Category Archives: Energy Storage

California regulators choose clean energy and storage over existing gas plants

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

In California and other regions where the transition to renewable energy is most advanced, the tide is turning not only against coal and nuclear power, but against gas plants as well. As the latest evidence of this, last Thursday the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued an order that calls for utility Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) to hold one or more solicitations for energy storage and/or “preferred resources” to address local capacity and voltage needs in two different parts of the state. Continue reading here.

Photo by Pedro Xing

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Predictions 2018: Energy storage growth shows no sign of slowing down

4 experts forecast trends in the upcoming year.
By Krysti Shallenberger, Utilty Dive

Energy storage will reap the benefits of a foundation laid in 2017 — when regulated utilities took the helm of massive storage projects. The resource’s market growth is expected to continue well into this year, analysts say, as states begin compelling utilities to include it in their long-term planning processes. Click here to read the complete article.

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EIA: 700 MW of utility-scale battery capacity installed in US, Utility Dive

Photo: Escondido Energy Storage Facility, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)

Expect strong growth this year for commercial energy storage

By Adam Wilson, Navigant Research Analyst, GreenBiz

Renewable generation deployments (primarily solar photovoltaic and wind farms) have grown substantially over the last decade and are forecast to continue growing well into the future. That’s thanks to lower costs and technological improvements leading to increased power output.

Indeed, the International Energy Association expects that average annual global renewable installations will be 80 percent higher than coal, oil and natural gas combined between 2017 and 2040. Separately, Navigant Research anticipates that wind and solar PV installations — both in front of and behind the meter — will surpass 1,500 gigawatts cumulatively between 2017 and 2026. Continue reading here.

Photo: Shutterstock

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U.S. cities moving more toward clean, renewable energy

 By Jodie Van Horn, Director of the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign
Published by Herald and News

Today, more than 50 cities and towns in the United States have committed to move to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. From big cities like Atlanta and San Diego to small towns like Abita Springs, La., and Hanover, N.H., cities are switching to 100 percent clean energy because it’s better for them — clean energy creates local jobs, cuts pollution, and saves homes and businesses money. More than 150 mayors, Democrats and Republicans, have also pledged to power their cities entirely with renewable energy.

Cities are not alone in this pursuit. Some states already source significant amounts of energy from clean sources. More than a third of all power in Iowa, for example, comes from wind energy. More than100 companies have also pledged to source 100 percent of their energy from renewables, including Apple, General Motors, Walmart and Johnson & Johnson. Continue here.

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With a talent for building DIY powerwalls, Jehu Garcia has become the “reluctant battery king”

By Louise Matsakis, Motherboard

Jehu Garcia didn’t expect to be known for working with Lithium-ion batteries. The California-based YouTuber previously started a photography accessories company, and originally thought his life was more about cameras and making videos. “I didn’t want to be known as the battery guy,” Garcia told me on a recent phone call. But then, in 2015, Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Powerwall. The suitcase-sized battery lets homeowners store electricity, either from the grid or solar panels. The device represented an impressive step forward in alternative energy technology, but it started at $3,000 and could only store 10 KWh of electricity, or about a third the average American household consumes in a day. Inspired by Tesla, battery hobbyists started building their own DIY powerwalls using recycled laptop batteries and hooking them up to solar panels for a fraction of the cost. Read more here.

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Top energy storage projects driving the sector in 2017

From transmission deferral to hybrid generation, 2017 has seen a
number of notable projects done by or for regulated utilities.

By Peter Maloney, Contributor, Utility Dive

High on the list of notable projects of the year is Tucson Electric Power’s (TEP) solar plus storage facility. The project is being built by NextEra Energy and features a 100 MW solar array and a 30 MW, 120 MWh energy storage system. Its most notable feature, however, is its power purchase agreement.

TEP reported that the all-in cost for the solar-plus-storage project was “significantly less than $0.045/kWh over 20 years.” TEP said the solar portion of the project, at under 3¢/kWh, was “the lowest price recorded in the U.S.” That puts the remaining storage portion of the project at about 1.5¢/kWh. Click here to learn about other projects.

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Iowa solar installer using storage to help customers avoid costly demand charges

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

In Iowa, a state with some of the highest demand charges in the nation, a solar installer is offering a storage solution that the company claims could cut power bills in half for some large electricity customers. One year ago the company, Ideal Energy, installed its first solar-plus-storage system at Stuff Etc., a large consignment store in Coralville. Amy Van Beek, the company’s co-founder and its chief marketing officer, said the project has been performing well and the company is now working with several large electricity customers in the state to determine how solar-plus-storage could work for them. Continue reading.

Photo: An Iowa solar company installed battery storage at this consignment store near Iowa City to help avoid high demand charges. Credit: Ideal Energy

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FREE Smart Energy Talks & Green Home Tour Coming Up Soon!

Green Omaha Coalition (GOC) and Omaha World-Herald have collaborated over the past several weeks to put together an outstanding educational opportunity you won’t want to miss! The Smart Energy Talks and the Green Home Tour are annual events geared toward promoting energy efficiency and environmentally-friendly practices for homeowners. New this year: Attendees can take a virtual Green Home Tour of local solar installations.

Panel discussions will focus on the importance of renewable energy in our communities and the challenges and benefits of electric vehicles on the grid. Exhibitors will be available from 10am to 2pm. These experts will explain the basics of solar technology and answer questions about preparing your home for solar, costs and savings involved, battery storage, types of solar energy systems, and how to get started.

The event is free and open to the public!
For more information, visit “Events” at Green Omaha Coalition and Omaha World-Herald.

Puerto Rico’s Devastated Electric Grid Could Be a Big Opportunity for Renewable Energy

By Justin Worland, Time Magazine

Authorities acknowledge they need months before power returns to some regions. Still, energy experts say the rebuilding effort offers a unique opportunity to outfit the island with the electric grid of the future: a state-of-the-art system built from scratch using renewable energy sources like wind and solar, which would be cheaper to operate and would respond better to the next hurricane. The reimagined grid would rely on the concept of a microgrid, which are localized electric grids that allow communities to keep power even if centralized power plants are not functioning. Click here to read more.

Photo: A woman looks out from her damaged house in San Isidro, Puerto Rico on Sept. 28, 2017. Andres Kudacki for Time Magazine

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Photo: A sonnen community in Germany with solar + storage..

Senators push tax credit bill for energy storage onto lawmakers’ desks

By Andy Colthorpe

At present in the US, the only nationwide, federal support scheme applied to purchases of energy storage systems is the solar ITC, which gives consumers the right to claim back 30% of the cost of installing a PV system from federal taxes. The ITC is applied to both residential and commercial and industrial (C&I) systems. However, at present, the tax credits are only available for energy storage system purchases if installed at the same time that a solar PV system is being deployed.

[Senator Martin] Heinrich’s bill, which is also known under the abbreviated title “Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act of 2017”, has been read twice and now referred to the Senate’s Committee on Finance. Click here to learn more.

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