines that caused an April 2020 sinkhole in Hideaway Hills extend to the north, east and south of the Blackhawk-area neighborhood. Western Engineers & Geologists and other consultants commissioned by the Fox Rothschild law firm have previously concluded that flooded voids exist under a portion of Interstate 90. Now a separate analysis by Montana Technological University using Electrical Resistivity Tomography has provided more data about those voids. 

“The state has been aware of these findings but continues to deny the extent of the problem,” trial lawyer Kathleen Barrow, of the Fox Rothschild law firm, said. “Too many families are already suffering because of the state’s long history of disregard for these abandoned mines. These latest findings confirm that urgency is needed in the state’s response.”

Separate soil-resistivity studies reached similar conclusions about the extent of gypsum mining undertaken by the state of South Dakota starting in the 1910s. The Fox Rothschild law firm represents Hideaway Hills homeowners who were forced to evacuate because of the sinkhole and increasingly unsteady ground shifting. The lawsuit charges that the state failed to properly remediate the mines before the surface rights were sold to developers who built the Hideaway Hills neighborhood.

The Fox Rothschild complaints are the only lawsuits to survive legal challenges, and the legal team is now working to consolidate them in class-action litigation. The case is Andrew Morse and John and Emily Clarke et al. v. State of South Dakota et al., No. 46CIV-20-000295 in the Circuit Court, 4th Judicial District, County of Meade, South Dakota.  

Fox Rothschild has grown to a 950-lawyer national law firm with 27 offices by focusing on client service and responsiveness and by attracting bright and creative lawyers who know how to deliver. More information at  

Media Contact: 
Mark Annick 
[email protected] 

SOURCE Fox Rothschild

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CEOs from The Coca-Cola Company and Alibaba Group to Lead The Consumer Goods Forum Board of Directors



PARIS, June 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), the global body pursuing purpose and positive change across the consumer goods industry, today announced that two new Co-Chairs have been elected to its Board of Directors: Daniel Zhang, Chairman & CEO of Alibaba Group, and James Quincey, Chairman & CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. The announcement was made after the Board of Directors meeting held during this year’s Global Summit, which is being held virtually for the first time.

The pair will lead the CGF Board for two years and replace outgoing Co-Chairs Özgür Tort, CEO of Migros Ticaret, and Emmanuel Faber, former Chairman & CEO of Danone. In addition, Frans Muller, CEO of Ahold Delhaize, and Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, were appointed Vice Co-Chairs.

James and Daniel take over the Co-Chair roles following a challenging period brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic and an increasing need for companies to show consumers, employees and investors that they are proactively addressing today’s sustainability, health and safety challenges. The CGF has also gone through its own strategic shifts with the creation of eight Coalitions of Action. While these have now been successfully launched, James and Daniel will have a leadership role to play in ensuring CGF members accelerate actions on the ground in regions all over the world.

James Quincey, Chairman & CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, said, “I am honoured to join the Board of CGF, a unique organisation that works to protect the planet and its people. Özgür and Emmanuel have done a tremendous job and I look forward to building upon their work to drive sustainable solutions to the challenges we face as an industry. Together with Daniel and the CGF Coalitions of Action, we will be working against an ambitious agenda to build a better shared future for all.”

Daniel Zhang, Chairman & CEO of Alibaba Group, said, “I am honoured to be the first-ever Co-Chair of the CGF Board from a multinational company born in China, and I want to thank my peers on the Board for their vote of confidence. Under Özgür’s and Emmanuel’s strong leadership, CGF has engaged a greater array of stakeholders and placed greater emphasis on implementation support. Together with James, I look forward to building on this foundation by driving broader representation and inclusivity across our CGF membership, as we work to transform the industry to address challenges and capture opportunities of the future.”

Reflecting on his time as Co-Chair, Özgür Tort, CEO of Migros Ticaret, said, “Sustainability and efficiency have gained even greater importance and relevance for us all during the pandemic. In a period of uncertainty, we provided service without limits. As a new era dawned, we were proactive in reinterpreting our practices to make them relevant in the new reality. Within the CGF, we set up eight separate Coalitions of Action, each with its own mission and a remit to create a sustainable world and bring about positive change. Each Coalition brings together corporate leaders from various sectors with the aim of focusing on new solutions for the future of our planet. By doing this CGF has created a much more inclusive and diversified structure. This flexible structure will inspire new initiatives all around the world.”

Wai-Chan Chan, Managing Director, The Consumer Goods Forum, said, “Özgür and Emmanuel have done a fabulous job during very challenging times. Under their stewardship, the CGF has re-focused to ensure positive impacts on the ground happen quicker and more effectively and we are now starting to see the benefits of this work. However, we are only just getting started and I look forward to now working more closely with James and Daniel as we get to driving positive change faster than ever, and ensure our industry has a positive voice built on tangible actions as we head towards the UN Food Systems Summit and COP 26. Despite our successes, we know there is still a lot more we can do.”

About The Consumer Goods Forum

The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 55 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit:

Logo –

SOURCE The Consumer Goods Forum

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