Storage is the New Solar

Every year, Quixotic Systems attends the annual solar industry show Inter-Solar, the largest of its kind, in Munich. While the show’s emphasis used to be on solar panels, this year’s theme was Energy Storage Solutions (ESS), which represents a transformative shift for renewable energy.

When we talk about storage in this context we generally mean a battery capable of providing power during emergencies or possibly when energy costs are very high. But, until now, this type of storage hasn’t been practical.

Years ago, we would periodically receive calls from potential customers interested in adding a storage component for their PV systems. The costs were always very high and it seemed like an impossible task to get these systems permitted by the Department of Buildings (DOB) and the Fire Department (FDNY). This is all now starting to change.

While battery costs are still high, we are seeing enough new technology companies coming to market to lower costs over time. By analogy this is where the solar industry was with respect to solar modules (PV panels) several years ago. Furthermore, there has been a shift (possibly as a result of Hurricane Sandy) with respect to city agencies realizing the importance of creating greater resiliency within the grid, and providing energy storage to reduce peak loading in the summer.

We are beginning to see our first battery storage systems go up throughout the Metropolitan area. There are still concerns about the longevity of battery systems and their disposability. However, we are confident that there will be rapid technological advances to address these concerns. For now, we can, at least, begin to see that the planning and installation of ESS systems coupled with PV systems is more than feasible.

Wishing you a sunny summer! Richard, President Quixotic Systems Inc.