The rise and rise of US storage

By Matt Roberts, Executive director, Energy Storage Association

Energy storage in the US is being propelled forward by falling costs and increasingly favourable markets and policy. But for the full value of storage to be realised, numerous regulatory and fiscal barriers must still be surmounted, writes Matt Roberts.

The case for better PV forecasting

By Dr Pierre-Jean Alet; Dr Venizelos Efthymiou; Dr Giorgio Graditi; Dr Mari Juel; Franko Nemac; Marco Pierro; Dr Evangelos Rikos; Dr Stathis Tselepis; Dr Guangya Yang; David Moser; Dr Norbert Henze

Rising levels of PV penetration mean increasingly sophisticated forecasting technologies are needed to maintain grid stability and maximise the economic value of PV systems. The Grid Integration working group of the European Technology and Innovation Platform – Photovoltaics (ETIP PV) shares the results of its ongoing research into the advantages and limitations of current forecasting technologies.

Business models for PV in a digitised and decentralised energy market

By Simon Göß, consultant for Energy Brainpool specialising in energy trading and power market design

The combination of rapidly evolving technologies and the trend towards decentralisation is demanding increasingly sophisticated commercial models. Simon Göß looks at some of the emerging solutions and considers the place of blockchain technology in tomorrow’s energy system.

Five lessons from the storage frontline

By Patrick Leslie, Andy Oliver & John Prendergast, Renewable Energy Systems (RES)

Deploying battery storage at grid level is relatively uncharted territory, but a number of pioneers projects are now in the ground. Patrick Leslie and colleagues at RES, which built some of the first wave of storage projects, teases out the key technology, finance and regulatory lessons the industry can learn from these early experiences.

The revolution has already begun

By James P. McDougall

One of the claims made about large-scale storage coupled with solar is that it is difficult to justify from a business-case perspective. But evidence is already emerging from early projects that if done right, intelligent battery solutions are already competitive.

Big data for big solar

By Sara Ver-Bruggen, Freelance Journalist

Plant control | SCADA technology enables PV plant owners to maintain their portfolios more efficiently and respond to increasingly stringent requirements from grid operators, yet avoid information overload. Sara Ver-Bruggen looks at the state of the art in SCADA systems as PV systems and fleets grow in size.

Evolution or revolution: New York’s grid transformed

By Andy Colthorpe , Reporter

Grid investment | An ambitious plan is being drawn up to overhaul New York’s electric grid infrastructure, an exercise that some have priced at US$30 billion. Andy Colthorpe looks at the efforts underway to ensure renewables and energy storage are a central part of bringing the state’s power system into the modern age.

Off-grid: When hybrid plus storage makes sense

By Florian Mayr, Principal at Apricum – The Cleantech Advisory; Martin Bart, Vice President Engineering, OneShore Energy GmbH; Philipp Kunze, Co-founder and Managing Director, OneShore Energy GmbH

Off grid | Reducing the reliance on costly diesel-based power generation is high on the list of priorities for off-grid operators around the world. PV-hybrid systems alone can only go so far in meeting this need. The addition of storage can significantly alter this picture by increasing fuel savings and offsetting additional investment. Increasingly sound economics are already convincing circumspect off-grid operators such as mine owners who are starting to build the first large installations.

Battery technology for PV storage and system services

By Stephan Lux, Head of the Battery Modules and Systems team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Germany

Battery technologies | The development of battery storage is seen as vital in the grid integration of increasing amounts of renewable power, but the various technologies present different advantages and limitations. Stephan Lux of Fraunhofer ISE weighs up the pros and cons of the main battery technologies in a range of applications.

Storage and the rise of the virtual power plant

By Andy Colthorpe, Reporter

Aggregation | Tesla’s much-hyped battery announcement in April raised important questions over what business models will drive the deployment of stationary battery storage. As Andy Colthorpe reports, one answer is the virtual power plant, in which residential and commercial battery systems are aggregated to provide grid services

Utility-scale PV installations and their challenges in grid-code compliance testing

By Gunter Arnold; Diana Craciun; Wolfram Heckmann; Nils Schäfer

The market outlook for utility-scale PV installations is very positive. These PV plants have the capability of supporting grid operation, and the ability to do this is being increasingly required in grid codes. Testing the capabilities of very large PV inverters, however, is demanding for laboratories. Gunter Arnold, Diana Craciun, Wolfram Heckmann and Nils Schäfer from Fraunhofer IWES discuss current developments and resulting challenges and address the gaps and diversity in testing guidelines and standardisation.

Solar plus storage goes large

The combination of storage technology with larger scale solar projects is an emerging science. Andy Colthorpe speaks to PV power plant pioneers, Belectric, about a project completed at the end of 2014 to install battery storage at a utility-scale solar installation in Brandenburg.

To boldly go

By Andy Colthorpe

Parallels are frequently drawn between the nascent energy storage business and PV 10 years ago – that it needs strong policy direction to take off. Andy Colthorpe profiles some of the areas that emerging as the world pioneers in supporting the deployment of storage.

The solar leaders getting ahead in the storage game

By Andy Colthorpe

Leading US firms SolarCity and SunPower have taken an early position in the fledgling residential energy storage market. Andy Colthorpe investigates how their involvement could shape their own fortunes and that of storage itself.