1. 1-13 of 13
    1. Iowa Solar Installer Using Storage to Help Customers Avoid Costly Demand Charges

      Iowa Solar Installer Using Storage to Help Customers Avoid Costly Demand Charges

      In Iowa, a state with some of the highest demand charges in the nation, a solar installer is offering a storage solution that the company claims could cut power bills in half for some large electricity customers. One year ago the company, Ideal Energy, installed its first solar-plus-storage system at Stuff Etc., a large consignment store in Coralville. Amy Van Beek, the company’s co-founder and its chief marketing officer, said the project has been performing well and the company is now working with several large electricity customers in the state to determine how solar-plus-storage could work for them.

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      Mentions: Iowa First Solar CO
    2. Minnesota Conference Explores How the Midwest Can Expand Energy Storage

      Minnesota Conference Explores How the Midwest Can Expand Energy Storage

      While states like California and Hawaii lead the growing market for energy storage, the potential in the Midwest is growing. Minnesota is seeing a small but growing number of lithium ion battery storage projects that will be discussed along with other battery-related topics at the Midwest Energy Storage Summit in Minneapolis Sept. 15. Sponsored by the the Energy Transition Lab at the University of Minnesota, the event features speakers such as Mary Powell, CEO and president of Green Mountain Power; Christopher Clark, president of Xcel Energy for Minnesota and the Dakotas; George Crabtree of Argonne National Laboratory and Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of the Energy Storage Association.

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      Mentions: CA HI Minnesota
    3. Michigan Utility Embarks on ‘Next Generation Infrastructure’ for Clean Energy

      Michigan Utility Embarks on ‘Next Generation Infrastructure’ for Clean Energy

      As blighted and empty properties are being revamped on Grand Rapids, Michigan’s West Side, a major utility is partnering with the city and a local developer on an “energy district” equipped with solar panels and battery storage to accompany the growth. The Circuit West project spanning roughly 10 blocks near downtown is Consumers Energy’s first solar-plus-storage effort in the state. It will comprise up to 1 megawatt of solar with about half as much battery storage capacity.

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    4. Chicago Company Builds Out — and Shows off — Smart Grid and Energy Storage

      Chicago Company Builds Out — and Shows off — Smart Grid and Energy Storage

      Neighbors of the S&C Electric Company in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago might not even know the 47-acre factory and research facility is there. It is recessed below street level on the site of a former tire yard, designed to meld into its surroundings and bedecked with a green roof. But this inconspicuous institution has played a significant role in the innovation and build-out of the country’s grid over the past century, including the development of the smart grid in the Chicago area and across the continent today.

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    5. Industry study: Microgrids to Become ‘Fundamental Building Block’

      Industry study: Microgrids to Become ‘Fundamental Building Block’

      A new study suggests that microgrids – a rarity in today’s power sector – will evolve to become a “fundamental building block” of the 21st-century grid. Used primarily to ensure reliability and access in military and other critical applications, microgrids have emerged in recent years as a niche interest for utilities and communities looking to bring more renewables online and increase resilience in the face of extreme weather. Despite the heightened profile, microgrids – islandable networks of generation and distribution – remain a small part of the U.S. energy system, making up a fraction of a percent of the nation’s total power generating capacity.

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      Mentions: U.S. IL LBNL
    6. In Chicago, Utilities Stake Out Their place in a Changing Energy World

      In Chicago, Utilities Stake Out Their place in a Changing Energy World

      Utility executives from around the country convened in Chicago this week for the annual conference of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), a long-standing industry group of investor-owned utilities. The utility leaders declared their enthusiasm for the energy world’s ongoing major shifts – more distributed generation, renewables and smart technology – at the same time they planted their flags on the new landscape and proclaimed utilities must maintain their central roles in planning and administering these systems.

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      Mentions: U.S. First Solar CO
    7. Stymied by its Utility, Iowa College Looks at Solar Backed by Storage

      Stymied by its Utility, Iowa College Looks at Solar Backed by Storage

      An Iowa college that has been at loggerheads with its utility over interconnecting renewable energy projects may find it more economical to go it alone with energy storage. An analysis done by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory concluded that Luther College could save approximately $25,000 in energy costs for each of the next 25 years if it installs a 1.5 MW solar array and a 393 kW battery. The analysis assumes that a third-party investor would pay for the system – which is now allowed thanks to a state Supreme Court decision last year – and would accept a 5 percent return on investment.

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      Mentions: CA DoE U.S.
    8. Michigan Utility Partners with University on Energy Storage Pilot

      Michigan Utility Partners with University on Energy Storage Pilot

      Michigan’s second-largest electric utility is partnering with researchers at Michigan State University on a two-year energy storage pilot project. Though details are still being worked out, Consumers Energy says the goal is to determine the extent to which storage can be deployed throughout its service territory and how storage batteries could be installed on its distribution system. The size and location of the project is still unknown. “There is going to be more and more renewables (built) that are intermittent resources,” said Nancy Popa, Consumers’ executive director of renewable energy.

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      Mentions: MI
    9. Energy Storage Growth Could Boost Economics for Ohio Renewables

      Energy Storage Growth Could Boost Economics for Ohio Renewables

      Dramatic growth in energy storage could have big implications for renewable energy in Ohio, as well as place increased economic pressure on the state’s fossil fuel plants. Energy storage deployments for the third quarter of 2015 were twice those for the same period a year earlier, according to a report issued in December by GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association.

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    10. Michigan Emerges as a Leader in Battery Storage Industry, Research

      Michigan Emerges as a Leader in Battery Storage Industry, Research

      Its automotive history may have positioned Michigan as a natural laboratory for advancing the latest in battery storage for cars, but other sectors are pushing the state onto the global energy-storage stage. Officials here anticipate further growth for an industry that just a few years ago struggled to find its footing, with public-private partnerships to make advances in a variety of sectors, including renewables and consumer electronics. While advances in battery-storage technology is turning traditional ways of thinking about energy generation and consumption on its head, experts hope policymakers and utilities will keep pace and brace for change rather than resist it until its too late.

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      Mentions: NV U.S. A123
    11. Study: Clean Energy Sector Remains Strong in Illinois

      Study: Clean Energy Sector Remains Strong in Illinois

      Almost 100,000 Illinois workers are employed in clean energy jobs, more than the state’s real estate and accounting sectors combined, according to a new survey. The Clean Jobs Illinois report, released today by the Clean Energy Trust in partnership with the Environmental Law & Policy Center, Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Entrepreneurs, found 96,875 workers statewide spend some portion of their day supporting clean energy.

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      Mentions: DoE U.S. Stanford
    12. For Minnesota Utility, Wind Backed by Hydro is 'Holy Grail'

      For Minnesota Utility, Wind Backed by Hydro is 'Holy Grail'

      Norway has been called the “battery” of northern Europe because of its huge potential to store energy in its hydro power facilities, which produce virtually all of the country’s electricity. When generation ramps up at Danish wind farms, Norway can slow production at its hydro facilities, storing water in reservoirs to be released later when electricity is in shorter supply.

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      Mentions: DoE U.S. Norway
    13. With New FERC Rule, Outlook Improving for Energy Storage

      With New FERC Rule, Outlook Improving for Energy Storage

      Development of energy-storage systems, which some consider essential to the growth of renewable energy, has trailed behind the installation of wind turbines and solar panels. However, it appears that is about to change. Regulatory changes at the federal and state levels are likely to give a big boost to energy-storage projects, whether they stash electricity in batteries, pumped hydro, compressed air or some other technology.

       

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      Mentions: CA TX VA
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