Category Archives: Energy Storage

The Top Utilities of 2016 For Solar And Energy Storage

By Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry Magazine

Every year, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) crowns the top U.S. utilities for solar, and with the release of its 10th annual utility market survey, the group has now launched additional rankings for the utilities leading on energy storage. “One of the reasons we started the utility solar top 10 lists back in 2007 was to highlight the key, but often unrecognized, role utilities were taking in putting new solar on the grid,” explains SEPA President and CEO Julia Hamm. “With utility-scale solar now well established as a mainstream power source, we wanted to similarly recognize utilities’ leadership in realizing the full potential of storage to drive critical system changes that will benefit customers and the grid.” Continue reading.

Image: Shutterstock


IREC Releases Energy Storage Guide for Policymakers

A new tool published by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), Charging Ahead: An Energy Storage Guide for State Policymakers provides regulators and other decision makers with specific guidance on key issues for policy consideration, including foundational policies for advanced energy storage—a new generation of technologies characterized by flexible operating capabilities and diverse applications. Continue reading.

IREC Webinar on April 26th explores topics in the guide.


ComEd project targets energy storage at the neighborhood level

 Written by David J. Unger, Midwest Energy News

A new pilot project from Illinois’ largest utility is bringing energy storage out from behind the substation and into the neighborhood. It’s part of a broader experiment in Community Energy Storage (CES), or the deployment of medium-sized batteries in between those found in utility-scale applications and the kind of personal, home-battery systems offered by Tesla and others.
Continue reading.

Photo: ComEd crews lower the Community Energy Storage unit into the underground vault near customers’ homes in Beecher, Illinois.



Energy storage is America’s industry to lose

By David Ferris, First in a series, E&E News

Julie Blunden is a former solar executive who now focuses her analytical ability on energy storage. When she sits down with an iced tea to run the numbers, they fill her with a sense of urgency. She sees a market that is strapping on its boots for a steep and inexorable climb. Blunden and a growing number of experts believe that energy storage will be worth tens of billions of dollars in revenue within a decade, regardless of what the Trump administration does to harm or help. Batteries will start showing up everywhere, sending shock waves through the auto industry, the electric grid, the petroleum industry and the broader power sector, adding tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs to the economy. Read more here.

Photos included in the article: In the next decade, the energy storage industry will go from the familiar, like the iPhone, into much bigger applications like electric cars and the power grid. Credit: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Pixabay, Dave Dugdale/Flickr (Tesla).




Research Shows Solar+Storage Has the Highest Benefit of Offsetting Utility Infrastructure Requirements

 By Casey Anderson, Renewable Energy World 

Rooftop solar company Sunrun presented a case for solar + storage having the highest benefit of offsetting utility infrastructure requirements, citing research from Crossborder Energy. The research used data from APS in Arizona, where a settlement was reached on March 1 regarding rate designs for solar customers. Sunrun also cited recent research by Berkeley that calls into question arguments made by solar critics that rooftop solar increases retail rates.
Continue reading here. 

Photo Credit: Clean Energy Collective

Clean Energy States Alliance Webinar
March 13th – 
2 to 3:30 p.m.
Comparing the Abilities of Energy Storage, PV, and Other Distributed Energy Resources to Provide Grid Services

The grid is undergoing a transformation leading to greater utilization of Distributed Energy Resources (DER). DER devices include batteries, PV, and even aggregated hot water heaters or building lighting systems. At the core of this transformation are the services that these DER can provide to the grid. Presently each device type is siloed into its market or program, and the same services can receive different compensation based on what device is providing it.

The Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC) is leading an effort to solve the technical challenges to compare very different DER devices on their ability to supply each grid service. In this webinar, guest speakers from the GLMC will discuss the drivers behind this research, the technical problems that need solving, and their progress so far in the areas of battery and photovoltaic systems.

A Beginner’s Guide to Energy Storage – Free Energy Storage Association Webinar

 March 8, 2017 – 1 to 2 p.m.

New to the energy storage or curious about the industry? Join this complimentary webinar hosted by the Energy Storage Association that outlines what energy storage means, what it does, its benefits and its applications. Plus, get insight into the mission of the Association itself. Participants will also hear different perspectives about the industry from developer and utility points-of-view, as well as the types of jobs in the energy storage sector.

This webinar is supported by the National Society of Black Engineers.


  • Craig Horne, VP, Business Develepment, RES
  • Peter Muhoro, Chief Strategy Officer, Pedernales Electric Cooperative
  • Ricson Chude, P.E., Energy SIG Professional Development Lead, National Society of Black Engineers
  • Matt Roberts, Executive Director, Energy Storage Association

Register here. 


60% of solar installers now offer storage options, Solar Power World

Energy Storage Facts & Figures

Source: Energy Storage Association

“A next-generation smart grid without energy storage is like a
computer without a hard drive: severely limited.”
– Katie Fehrenbacher, GigaOm

The Energy Storage Association (ESA) believes that energy storage is integral to all systems planning and deployment. The organization works to make electricity smarter, more efficient, and better. “Drawing on decades of research and development, ESA’s members are storing energy today for its best use tomorrow. Energy storage is entirely resource neutral – and allows us to integrate electricity from any source into a more resilient and reliable grid, creating jobs, lowering energy bills, and helping to secure our energy future.”

Energy Storage Facts & Figures posted on ESA’s Website

Did you know?

  • According to market research firm IHS, the energy storage market is set to “explode” to an annual installation size of 6 gigawatts (GW) in 2017 and over 40 GW by 2022 — from an initial base of only 0.34 GW installed in 2012 and 2013.
  • The U.S. energy storage industry comprises hundreds of companies and thousands of American workers building commercial energy storage systems throughout the country.
  • Flywheel and battery energy storage systems are operating today in the competitive ancillary services power market – providing a 10x faster and more accurate response to a power dispatcher’s signals compared to power turbine generators.
  • An IMS Research report expects the market for storing power from solar panels – which was less than $200 million in 2012 – will catapult to $19 billion in 2017.

To learn more, visit:  Energy Storage Association

Energy Storage: Falling Costs, Major Gains

Off Grid Solar

By Joseph P. O’Connor

Off Grid Solar is a pocket guide and quick reference for anyone looking to build a solar system with the free sunshine available to us all. “The limitations to widespread solar are not centered on the cost, the efficiency, or the need for advancements in technology. The limitations are solely due to the lack of widespread knowledge on the subject.”

About the Author

Joe O’Connor is a solar manufacturing entrepreneur as well as a consultant, speaker, and writer on solar energy. He has built off grid solar energy systems in the U.S., Haiti, Nepal, Portugal, Guatemala, and most recently in Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo. To learn more about his work in the Congo, click here to read SolarCity, Tesla, and Virunga: Building Solar Micro Grids for the guardians of Africa’s oldest and most biodiverse national park.

Seeking to amplify his impact after over a decade of traveling to remote places to install solar, Joe decided to share his knowledge and experience of off-grid solar energy systems by writing this book.

He is currently a Senior Applications Engineer for Energy Storage at Mercedes-Benz Energy. In his previous position at SolarCity, he supported the Micro Grid Team and the GivePower Foundation by designing solar photovoltaic and Tesla Powerwall systems. He also prototyped, designed, and patented a new solar racking system that enabled SolarCity to become one of the largest commercial installers in the U.S.

Prior to his work at SolarCity, Joe launched a cost-efficient solar racking product at solar manufacturing start-up, Sollega. He has also worked with Sustainable Energy Partners in San Francisco, completing dozens of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

Joe earned his M.S. from NYU Polytechnic University in Manufacturing Engineering and was selected as a recipient of the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship. He earned his B.S. from Cal Poly University in Industrial Technology.

He first became passionate about renewable energy after volunteering with GRID
Alternatives—the Habitat for Humanities of the solar industry—when he teamed up with other volunteers to install solar electric systems on homes of low-income families in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Joe believes that advancements in the renewable energy industry will help our global society break its dependency on oil, coal, and natural gas. He is on a mission to make renewable energy the dominant energy source on our planet.

Source: Amazon

Renewables challenge natural gas plants on price in latest Lazard analysis

 By Peter Maloney, Utility Dive Brief

The latest version of Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE) shows a continued decline in the cost of generating electricity from solar technology and other renewables, bringing them into close competition with natural gas combined cycle plants. Lazard’s LCOE analysis tracked cost declines of about 11% for utility scale PV technologies and about 26% for rooftop residential PV compared with last year, along with lesser declines for other renewable technologies. But authors noted those variable resources require support from generators or energy storage. Continue reading.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

PV Magazine: Lazard: Global solar PV, storage costs fall in 2016
Greentech Media: Storage Costs Come Down Across Technologies and Applications According to Lazard Report

Tesla-SolarCity Merger ‘Overwhelmingly Approved’

By Eric Wesoff, Greentech Media

“The acquisition of SolarCity will create the world’s only integrated sustainable energy company, from energy generation to storage to transportation,” according to a Tesla blog post published ahead of the shareholder vote. By joining forces, the companies can offer a seamless home solar plus storage solution, featuring SolarCity and Tesla’s new “beautiful” solar roof technology and the Powerwall 2.0. Read more.


Image showing Tesla’s new solar roof materials. From left to right: Tuscan Glass Tile, Slate Glass Tile, Textured Glass Tile, and Smooth Glass Tile.

No One Saw Tesla’s Solar Roof Coming, Bloomberg News
Musk reveals how Tesla’s Roof will cost less than a traditional roof, Teslarati