Category Archives: Energy Storage

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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Report: Energy storage is starting to become standard for utilities

By Frank Andorka, PV Magazine

According to a new report by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), utilities are about to enter the energy storage market in a significant way. The survey, based on responses from 115 utilities, shows that 72% of them are planning on offering behind-the-meter energy storage opportunities for their residential customers, while 80% plan on offering programs to their commercial/industrial customers.. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Louis Lester, energy storage and batteries expert at OPPD, will be one of several speakers this Saturday at this event. His topic: “Meeting the Demand for Electricity and Battery Technology.”

Utility Helps Wean Vermonters From the Electric Grid

By Diane Cardwell, New York Times

The projects are part of a bold experiment aimed at turning homes, neighborhoods and towns into virtual power plants, able to reduce the amount of energy they draw from the central electric system. But behind them are not green energy advocates or proponents of living off the land. Instead, it’s the local electric company, Green Mountain Power.

Green Mountain’s chief executive, Mary Powell, sees the program here as the best way to please customers while making the system more environmentally and physically sustainable. “Customers, especially in Vermont with the energy-independence values that people have, want to move more toward self-generation.”

Read more here.

Top Photo: Each unit of the McKnight Lane development in Waltham, Vermont, has solar panels installed on the roof. Credit: Jacob Hannah for The New York Times

Grid defection gains ground in Europe as consumers seek energy cost reduction

By Julian Jansen, Energy Storage News

To be sure, grid defection is a term used largely in North America. Yet it is in Europe where the residential solar and energy storage markets have enjoyed greater penetration over the past few years. For instance, Germany alone already has more than 60,000 residential battery storage systems installed today, compared to less than 10,000 grid-connected residential energy storage systems in the United States. This article, then, will focus specifically on the economics of grid defection in Europe today and in the future, and will also examine how such a development could impact the energy industry. Click here to read more. 

Image: “Sonnen Community” in Germany. Credit: Sonnen Battery Company

ESA prioritizes value, competition & access in effort to spur energy storage market in US

The Energy Storage Association (ESA) unveiled a new document this month that offers a number of state policy suggestions designed to spur cost-effective energy storage across the US.

The document, State Policies to Full Charge Advanced Energy Storage: The Menu of Options, states that in order to enable the use of energy storage and reach its top potential in terms of benefiting policymakers and ratepayers, states must focus on value, competition and access. Read more here.

 Photo: Maximizing on cost-effective energy storage will be crucial for the US national grid, as over US$2 trillion in utility investments in electric supply and infrastructure is expected through 2030. Image: ESA

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Energy storage already cost-competitive in commercial sector, finds study

By Ian Clover, PV Magazine

Cheaper battery prices sees storage playing a broader role in energy markets, particularly for commercial customers seeking to reduce peak consumption, research from McKinsey shows. Continue reading.

Battery storage costs are falling, prompting an uptake among prosumers and leading to new challenges for utilities, finds the report. Image: Anesco

Utilities in hot water: Realizing the benefits of grid-integrated water heaters

By Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

A wave of interest is building in grid-integrated water heating (GIWH) as a path to system flexibility at a fraction of the cost of battery energy storage. At last count, 53.6 million of the 118.2 million U.S. water heaters were electric. Each could act as a battery for load shifting, peak shaving, or to integrate renewables, according to a Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) paper. Hot water is used largely by residential utility customers in morning and evening hours, wrote RAP Sr. Advisor Jim Lazar. But it can be heated “when power is most available.” Click here to read more.

Photo credit: iStock

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