The Future Of Battery Energy Storage Is Upon Us

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Battery storage up until 2020 was considered the future of energy. But in the last months of 2019 alone, eight major US battery storage projects advanced or signed contracts to sell energy from their facilities to major utilities signalling that the future of battery storage might be closer than originally expected.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, utility-scale battery energy storage capacity in the U.S. could more than double by 2022.

Lior Handelsman, founder of SolarEdge Technologies, a Israel-based energy storage and solar company, recently told Inframation that interest in commercial storage has increased tenfold in just a year.

"This growth is being driven by increasing electricity prices and grid instability,” he said. “Commercial business owners who are looking to improve their bottom lines are doing so by generating and storing their own energy.”

Strong advancements in the battery storage sector have attracted the interest of private equity infrastructure funds.

Energy Capital Partners, a New Jersey-based private equity infrastructure investment firm, reached financial close on its Fund IV at $3.3 billion with two main investments in the energy storage sector in Convergent Energy and Gopher Resource. Similarly, New York-based investor and asset management firm JLC Infrastructure acquired and rebranded Greenskies Renewable Energy, reflecting the target’s added focus on battery storage and emerging technologies.

Utilities are also expected to make their mark as the year progresses and the market matures, As the year progresses and the market matures utilities are also expected to make their mark as they increase their involvement in the development and funding phases of the projects.

“Utility players that are linked to energy retailers, such as ENGIE, understand how the energy industry works and have a customer channel," Handelsman said. "These companies will have a good way to offer alternative solutions which is why we see such companies as large players in the field.”

Fortune 500 energy companies such as AES and NextEra are moving forward as well. NextEra Energy, which is the world’s largest utility company, indicated during a recent investor presentation that it expected to add 450 megawatts of energy storage in the near term.

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