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Fri Nov 29, 2013, 07:56 PM

The Future of Energy Storage is on the Customer's Side of the Meter

The Future of Energy Storage Is Behind the Meter

Michael Breen, CEO of Growing Energy Labs, on the value of customer-located storage.

Michael Breen
November 25, 2013

...In California, we have a near perfect storm of market signals moving the entire energy storage industry forward. On the hardware side, OEMs (battery and inverter manufacturers) have significantly reduced costs, while forward-thinking policymakers and financiers are creating favorable regulatory and market conditions.

To date, the industry has focused a lot of attention on grid-scale storage, but it is the massive opportunity behind the meter that will truly move the industry from fledgling to mainstream.

Utilities arenít the only game in town

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) made history last month when it passed the nationís first energy storage mandate, directing investor-owned utilities in California to acquire 1,325 megawatts of energy storage by 2020. The impact on the energy storage market will be nearly instantaneous since contracts will need to be approved in the next few years in order to meet the CPUCís requirements.

...Consider this: the number of commercial industrial buildings in California alone hovers around 40,000. A typical behind-the-meter energy storage system for this customer segment would be in the ballpark of 25 kilowatt-hours. A little back-of-the-envelope math reveals that the potential for this customer segment in California is in the 1,000 megawatt range, an amount that could satisfy over three-quarters of Californiaís energy storage mandate.

Adding to the sheer size of the behind-the-meter market ...


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