Solar news: 2017’s big energy storage milestone, New York community solar size cap lifted

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In this week’s Solar News Roundup, we check out a new industry report on energy storage’s big 2017 and promising 2018, plus New York’s ringing endorsement of community solar and a clean energy future.

US energy storage passes 1 gigawatt-hour of deployment

A new report from GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association shows that energy storage deployment passed 1 gigawatt-hour (GWh) in the fourth quarter of 2017. Additionally, GTM predicts that the market for energy storage could double in 2018, leading to over 2 GWh of deployed storage systems in the country.

GTM Research expects energy storage to double in 2018. Source: US Energy Storage Market Tops the 1 GWh Milestone in 2017

Ravi Manghani, GTM Research’s director of energy storage, had some powerful words to describe this energy storage trend. “We’re going to have to strike the word ‘nascent’ from our vocabularies when describing the U.S. energy storage market,” he said. “Falling costs and favorable policies will be among the core drivers of the market’s breakout 2018. It’s not hard to imagine that every solar RFP by the end of the year will include storage.”

We’ve been talking about it for a while at this point, but it seems that the energy storage revolution is truly on its way. With help from a recent ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to “remove barriers to the participation of electric storage resources,” the U.S. energy storage market seems poised to take off. The economic benefits of energy storage are as clear as ever, and solar plus storage systems are no longer at a prohibitive price point for many consumers.

New York increases community solar project size cap

A new policy from the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC) has more than doubled the cap on community solar project size, from 2 to 5 megawatts (MW). Renters, low-income residents, municipalities, and small businesses are some of the groups that stand to benefit the most from the new cap number. The policy will also bring New York closer to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s goal of meeting half of the state’s electricity demand with renewables by 2030.

This decision is in clear support of Cuomo’s commitments to eliminate coal from power plants in two years, invest $200 million in energy storage research, and provide 10,000 low-income residents with solar energy, ideas he voiced during his 2018 State of the State address.

These kinds of policy moves and investments are becoming commonplace as state governments take over for the federal government in the areas of sustainability and clean energy. It is an encouraging sign that major state players like New York are still committed to a clean energy future in a time when the federal government has stepped back from solar and renewable leadership.


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