Energy Storage Conference Turnout Reflects Industry Growth

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Energy Storage North America (ESNA) last week experienced record attendance and a sold-out exhibition floor, reflecting the growth in the industry and all the benefits of energy storage.

Attending were more than 1,300 people from 26 countries, 50 exhibitors, and nearly 110 speakers.

“Energy storage is a game changer for the electric power system, and this year’s ESNA event truly represents that,” said Janice Lin, Managing Partner of Strategen Consulting and co-founder of the California Energy Storage Alliance.

The event featured the ESNA Innovation Awards, awarded to developers of energy storage projects and industry champions from the policy and utility side. This year, ESNA Champion Awards were given for the first time to honor individuals who have shown leadership and dedication in the advancement of energy storage in North America.

The energy storage project award winners were: at the utility scaleAbengoa Solana Concentrating Solar Power Plant (Gila Bend, AZ); customer-sited awardGreen Charge Networks GreenStation 2.0 (various locations, CA); mobility award, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Energy Optimization Project (Philadelphia, PA)

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The energy storage policy champions included Nancy Skinner, member, California State Assembly, District 15, and the author of AB 2514, a 2010 law that provided leadership and the regulatory framework for utility procurement of energy storage in California. She also spearheaded several laws that added customer-sited energy storage to California’s Self Generation Incentive Program. Also cited as an energy storage policy champion was Carla Peterman, commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission, who is the assigned commissioner for the Energy Storage rulemaking in California. She authored the landmark decision that required California’s load serving entities to procure 1.325 GW of energy storage by 2020.

The energy storage utility champions, utility leaders who advocate for and implement energy storage, were David Fribush, manager, energy storage integration, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Steve Willard, senior project manager, utilization/energy Storage area, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

“As a company committed to constant innovation and sustainability, Abengoa is honored to receive this Innovation Award from Energy Storage North America,” said Emiliano García, VP North America at Abengoa Yield in a press release. “This award recognizes Abengoa’s efforts to deliver a commercially proven, state-of-the-art thermal storage system able to generate power at maximum capacity for six hours after sunset with the flexibility and reliability that the transmission grid needs.”

The awards, conference turnout, and growing interest in energy storage are all good news for energy efficiency, renewable energy, the grid, and the environment. Expect to see continued growth in energy storage and microgrids.

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