Category Archives: Energy Storage

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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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

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

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.


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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.

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NEBRASKA EXTENSION PUBLICATIONS ON SOLAR ENERGY

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).

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