Energy Storage News

  • April 28, 2017

    ESTAP Helps Small Massachusetts Community Save Big with Energy Storage

    The Sterling Municipal Light Department has deployed a 2-megawatt/3.9 megawatt-hour battery storage system that can provide emergency backup power and cost savings. This project, which was supported in part by CESA’s Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP), is expected to save the town of Sterling $400,000 per year – a significant savings for a town with a budget of just over $2.5 million. CESA hosted a webinar on April 27 with guest speakers the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity, Sandia National Laboratories, and the Sterling Municipal Light Department for a presentation and discussion on the economic case for Sterling’s energy storage system - watch it here.

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  • April 5, 2017

    ESTAP Leaders Testify about Energy Storage for Vermont Policymakers

    CESA project director Todd Olinsky-Paul and Dr. Imre Gyuk of US DOE Office of Electricity (DOE-OE) gave testimony in April at the request of the Vermont House Energy & Technology Committee, which is considering a bill that would direct the state Department of Public Service to conduct an energy storage study. The study would characterize the opportunities for, benefits of, and barriers to energy storage deployment in Vermont; assess relevant policy and programs adopted by other states; identify regulatory options and structures available in Vermont; and make recommendations to the Committee regarding the next best steps for Vermont to take. DOE-OE funds CESA’s Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP) through a contract with Sandia National Laboratories; through this program, CESA provides support for state energy storage policy development and state-sponsored energy storage deployment efforts. Vermont is one of several states now considering how best to approach energy storage policy development.

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  • December 28, 2016

    Massachusetts to Set Energy Storage Procurement Targets

    Massachusetts is officially in line to join California and Oregon as the third state in the country to set energy storage procurement targets for utilities. Just before the close of 2016, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources announced that the state would be adopting procurement targets to be achieved by 2020. The department is now seeking stakeholder input on the scale and structure of energy storage targets to put in place. Read more here and here.

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  • December 12, 2016

    Vermont Affordable Housing Development Sets New Standard for Resilient, Zero-Energy Homes

    The McKnight Lane Housing Development in Waltham, Vermont is doing what no affordable housing project has done before: It is offering rural, low-income tenants zero-energy, single-family housing that also includes resilient solar energy storage systems. You can read a project profile here, and a blog post about the project here.

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  • September 16, 2016

    CESA Applauds Massachusetts Energy Storage Study and Legislation

    A new energy storage study, "State of Charge," released today by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), recommends a suite of new policy and program actions to support the deployment of hundreds of megawatts of advanced energy storage in the state over the next decade. That goal is supported by a clean energy bill, recently signed into law by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, that authorizes DOER to set energy storage procurement targets that utilities must meet by 2020. The agency is directed to decide by the end of this year whether to do so.

    Todd Olinsky-Paul, project director for CESA’s Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP), applauds the state’s leadership: “If the state follows the study’s recommendations, Massachusetts will further solidify its position as a leader in energy storage policy. The comprehensive policy approach that Massachusetts has developed should serve as a model for other states to develop energy storage markets, grow the industry, and unlock the many benefits of energy storage for utilities, businesses and ratepayers.”

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  • April 4, 2016

    Vermont Microgrid Included in State Energy Plan as Example for Replication

    Vermont’s 2016 Clean Energy Plan, produced by the Department of Public Service (DPS), includes the Stafford Hill Microgrid as an example of the use of scalable energy storage that improves energy resilience (read more about the project here). In its recommendations, the plan calls for studying the performance of the project to understand costs, benefits, and implications for grid-scale storage in Vermont, furthering project development in the state, and facilitating the development of microgrids, particularly where they support critical infrastructure. The Stafford Hill microgrid was built with the support of a joint grant from the Vermont DPS and US DOE, Office of Electricity, and with technical support from Sandia National Laboratories and from the Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership program administered by Clean Energy States Alliance. Read the full state clean energy plan here.

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  • December 21, 2015

    Energy Storage Brings Resiliency to Eugene, OR

    by Todd Olinsky-Paul, Project Director, CESA This week, Oregon became the latest state to fund an energy storage demonstration project that will use batteries and PV to power a resilient microgrid. In a joint solicitation with US Department of Energy, the Oregon Department of Energy announced it would award $295,000 in state and federal funds to the Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) for an islandable system that will provide clean, resilient power to three critical facilities: EWEB’s Roosevelt Operation center, Blanton Heights Communications center, and the Willamette 800 Pump Station. The project will combine 500 kW of electric energy storage with solar PV in a microgrid configuration that will provide electricity, water and communications services to customers in case of a grid outage, along with other benefits (such as grid services and renewables integration) during normal operations.

    The project is one in a series of joint federal/state demonstration projects brokered by CESA’s Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP), a program funded by US DOE Office of Electricity and administered through a contract with Sandia National Laboratories. The ESTAP program previously supported the solar+storage microgrid constructed by Green Mountain Power in Rutland, VT, again with joint funding from US DOE-OE and the Vermont Department of Public Service.  That project was commissioned this year and is generating significant cost savings as well as providing resilient backup power to a nearby public school that serves as an emergency shelter for the community.

    Dr. Imre Gyuk, manager of US DOE-OE’s energy storage program, has said of the Oregon grant, “This important project addresses the energy-water nexus by providing emergency backup for both…. It assures reliability by including renewable PV as well as energy storage across three aggregated sites.”

    For states and municipalities, the resiliency benefits of energy storage are becoming more important, as extreme weather increases and grid outages become both more frequent and more severe. Just a few years ago, energy storage was seen almost exclusively as a way to integrate variable renewable generation onto the grid. But a series of events has changed this view: Sandy, Irene, and other storms on the east coast, drought and wildfires in the west, the discovery of a looming earthquake known as the Cascadia Subduction in the Pacific Northwest, ice storms and derechos and flooding – the list goes on. Suddenly, providing resilient power to critical facilities has become a high priority, and batteries, in conjunction with solar PV, are becoming the go-to technology to achieve this. Resiliency, therefore, was a high priority for ODOE when it launched its storage solicitation.

    But as important as resilient power may be, it is equally important that batteries can provide valuable services during normal operations, when the grid is up and running. This means that economic optimization is a critical part of system design. Technical support from Sandia National Laboratories will help to ensure that the Oregon demonstration project will be both technically and economically optimized; and data from project operations, collected and analyzed by Sandia, will yield important information that will inform the next generation of energy storage projects in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere.

    It is heartening to know that energy storage is no longer the sole province of economic powerhouse states like California and New York. With creativity, courage and a collaborative spirit, smaller states with more modest resources are carving out leadership roles in the energy storage revolution.

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  • November 30, 2015

    Massachusetts Takes the Lead on Resilient Power

    By Todd Olinsky-Paul, CESA Project DirectorAmong the Northeastern states hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, it was clear from the very start that Massachusetts took resilient power seriously. In the three years since then, the state has continued to roll out flagship programs and a serious commitment of resources.

    Initially committing $40 million to the deployment of municipal-led resilient power systems in its Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative (CCERI), the state issued 27 technical assistance awards for project feasibility studies, and 19 project implementation awards in 2014, of which 11 involve solar+storage technologies. Because many of these projects will serve multiple facilities, a total of 28 critical facilities, including schools/shelters, communications centers, first responder facilities and hospitals, will have resilient solar+storage systems, with another handful of facilities relying primarily on CHP systems. The grant-winning municipalities are geographically diverse, and the state program included an extra incentive for low- to median-income communities to participate.

    Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), which administered the program, still has $12 million to spend in a third round of resiliency funding. In addition, DOER has recently upped its game with the announcement of another $10 million for energy storage deployment.

    DOER is not the only Massachusetts energy agency interested in resiliency and storage. Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has supported energy storage technology advancement through its InnovateMass grant program, and is now seeking to put more resources toward its own storage demonstration projects. And the state Department of Public Utilities is engaged in a grid modernization planning initiative that includes among its intended benefits increased reliability and resiliency of electrical services, investment in new technologies, and the integration of energy storage and microgrids into the state’s electricity infrastructure. Massachusetts utilities are required to formulate 10-year modernization plans incorporating these elements.

    In order to provide some direction for all this new investment, DOER and MassCEC are cooperatively funding a two-part study to develop an energy storage roadmap for the state. In addition to expanding understanding of the opportunities for storage, the study is intended to identify the right amount of storage for the state’s needs, its applications, and the types of supports needed to bring the emerging energy storage industry to Massachusetts. The study is due early in 2016, and DOER anticipates issuing a solicitation based on its recommendations.

    As I write this, the New York Times is reporting that a severe wind storm has left more than 380,000 customers without power in the Pacific Northwest. Clearly, widespread and long-lasting power outages are a universal problem, whether due to hurricanes, snow and ice, high winds, drought and wildfires, earthquakes, flooding, or more mundane equipment failures and human error. Lessons could be learned from Massachusetts’ commitment and leadership on this issue.

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  • May 21, 2015

    ODOE to Offer Research and Development Funds for Energy Storage

    Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and Sandia National Laboratories, the Oregon Department of Energy will be issuing an energy storage demonstration project Request for Proposals in June. The program will initially offer up to $250,000 in funding for the project, with another $45,000 available through a partnership with Oregon BEST. CESA's Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP) coordinated the federal/state partnership. More information on this solicitation is available here.

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  • January 15, 2015

    The Stafford Hill Solar Farm - Watch how a solar installation is built!

    This video by Green Mountain Power provides an introduction to the Stafford Hills Solar Farm in Rutland, Vermont. The Stafford Hill Solar Farm combines solar, storage and micro-grid technology in an innovative new solar project to improve resiliency and safety in communities.

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  • January 7, 2015

    Power to the People: Envisioning Rutland as 'Energy City of the Future'

    An innovative solar + energy storage microgrid project in Rutland, Vermont will provide resilient power to a community hit hard by 2011's Hurricane Irene. Energy generated from the microgrid will be used to power a local emergency relief shelter. CESA's Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP) and CESA member the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund have been major supporters and co-funders of this project. Read more about the Safford Hills Solar Farm in Power to the People: Envisioning Rutland as 'Energy City of the Future' by Seven Days reporter Kathryn Flagg.

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  • January 2, 2015

    Massachusetts Announces Second Round of Resilient Power Project Grants

    The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has announced its second round of resilience program awards, and once again, the results are extraordinary.

    In the first round of the $40 million Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative, DOER awarded $7.4 million for six municipal projects, of which three included solar + storage.  DOER also made 27 technical assistance grants to help municipalities prepare project proposals for round 2.

    In round 2, DOER awarded $18.5 million to 15 municipal resiliency projects, two-thirds of which incorporate solar + storage.  

    The round 2 projects include:

    Cambridge: Battery storage with a 170kW solar PV system to support a drinking water treatment plant during short grid outages, and the Water and Electrical Department offices, the water laboratory, and the municipal emergency operations center during longer outages.

    Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative: 1,356 kW solar PV with 512kW battery backup to supply resilient power to the Dennis Yarmouth Regional High School, a regional emergency shelter that also serves as a food preparation and distribution center for the community.  The battery would also be used to reduce demand charges through peak load shedding at the school during regular, non-emergency operation.

    Greenfield: Battery storage paired with a 207kW solar PV installation at the local high school. Currently, the back-up power at the site is supplied by diesel generators that will operate for 2-3 days, but recent severe weather events have resulted in power outages lasting up to one week.  The high school provides emergency shelter and services to the town’s growing elderly and high-needs populations.

    Holyoke: Solar PV plus batteries will be installed at three different project sites to provide resilient power for 100% load for up to three days. The fire headquarters will receive a 53 kW photovoltaic system and a 300 kWh battery bank, which will run in combination with an existing backup generator. Mt. Tom Tower, the emergency communications tower for the city, will receive a small PV system, a small wind turbine, and a 200 kWh battery. And the Dean School, a community shelter, will receive a 600 kW PV array with a 483 kWh battery bank, which will run in combination with an existing back-up generator.

    Medford: The city will install solar PV with battery storage at the Department of Public Works and at the Andrews School, along with islanding equipment at each site.

    Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Beverly: The city will install a 232kW PV array with 77kWh of battery storage, which will power four critical facilities at the Beverly Cache Site in the event of a power outage. This site serves as a Regional Equipment Cache for the Northeast Massachusetts Homeland Security Region, as the location of the Beverly, MA Civil Defense Department, and as the home base of Massachusetts Task Force 1, one of the nation's 28 FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Teams.

    Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Wayland: Islanding capability and advanced switches will be installed at Wayland Middle School, a regional shelter, to augment a proposed PV carport.  This would allow solar to decrease the burden on the diesel back-up generator during a grid outage. Battery storage may be added at a future date.

    The city will construct a microgrid with on-site renewable generation and battery storage to serve three high priority emergency facilities: the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, the Department of Public Works, and Cooley Dickinson Hospital.

    Sterling: Battery storage will be added to increase the resiliency of Sterling’s solar microgrid, providing resilient power to critical services at the police station and dispatch center. The battery array will also be used daily to provide real-time demand response, frequency regulation services, and off-peak to on-peak load shifting.

    In addition, DOER awarded grants to Barnstable for a CHP system to support the Barnstable Intermediate School (a public shelter), to Boston for a CHP system to support the Boston Medical Center and a nearby emergency communications structure, and to the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District for CHP units and anaerobic digesters to provide resilient power to the wastewater treatment plant.

    These projects will bring real benefits to communities all over Massachusetts.  In future severe storms, when the electric grid goes down, the people in these communities will be able to rely on emergency services provided by facilities equipped with clean, resilient power systems.

    Clean Energy Group is proud to have supported Massachusetts DOER in their resilient power program, and looks forward to continuing to work with DOER in the coming years.

    For information on the first-round DOER grants, visit the Community Clean Energy Resiliency webpage.

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  • October 1, 2014

    MassDOER awards $7.4 million to critical infrastructure resilient power projects

    The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Patrick administration have awarded $7.4 million to six community resilient power projects that will support critical infrastructure and services during natural disasters and other emergencies.  These projects, once constructed, will keep electricity flowing to public shelters, wastewater treatment plants, and other critical community facilities when the electric grid goes down.

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  • April 30, 2014

    NYSERDA Announces Opening of Battery and Energy Storage Testing Center

    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Battery and Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Test and Commercialization Center is open for business at Eastman Business Park in Rochester, New York. The new world-class, $23 million Center provides unique testing and validation services needed to bring new battery and energy storage technologies to the commercial market.

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  • March 5, 2014

    NYSERDA awards $1.4 million to companies developing advanced energy storage technologies

    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $1.4 million has been awarded to six companies working on new technologies in battery and energy storage, which will help develop working prototypes that demonstrate the ability of these advanced energy storage systems to harden the state's electric grid and diversify transportation fuels. Funding will help leverage a total private investment of $2 million.

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  • October 16, 2013

    SMUD Working on Solar with Battery Storage in CA

    While some California utilities have been in the news lately for blocking homeowners from backing up their rooftop solar panels with batteries, Sacramento Municipal Utility District is working on solar-storage combinations that help the grid and residents alike -- read more at

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  • October 15, 2013

    MEA Supports Maryland’s first commercial solar micro grid

    The Maryland Energy Authority's (MEA) Grant Changer program supports the state's first commerical solar microgrid that "brings Maryland closer to reaching its goal of increasing in-state renewable generation to 20 percent by 2022, combines the strengths of Maryland’s booming solar energy market and the power of grid resiliency. In the event of a conventional power grid outage, the innovative solar PV array will stay online through the power of an advanced energy storage system. If grid power grid goes down, the system batteries will keep a “critical load” of 50 kW online for just over four hours at night and recharge the next day."

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  • May 1, 2013

    NYSERDA Awards $1.4 Million to Six NY-BEST Members to Develop Advanced Energy Storage Technologies

    Projects to Add Jobs, Improve Technology and Develop Prototypes with New Forms of Batteries, Ultracapacitors, Fuel Cells and Related Technology

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  • January 23, 2013

    CEC Awards More Than $1.8 M for UC San Diego Microgrid Projects

    Clean Energy Projects Provide a Model for the Future of Localized Power Generation and Storage, and Electric Vehicle Charging

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  • October 10, 2012

    CA Energy Commission Awards $1 Million for Energy Storage Research
    PG&E Awarded $1 Million for Energy Storage Research

    SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission today approved a $1 million research grant to Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) to demonstrate a compressed air energy storage (CAES) plant.

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  • September 25, 2012

    NY PSC Approves NYSERDA Funding Request for New Technology and Market Development Initiatives

    — Solar Power, High-Technology Development Share $25M Financial Boost —

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  • July 2, 2012

    SMUD, partners kick-off energy storage project

    For Immediate Release: June 29, 2012

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  • February 29, 2012

    NY-BEST Applauds the Bipartisan Gibson- Thompson Bill to Foster Advanced Energy Storage Innovation that will Improve the Nation’s Electric Grid

    The New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST) applauds Congressman Chris Gibson (R-NY) and Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) forintroducing the Storage Technology for Renewable and Green Energy Act (STORAGE) in the United States House of Representatives today. The bill would provide an investment tax credit for energy storage technologies that would open the market for advanced storage technologies in the United States. A companion bill was introduced in the United States Senate last fall by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Susan Collins (R-ME).

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  • February 28, 2012

    Texas Breakthroughs: Storage Policies Moving Forward

    TESA, the Texas Energy Storage Alliance, has been actively seeking support from the Texas Legislature, the PUC, and ERCOT stakeholders and staff, to implement policies designed to enable the participation of energy storage resources here in the Lone Star State. As a result, we are happy to report that the Public Utility Commission of Texas has recently taken significant steps toward removing the barriers to entry and encouraging the development of energy storage resources in ERCOT.

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  • February 17, 2012

    Energy Storage Technology Advancement Project (ESTAP) RFI Released by DOE and Sandia

    Today, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), on behalf of DOE-OE’s Energy Storage program, released a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting ideas from U.S. state and territorial governmental entities for the design, procurement, installation, and demonstration (for a minimum of one year of operation) of state-of-the-art electrical energy storage technology demonstration projects that meet the goals of the Energy Storage Program (see RFI is available here:

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  • November 30, 2011

    California Energy Commission Awards $227,000 to SMUD for Energy Storage Research

    SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission today awarded $227,000 to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) for a research project demonstrating how energy storage can be integrated into local microgrids.

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  • September 5, 2011

    Texas takes major step toward energy storage

    On Friday June 17th, Texas Governor Rick Perry recently signed into law the right for large energy storage projects – such as those using battery or flywheel technologies – to participate in the competitive wholesale electricity market, providing generation services, bringing significant grid reliability and environmental benefits to Texas.

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  • August 30, 2011

    Batteries for Energy Storage: New Developments Promise Grid Flexibility and Stability

    In this article from Renewable Energy World, Tildy Banyar looks at developments in large-scale battery energy storage solutions for integrating variable output renewable generation into the grid. The original article is available here:

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  • July 28, 2011

    CEC Awards Funding to Energy Storage Research

    The California Energy Commission (CEC) has shown its support for energy storage by awarding $845,894 from its Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program to energy-storage research projects.

    EnerVault Corp. of Sunnyvale, Calif., will receive $476,428 to demonstrate the commercial viability of the company's latest battery energy-storage system with a dual-tracking photovoltaic system. The project will develop a battery system that will be expandable to utility-scale applications and integrate with renewable energy resources.

    EnerVault will also work with other project partners to install and evaluate the system in Snelling, Calif. The total cost of the project is $9.53 million. The CEC’s grant will supplement a $4.76 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) award that EnerVault, along with project partner Ktech Corp., received from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). EnerVault is providing $4.29 million for the project.

    In addition, Fremont-based Amber Kinetics Inc. will receive $369,466 to research, develop and demonstrate a utility-scale flywheel energy-storage system. The project's total cost is $10 million. The CEC’s grant is the cost share for the company's ARRA award of $3.7 million from the DOE. Amber Kinetics and other partners are contributing $5.94 million for the project.

    "As we strive to reach the state's renewable energy goals, research in energy-storage systems will reap significant benefits for California,” says CEC Chairman Dr. Robert Weisenmiller. “Energy-storage systems will improve efficiency and reliability in the electricity supply and facilitate the integration of clean, intermittent, renewable resources such as solar and wind.”

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  • July 22, 2011

    Utility Scale Electricity Storage Ramps Up with Growing Renewable Energy Use

    Global sales of utility-scale electricity storage (UES) technology will grow at a 36.6% compound annual rate (CAGR) over the next five years, from $3.9 billion in 2010 to $18.5 billion in 2015, as the drive to incorporate renewable power supplies into grids and build outs of transmission interconnections and smart grids accelerates, according to a BCC Research forecast.

    Sales of UES technology will grow fastest in North America, BCC forecasts, increasing at a CAGR of 86.2%. UES sales in Europe will grow at a 41% CAGR, while sales in Asia/Australia will grow at a 21.7% CAGR.

    Come 2015, according to BCC:

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  • June 8, 2011

    Electricity Storage and American Wind Industries Release Joint Principles for Clean Energy

    The Electricity Storage Association (ESA), the preeminent trade association dedicated to fostering the development and commercialization of energy storage technologies, and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), thenational trade association representing wind power project developers, equipment suppliers, services providers, parts manufacturers, utilities, researchers, and others involved in the wind industry – have released joint principles crafted by the two industries to create a level playing field for the deployment of clean energy technologies.

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  • September 29, 2010

    Governor Schwarzenegger Signs AB 2514 Into Law

    The nation's first energy storage bill was signed into law the afternoon of Thursday, September 29, 2010 by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Bill, AB 2514, puts a timetable in place for the integration of energy storage technologies and is seem as an important first step towards increasing the efficiency of the electric grid.

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