Early this month, three community-choice aggregators and one municipal utility serving much of California’s San Francisco Bay Area launched a 30-megawatt distributed energy storage-plus-solar solicitation. It breaks ground on multiple fronts.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's (NYSERDA) Market Acceleration Bridge Incentive Program for energy storage is getting a record amount of participants, NYSERDA CEO Alicia Barton announced at the Energy Storage North America conference on Thursday.
A major rain and wind storm struck the state at the close of October, knocking out power to some 115,000 customers. Among those affected, 1,100 homes managed to keep the lights on thanks to pilot programs specifically designed to promote resilient backup power with energy storage.
Utilities are eyeing vehicle-to-grid technology as a way to help fortify the grid and reduce operating costs while meeting renewable-energy goals, making use of the batteries in vehicles that spend more than 90% of their lives off the road and unused.
Opportunity zones, part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, allow investors to place their capital gains in legally established funds for projects in economically distressed areas defined by the federal government. A secondary attribute, appealing to clean energy developers, is that opportunity zone funds can be used for solar, microgrids, electric vehicle charging stations and energy storage.
Europe’s energy storage sector is on the cusp of big new opportunities, but first, it will need to get comfortable with merchant risk. Large-scale systems are seeing new potential revenue streams at the EU level and in some markets at the national level as well. But exploiting such opportunities will require navigating increased risks, said Rory McCarthy, senior storage analyst at Wood Mackenzie.
Rooftop solar panels and home battery systems could play a significant role in balancing the nation’s electric grid, but federal regulators need to adopt policies to help make that happen, according to a clean energy group’s recent report.
Los Angeles has been sitting on a contract for record-cheap solar power for more than a month — and city officials declined to approve it because of concerns raised by the city-run utility’s labor union, which is still fuming over Mayor Eric Garcetti’s decision to shut down three gas-fired power plants.
Texas offers an instructive case study for the growth of renewable energy. Most of the state’s electricity is delivered through the deregulated Electric Reliability Council of Texas market. The state has long since surpassed its mandated renewable portfolio standard, so market dynamics dictate the ongoing pace of renewables growth. Nonetheless, Texas is by far the country’s largest wind power generator and is slated to see major growth in solar capacity as well.
To spoil the ending: The answer is $20 per kilowatt hour in energy capacity costs. That’s how cheap storage would have to get for renewables to get to 100%. That’s around a 90% drop from today’s costs.