The nationally covered blackouts in The Bay Area last year was a pivotal point for accelerating policy & enabling battery storage to become a surging purchase in 2020.
Most people in the San Francisco region that were affected are pushing to have their systems up and running by utilizing Tesla Powerwalls and pairing it with solar. Driving sales for companies like Sunrun and local installers up due to heavily increased demand. This adds complexity but additional resilience to the grid with a distributed set of energy resources and generators to tap into across the US – hence Sunrun has moved to partner with companies like Autogrid to develop VPP and Demand Response programs with their system.
It’s great for the utilities and policy makers due to the fact consumers are opting for a more expensive energy storage system as opposed to a standby generator.
This energy storage boom naturally begs the question of –
How will policy makers and utilities actually adapt to make energy storage a worthwhile investment for individuals
Well as a starting point – FERC just had Order 841 upheld in court this Friday. This allows regional operators to form wholesale markets for energy storage with systems as small as 100 kWh. This is huge as now that additional capacity that is unlocked across the grid enables for battery systems to communicate and share stored power with local microgrids.
The resulting incentives and financial support that will be created in deregulated markets for electric retailers is going to be ridiculous. In a good way of course. With the potential for wholesale markets forming the cost of deploying or implementing energy storage at every property being built will drop precipitously.
This likely means we will see EVEN BIGGER grid scale batteries
This is something already happening, especially in San Diego – which has a monopoly on the biggest battery banks today.
LS Power the grid infrastructure focused Private Equity firm has built two of the biggest batteries in San Diego. Just last month they turned on the biggest one at 62.5 MWh of capacity.
The biggest system before this was built by LS Power for their 40 MW Vista project. However, with new incentives and increased demand from PG&E and other utilities throughout California will drive even bigger batteries to be deployed in order to sustain the aggressive climate positive goals set by policy makers.
About The Author
Swarnav S Pujari
Founder of The Impact
Swarnav has over 10 years of experience in the energy & climate tech space, holds 2 patents and is active in the tech, climate and media industries. He specializes in Product/Product Innovation as well as Go-To-Market and Growth Strategy.
By training he’s a Materials Engineer with a background in research from his time at Georgia Tech and University of Illinois (UIUC).
He founded TouchLight a utility backed energy company focused on developing IP for utilities and startups pushing electrification forward. He also serves as the appointed Chairman for the Town of Yorktown’s Climate Smart Communities Task Force, where he helps with drafting legislation and enabling sustainability efforts within the town.
Concurrently, Swarnav founded The Impact to help investors, emerging founders and driven climate enthusiasts discover and identify new climate-tech startups, technologies and opportunities before they hit the traditional media sources.