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One battery fire is ‘a fire for everyone in the industry’ – Energy Storage Summit USA 2024

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Battery storage developers and operators discussed the challenges and opportunities in the US market, on the first day of Solar Media’s Energy Storage Summit (ESS) USA 2024.

The two-day event kicked off today in Austin, Texas, and brings together energy storage industry stakeholders operating across the US. Speakers in the opening panel discussion – Prospecting New Market Opportunities – touched on new opportunities, project development and, of course, fire safety.

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“One fire for one battery is a fire for everyone in the industry,” said Aron Branam, VP development and construction for developer and independent power producer (IPP) Arevon Energy. Mike DeSocio, founder & CEO of developer Luminary Energy, agreed, saying “…there has been a lot of trust lost in batteries in New York in the last few years”.

All agreed a lot of work needed to be done to assuage those concerns as well as making local communities and decision-makers more familiar with energy storage. Tao Kong, managing partner of developer Luminous Energy said that, despite this, developing batteries is nonetheless easier than developing solar or wind ‘at the moment’.

He said three key considerations for the market were finding interconnection points, the buildout of the state’s transmission network and economic development in specific areas. It has fewer environmental concerns, a smaller footprint and zoning decisions often class it as ‘industrial’ rather than ‘renewable overlay’ which can be easier to develop.

Prior to that discussion, DeSocio had discussed how to capitalise on opportunities in the New York state market. “You’ll see much more front-of-meter (FTM) storage coming in New York (NY) State in the next few years,” he said.

Finding partners with existing connections is key, and that can include legacy generation, with grid operator NYISO putting in work to make it easy to combine fossil fuel and energy storage. A lot of transmission infrastructure is being built too and this can affect the business case for a specific location, by reducing congestion, for example.

Economic development in specific areas like northern New York is also creating opportunities, particularly for partnering with new economic or manufacturing hubs for an energy storage resiliency play, with two-week outages not unheard of in some parts.

On the Southwest US, developer Avantus’ senior director energy markets Gigio Sakota said that a shortage of Resource Adequacy (RA) capacity in the region is coming, after historically having an excess, a lot of which was exported to demand hub California.

“Storage can help replace that capacity,” Sakota said.

Energy-Storage.news’ publisher Solar Media is hosting the 6th Energy Storage Summit USA, today and tomorrow (19-20 March 2024) in Austin, Texas. It features a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

24 April 2024
11am PDT / 2pm EDT
This webinar explores the advantages of the metal-hydrogen technology and how it is being packaged into turnkey solutions for project integrators across the globe. We will also highlight the developing long-duration-energy-storage market and identify which technologies are ready to address the demanding needs of an evolving electrical grid.
22 October 2024
New York, USA
Returning for its 11th edition, Solar and Storage Finance USA Summit remains the annual event where decision-makers at the forefront of solar and storage projects across the United States and capital converge. Featuring the most active solar and storage transactors, join us for a packed two-days of deal-making, learning and networking.

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