The Top Five Energy Storage Stories of 2017

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Happy New Year! Welcome to 2018, a year of great promise for energy storage development in the U.S. Before looking too far into the future, however, let’s take a quick look back to appreciate the progress that the storage industry made in America last year.

1. Breaking records
Meet North America’s largest lithium-ion battery storage facility. The Escondido battery energy storage facility in San Diego went into operation late February of 2017, thanks to a partnership between SDG&E and AES Energy Storage. The 30-MW plant is capable of storing up to 120 megawatt-hours of energy from any source, such as wind or solar, or natural gas.

For about nine months, the Escondido facility claimed top spot as the world’s largest lithium-ion battery storage — then Tesla switched on a 129-MW lithium-ion battery storage plant in Australia. The project made good on a promise by Tesla CEO Elon Musk to build the massive energy storage plant “in 100 days or give it free.” It is expected to help stabilize the grid in a state that now gets more than 40% of its power from wind.

2. Home sweet storage
You can set worry about utility bills and power outages aside with an integrated home energy storage system. Residential storage systems are expected to increase from 94.9 MW in 2016 to 3,773.3 MW in 2025, according to Navigant Research. More recently, market research analysts at Technavio forecast the global residential solar energy storage market to grow at a CAGR of close to 68% between 2017 and 2021.

Solar and energy companies are starting to invest in home storage systems. In 2017, RGS Energy and Sonnen teamed up to offer U.S. manufactured battery storage options to residential solar customers. The companies offer the sonnenBatterie system, which provides services to solar homeowners including back-up power during utility outages and reduced peak energy draws from the electric grid.

ElectrIQ Power’s all-in-one home energy management and storage solution also gained UL and CSA certification, and NEC 2017 listing requirements for residential use. The IQ System optimizes connected renewables (typically solar), batteries, EVs, and smart devices through real-time analysis of utility rates, weather forecasts, historical energy usage, and other factors to manage backup power and electric bills.

Battery-powered residential storm kits also hit the market in 2017. One example comes from Sensata Technologies, which says its Magnum Energy Storm Kits are easy to install, use, and maintain—indoors or outdoors.

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