Enel X deploying 40MWh behind-the-meter battery storage system at Imperial Oil refinery in Ontario

Imperial Oil’s refinery at Sarnia where the battery storage is being built. Image: Enel X/Imperial Oil.

The energy transition arm of Italy’s Enel Group has started construction on a 20MW/40MWh behind-the-meter (BTM) battery energy storage system (BESS) at Imperial Oil’s petrochemical complex in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

Enel X will build, own and operate the BESS and use its Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Optimization software (DER.OS) to maximise the value of the project, including peak prediction services. The company has not revealed when it expects the system to be completed or go online.

It says that Imperial will be able to charge the BESS at night when the electricity grid is mainly powered by wind, nuclear and hydro sources and draw on the battery during peak demand periods when the mix of natural gas production is generally higher.

Enel X’s Head of North America Surya Panditi and Ontario’s Minister of Energy Todd Smith both said it would be the largest behind-the-meter battery storage system in North America once complete.

“Large energy users are turning to battery storage to reduce their demand on the grid, lower their energy costs, improve sustainability, and deliver economic value to a company’s bottom line,” Panditi commented.

Demand response programme

Enel X will enrol the BESS onto Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) demand response programme. The programme allows commercial & industrial (C&I) customers with high power needs to reduce peak demand charges as well as help the capacity needs of the grid.

One of IESO’s peak demand charges is the Global Adjustment (GA), which goes on all electricity consumers’ bills to cover generating and energy conservation programmes. Users with peak usage over 500kW can participate in the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI). The ICI allows them to reduce their demand during peak periods of electricity consumption on the grid.

Enel X’s DER.OS will predict when those peak periods are and switch to energy stored in the battery instead of using the grid in those periods. IESO currently lists three providers as the initial suppliers of power for the demand response pilot: Tembec Industries, Enershift and HCE Energy. Enel X was the first provider to join a similar, new programme in Australia in October last year.

‘..the largest behind-the-meter battery storage in North America’

The claim that this project at Sarnia will be the largest behind-the-meter storage in North America may be disputed as a 240MWh system being built by technology infrastructure company Switch in Nevada, broke ground in July 2020. Albeit that project staked its claim to be part of the largest behind-the-meter solar project in the world, pairing batteries with 127MW of solar PV, rather than a standalone BESS project.

It is fair to say however that BTM systems in North America, particularly south of the border in the US, have tended to be smaller and in some ways Ontario is the leader in this space, given the opportunity it gives large users of power to reduce their costs via the Global Adjustment Charge.

The province has seen some other large BTM systems built for industrial customers, notably including a 10MW/20MW project by developer Convergent Energy + Power, using IHI Inc hardware supplied to an undisclosed customer, also in Sarnia and completed in 2018. The same developer also completed a 10MW BTM project at an oil refinery in Sarnia for Shell the following year.

Others include an 8.9MW/18MWh project by technology company Honeywell, again for an unnamed customer, completed in 2019. Honeywell is also currently delivering battery storage for a 90MW/180MWh portfolio of Ontario behind-the-meter projects with developer Aypa Power (formerly NRStor), albeit this is distributed through a number of separate sites. Honeywell team members discussed that portfolio in a webinar series with Energy-Storage.news last year.

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UK government awards funding to longer-duration energy storage tech projects

Anglo-American flow battery provider Invinity Energy Systems was awarded funding for a 40MWh project. Image: Invinity Energy Systems.

The first awards of funding designed to “turbocharge” UK projects developing long-duration energy storage technologies have been made by the country’s government, with £6.7 million (US$9.11 million) pledged. 

The total £68 million competitive funding opportunity was launched by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in June 2021 through the national Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP).

Announced this morning — as BEIS innovation programme manager Georgina Morris prepares to join speakers at the Energy Storage Summit 2022 in London today and tomorrow, hosted by our publisher, Solar Media —  a total of 24 projects have now received funding through the Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration Programme. 

The awards are split into two streams: Stream 1 is for demonstration projects of technologies considered close to commercialisation and aiming to accelerate that process so that they can be deployed on the UK energy system. Stream 2 seeks to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative projects through building “first-of-a-kind” prototypes of full systems. 

The five awarded Stream 1 projects are a membrane free green hydrogen electrolyser, gravity-based energy storage, vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB), advanced compressed air energy storage (A-CAES) and a bundled solution of pressurised seawater and compressed air.

Thermal storage technologies were eligible, but none have received funding. 

Stream 1 projects will receive funding ranging from £471,760 to £1 million per project. 

There are however six thermal energy storage technologies among the 19 Stream 2 awardees. Stream 2 winners must deliver feasibility study reports for their proposed technologies and contribute to knowledge sharing and “sector capacity-building,” BEIS said. 

Stream 2 funding ranging from £79,560 to £150,000 went to the six thermal storage projects, four power-to-x category projects and nine electrical energy storage projects. 


Stream 1

Technology typeProject nameLead partyLocationTechnology/scopeFunding (£)Power-to-x energy storageBallylumford Power-to-XB9 Energy StorageBallylumford, Northern Ireland20MW green hydrogen electrolyser storing curtailed wind in salt caverns986,082Electrical energy storageGraviSTOREGravitricityNorthern EnglandMultiweight energy storage charged and discharged by lifting and lowering weights in an underground vertical shaft912,410.84Electrical energy storageLong Duration Offshore Storage BundleSubsea 7 LimitedAberdeen, ScotlandCombining pressurised seawater and compressed air using hydro-pneumatic tech471,760Electrical energy storageVanadium Flow Battery Longer Duration Energy Asset DemonstratorInvinity Energy SystemsBathgate, ScotlandDelivering power on demand from solar PV using 40MWh vanadium flow battery storage system708,371Electrical energy storageCheshire Energy Storage Centre io consultingCheshire, UKUsing Hydrostor’s A-CAES tech to store energy as compressed air in defunct EDF gas cavities1,000,000

Stream 2

Technology typeProject nameLead partyLocationTechnology/scopeFunding (£)Thermal energy storageEXTENDSunampEast Lothian, ScotlandFeasibility study to extend duration of phase change material (PCM) based thermal storage for heating and hot water149,893Thermal energy storageExergy3University of EdinburghEdinburgh, ScotlandPrepare testing of 36MWh ultra-high temperature energy storage system for industrial process decarbonisation149,779Thermal energy storageADSorBActive Building Centre Research Programme (Swansea University)Swansea, WalesDeveloping long-duration thermal storage and control systems for domestic heating and grid support143,440Thermal energy storagePTES DemonstratorSynchroStorEdinburgh, ScotlandFeasibility study for repeatable grid-scale pumped thermal storage system 79,560Thermal energy storageUtilising Composite Phase Change MaterialsVital EnergiBlackburn, EnglandSupport development of PCM-based thermal storage 131,214Thermal energy storageINHERENTEnergy Systems Catapult Services LimitedBirmingham, EnglandDemonstrate ability of domestic thermal storage to provide low-cost, long-duration storage149,831Power-to-X energy storageHyDUSEDF R&D UKOxfordshire, EnglandTech transfer and modification of metal hydride storage used in fusion sector for hydrogen (protium) storage149,602Power-to-X energy storageHEOSHaskins & DaveyChester, EnglandFeasibility study for power-to-x tech based on storing hydrogen in metal hydride 141,000Power-to-X energy storage RIPCURLITM Power Sheffield, England R&D into reducing reliance on Platinum Group Metal (PGM) in hydrogen electrolyser cells 149,388Power-to-X energy storage Hydrilite Refueller Prototype Corre Energy Wales Long-duration hydrogen storage using patented storage medium Carbon280 Hydrilite 149,922Electrical energy storage FlexiTanker Cheesecake Energy Nottingham, EnglandDevelop thermal and compressed air technology 139,411Electrical energy storage Sustainable Single Liquid Flow BatteryStorTeraEdinburgh, ScotlandSpecify and cost MW-scale lithium sulfur flow battery demonstrator project 148,940Electrical energy storage High-Density Hydro Energy Storage RheEnergiseLondon, EnglandDeveloping cost-optimised energy storage solution based on pumped hydro principles149,537Electrical energy storage e-Zinc Energy Storage Systemse-ZincUK (unspecified)Accelerate commercialisation of zinc-based battery storage 144,990Electrical energy storage BlueStorMSE International Portsmouth, EnglandFeasibility study for marine and port-based energy storage using organic flow battery tech149,779Electrical energy storage Marine Pumped HydroRCAM Technologies Edinburgh, ScotlandDeveloping marine pumped hydro tech using 3D printed concrete 150,000Electrical energy storage Feasibility of Compressed Air Energy Storage in the Offshore UK Continental ShelfCrondall Energy UK (unspecified)Develop application of compressed air storage on UK continental shelf 149,086Electrical energy storage Co-location of Flow Battery Storage with Solar PVLocogenEdinburgh, ScotlandAssess feasibility of colocating existing PV and flow batteries 121,400Electrical energy storage Renewable CopperEnergy Systems Catapult ServicesBirmingham, EnglandDevelop copper/zinc battery storage with 4-12 hour duration ahead of planned demonstrator in Scotland149,954

After launching the competition last year, BEIS opened up a three-month Call for Evidence on long-duration energy storage in July, assessing how best to enable long-duration technologies at scale.

A recent report from energy industry consultancy Aurora Energy Research found that up to 24GW of energy storage with a duration of four hours or greater could be needed to enable a net zero energy system in the UK by 2035. 

This would enable the integration of variable renewable energy generation and also lower household energy bills by £1.13 billion a year in 2035. It could also reduce the country’s reliance on gas by 50TWh each year and lead to a 10MtCO2 reduction in emissions. 

Aurora said however that high upfront costs, long lead times as well as a lack of revenue certainty and market signals are resulting in long-duration energy storage being underinvested into. Policy support and market reforms were recommended in the group’s report. 

Another report by KPMG published a few weeks ago said that a cap and floor mechanism would be the best way to reduce investor risk while encouraging operators of long-duration facilities to respond to electricity system requirements. 

In the US, the Department of Energy is hosting the Energy Storage Grand Challenge, a policy-driven effort to reduce costs and accelerate the adoption of energy storage, including a similar competitive funding opportunity for long-duration technologies and projects. Its aims include reducing the cost of long-duration energy storage 90% by 2030.

Meanwhile a cluster of European trade associations made a recent plea for the European Union (EU) to take a similarly proactive stance to support long-duration energy storage, particularly in the European Green Deal package.

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Genex achieves contractual close for 100MWh Queensland battery project

Genex solar farm in Kidston, Queensland, close to the site of the 2GWh PHES plant the company has under construction. The 50MW PV facility pictured is being expanded to 270MW to integrate with the pumped hydro. Image: Genex.

Clean energy developer Genex Power has “secured the final piece” of its project finance package for the 50MW/100MWh Bouldercombe Battery Project (BBP) in Queensland, Australia. 

Genex made an announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) this morning. Having received firm commitments to a AU$40 million (US$29 million) capital raise to fund the project, it has now achieved contractual close for the standalone battery energy storage system (BESS). 

The announcement comes just two days after Energy-Storage.news reported that Genex had agreed a AU$35 million debt finance facility for BBP from specialist project finance fund manager Infradebt under a 12-year term.

Tesla will supply 40 of its Megapack grid-scale battery storage units to the project and the US tech company’s Autobidder trading and bidding platform will control its market-facing activities. 

Genex said the AU$40 million institutional placement, alongside the Infradebt loan, will go towards project construction costs as well as repay an existing debt facility to Australia’s national Clean Energy Finance Corporation and provide further working capital. 

“I am delighted to announce today the final piece for the project financing of the Bouldercombe Battery Project, being the completion of a AU$40 million institutional placement,” Genex Power CEO James Harding said, thanking the company’s existing institutional shareholders and welcoming new ones. 

“In acknowledgement of this support, I am pleased to confirm the launch of a AU$10 million Share Purchase Plan to allow our retail shareholders to participate in the capital raising on similar terms to investors under the institutional placement.”

Bouldercombe, along with Genex’s large-scale pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) plant under construction at Kidston, also in Queensland, “will add significant upside exposure for shareholders when it commences operation,” scheduled for mid-2023, Harding said. 

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Centrica-optimised Estor-Lux BESS in Belgium participating in frequency regulation market since December

EStor-Lux battery site, Bastogne, Belgium. Image: EStor-Lux.

The EStor-Lux battery site in south Belgium fully launched commercial activity in December and has successfully participated in grid frequency auctions, the consortium behind the project has said, with 16GW of balancing capacity provided so far.

The EStor-Lux 10MW/20MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) at Bastogne, covered by Energy-storage.news as it achieved financial close in November 2020, launched full commercial activities on 9 December 2021. The BESS was provided by system integrator and technology company Fluence, based on its sixth generation Cube modular hardware platform.

Centrica Business Solutions is in charge of the optimisation and has had the system participate in most of the automatic Frequency Restoration Reserve (aFRR) auctions organised by Elia, the Belgian high-voltage transmission system operator. It claims the 480-module system has provided 16,000 MW of balancing capacity to Elia since launching.

The battery park in Bastogne is integrated in a virtual portfolio with other flexible capacity sources, the announcement on 18 February says. It claims it is the largest active battery site in Benelux in terms of storage capacity, although larger projects are following hot on its heels.

Two 25MW/100MWh systems are set to launch this year: one in Ruien launched by a Japanese-Belgian joint venture in Q4 2022 and one in Balen being developed by commodities trader Trafigura should also be completed this year. That pair are also among four new build battery projects totalling 130MW/540MWh awarded capacity market contracts by Elia last year through its newly introduced Capacity Remuneration Mechanism (CRM).

The consortium behind the Bastogne project is made up of investment groups SRIW, Ackermans & van Haaren, BEWATT, SOCOFE and SOFILUX, engineering and construction firm CFE and Belgian government development organisation IDELUX.

Longer-duration batteries are well placed for aFRR services which require longer activation periods in a single direction than today’s main revenue stream in continental Europe, Frequency Containment Reserve (FCR).

A cross-border platform to mutualise aFRR auctions across the continent is being created, Project PICASSO, which Energy-storage.news wrote about last year. It will enable continental European countries to share their balancing energy and has triggered reforms to allow storage to participate in the market in countries such as Belgium, France and Spain – elsewhere regulations still prevent it from joining.

France, Germany and Austria are set to launch the platform in the current quarter while Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Czechia, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria will join later this year. The bulk, though not all, of remaining EU countries are set to join in 2023/24.

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Sunnova’s New Repair Service Helps All Homeowners Repair Solar and Battery Storage Systems

Sunnova technician with customers

Sunnova Energy International Inc. has launched Sunnova Repair Services. Sunnova’s certified technicians will now be available to help all homeowners who are not under a service warranty to troubleshoot, service and repair their solar and battery storage systems, even if Sunnova did not install them.

“We proudly back all our Sunnova systems with full service warranties so our customers have peace of mind, but we know that not everyone with a solar system has that same level of service,” says Michell Graham, senior vice president of service and energy operations at Sunnova. “Sadly, there are many homeowners with solar systems who are frustrated because either their provider doesn’t offer service and support, or their electrician isn’t able to service their issues. We have an in-house team of dedicated service technicians who are the best in the industry, specially trained to service most major equipment providers for residential solar and storage.”

Sunnova provides maintenance, monitoring, repairs and replacement parts to over 170,000 solar customers across the country. Now, Sunnova is making these services available for all solar homeowners.

Sunnova Repair Services technicians are professionally certified solar experts; they have completed hundreds of hours of training and are certified to work on systems from solar brands such as Enphase, Generac, SolarEdge and Tesla. They can diagnose, troubleshoot, repair and/or replace equipment issues caused by manufacturer or installation defects, weather and more. Sunnova is available to help with a variety of solar repairs associated with the monitor, inverter, solar panels (modules), battery, and wiring and connections.

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Heliogen Preps New California Manufacturing Facility for Heliostat Production

Heliogen Inc., a provider of AI-enabled concentrated solar energy, has begun site preparation and setup at its first full-scale manufacturing facility, located in Long Beach, Calif. Production lines are expected to become operational in the third quarter of 2022.

The state-of-the-art facility will include assembly lines, an expansive test facility and rapid development center for the production of heliostats and other components in Heliogen’s concentrated solar energy system. Heliogen leverages AI-enabled heliostats to efficiently generate higher temperatures than possible with traditional concentrated solar technology.

The generation of higher temperatures – capable of achieving in excess of 1,000 degrees Celsius – allows the company’s solar technology to efficiently store heat, reduce or eliminate intermittency of renewably generated energy, and cost-effectively replace fossil fuels with sunlight for a range of industrial processes.

Heliostats from the Long Beach production facility are expected to be utilized in Heliogen’s anticipated first commercial project in California.

“We believe our state-of-the-art heliostat manufacturing facility is the world’s first and only purpose-built facility for high-volume heliostat production,” states Bill Gross, CEO of Heliogen. “Our ability to manufacture Heliogen heliostats in the facility enables a significant cost advantage compared to earlier heliostat production, which was done in the construction field under less controlled conditions. Our modular plant design, together with our patented software control system, supports our mission to cost-effectively deliver near 24/7 carbon-free energy in the form of heat, power, or green hydrogen fuel at scale – for the first time in history.”

Heliogen’s Long Beach manufacturing facility is being led by Andy Lambert, chief production and supply chain officer, formerly of SpaceX and BMW, where he built large-scale, high-quality, automated production lines for products that work outdoors with long lifetimes and high reliability.

“Moving ahead with the Long Beach manufacturing facility represents a significant step forward in bringing sustainable energy solutions to heavy industry,” states Lambert. “With some of the country’s best and brightest talent, key suppliers, and access to an expansive infrastructure and logistics network, Heliogen is confident that Long Beach will emerge as a hub for green energy manufacturing solutions.”

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Apex, Ares, EPIC Sign MoU for Corpus Christi Green Fuel Operation Powered by Renewable Energy

Apex Clean Energy LLC, funds managed by the Infrastructure and Power strategy of Ares Management Corp., EPIC Midstream Holdings LP and the Port of Corpus Christi Authority (PCCA), have entered into a nonbinding memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore the development of a green hydrogen production, storage, transportation and export operation, including a newly constructed dedicated pipeline and a green fuels hub to be located at the Port of Corpus Christi on the Texas Gulf Coast.

The project would produce green hydrogen and other derivative green fuels in volumes not yet seen in the United States, with additional scale possible by decade’s end. Apex expects to utilize its portfolio of wind and solar projects currently in development in Texas to power facilities producing green hydrogen and derivative green fuels products. In addition, EPIC will consider leveraging its pipeline construction and operating expertise to accelerate the development of a new, dedicated green fuels pipeline. The project would also endeavor to leverage and develop existing and new storage, processing and export infrastructure sited on real estate owned by PCCA.

“We are excited to build on our existing relationship with PCCA to develop and build what we believe will be one of the largest green hydrogen projects in the country to date,” says Keith Derman, partner and co-head of Ares Infrastructure and Power. “The project demonstrates the type of innovative, broad and collaborative approach across industries and stakeholders that we believe can deliver novel energy solutions that help accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and combat climate change. Further, this underscores Ares’ leading capabilities in providing differentiated solutions to a growing asset class as we seek to drive returns for our investors through opportunities aligned with their sustainability goals.”

Ares and PCCA previously executed a separate nonbinding memorandum of understanding in May 2021, with the intention of developing renewable energy infrastructure on PCCA-owned property to support the production of green hydrogen and optionality to provide renewable power directly to the port and its customers. This MOU builds on that effort, specifically with respect to the development of green fuels projects.

“This project seeks to generate and deliver green hydrogen and other clean fuels precisely where they are needed most – at the industrial backbone of our nation,” states Mark Goodwin, Apex Clean Energy’s president and CEO. “Together with Ares, EPIC and the Port of Corpus Christi, Apex would leverage the highest-quality wind and solar resources in Texas to help decarbonize difficult-to-abate industries – including the transportation, shipping, fertilizer, chemical and refining sectors – and include optionality for global export. This would be green fuel production at gigawatt scale.”

“This initiative is exactly the type of interdisciplinary collaboration that would enable scalable projects that move the needle on diversification of the energy marketplace,” mentions Jeff Pollack, chief strategy and sustainability officer for the Port of Corpus Christi. “This monumental potential project would directly contribute to the burgeoning clean hydrogen hub at the Port of Corpus Christi and would directly support our ambitions to cultivate world-scale hydrogen exports as our part in national decarbonization and energy balance of trade objectives.”

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Aaron Young Takes on New Role as Renewable Energy Development VP

Aaron Young

Amshore, a renewable energy development company, has promoted senior project developer Aaron Young to the role of vice president of development. In his new role, he leads the development strategy, execution and team focused on helping utility companies and independent power producers expand their renewable energy projects throughout North America.

“We continue to invest in our team and capabilities as a leading renewable energy developer to help our valued clients,” states Deana Strunk, owner of Amshore. “With his in-the-field renewable energy development experience and his history at our company, Aaron will continue to deliver results for our clients and help shape the future of Amshore as we grow and expand.”

Young joined Amshore in 2014 and has developed and assisted in the development and construction of key projects throughout the country. Over the last 20 years, Amshore has originated and developed solar and wind energy facilities generating 2.9 GW of power covering over a half a million acres.

“Development is at the core of one of the most exciting industries within the energy sector—renewable energy,” says Young. “Our highest priority is helping our clients and partners bring clean power to the world. I look forward to leading our team as we continue to invest in our renewable development services.”

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Solar Alliance Installs 1 MW Solar Project for Knoxville Utilities Board in Tennessee

Myke Clark

Solar Alliance Energy Inc. has signed a contract with Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB), an independent agency of the City of Knoxville, for the design and installation of a 1 MW solar project in Knoxville, Tenn. KUB provides electric, natural gas, water, wastewater and fiber broadband services to more than 473,000 customers in the city area.

Solar Alliance will design, engineer and install the 1 MW project, which is scheduled to begin construction in April 2022; it is targeted for completion in August 2022. The project builds on Solar Alliance’s expanding utility customer project base, following solar initiatives with utilities LG&E/KU, EPB and AEC. It also builds on the company’s support program for utilities which includes grant work, financial modeling, energy modeling and electric vehicle charger deployment.

“This large community solar project for KUB builds on our growing utility customer base and we are proud to support KUB in delivering the benefits of solar to Knoxville,” says Solar Alliance CEO Myke Clark. “Solar Alliance is a Knoxville-based leader in the commercial and utility solar sector and this project illustrates our commitment to our local community while building strong relationships with utilities. It also shows our growth as a company as we continue to aggressively grow our backlog of large projects. The potential for solar growth in Knoxville, Tennessee and the U.S. Southeast is massive, and we have become a market leader in this rapidly growing industry.”

KUB previously announced that 20% of Knoxville’s electricity will be generated from solar energy, through participation in TVA’s Green Invest program. In total, KUB will secure enough solar energy to power about 83,000 homes.

“We are so excited to bring Knoxville its first Community Solar site and are looking forward to partnering with Solar Alliance and the City of Knoxville to make it happen,” comments Gabriel Bolas, KUB’s president and CEO. “This is another way we support solar energy generation, and it also makes the benefits of solar power more accessible to our community members.” Solar Alliance and KUB also entered into an operations and maintenance agreement for the project for one year. Upon mutual agreement of the parties, the term may be extended for up to four additional one-year renewal terms.

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Guidehouse: Residential batteries’ market share to equal gensets by 2030

Battery adoption is following the path laid out by rooftop solar PV, Guidehouse said. Image: Solarwatt.

Guidehouse Insights says that the annual power capacity deployments of battery-based residential energy storage systems (RESS) are expected to grow at a CAGR of 21.3% from 2021 to 2030 globally.

By the end of the decade, the Colorado-headquartered research group predicts they will account for half of all residential power system sales, with a market share equal to gensets.

The bulk of the market is currently diesel or natural gas generators, or gensets, which made up around 80% of annual installations last year with battery energy storage systems (BESS) the remainder. But Guidehouse expects genset installations to remain flat over the decade with BESS growing to become about half of annual installed capacity by 2030. 

“While gensets continue to be popular, the most significant trend is the increasing adoption of battery-based RESSs,” said William Hughes, principal research analyst with Guidehouse Insights.

“This trend follows the increasing adoption of solar panels by homeowners because the sale of battery-based RESSs is almost always accompanied by solar panels.” 

One interesting reference point that Energy-Storage.news has noted is the move by US backup power solutions specialist Generac, one of the country’s biggest manufacturers and vendors of gensets, into offering battery energy storage for homeowners, with sales experiencing a surge during 2021, driven by customers’ awareness of blackout events. The company recently added the ability for its PWRcell-branded home battery units to sell power back to the grid.

A third technology alongside gensets and BESS is thermal energy storage, but Guidehouse has not publicly revealed expected growth or the 2030 proportion of installations. 

The research firm says that the main driver for homeowners to install storage is to reduce inconveniences associated with power outages and in some cases, reduce costs and increase their use of renewable power. 

But it cautions that the sector faces many challenges. These can be immediate problems like how complicated it is to get accurate information on merits and costs, the need for onsite evaluations and the wide variety and specificity of available subsidies. 

Less tangible but still relevant is the tarnishing of the industry’s reputation because of exaggerated claims and business failures by industry players, Guidehouse said, which slows the adoption of residential BESS. This explains why some homeowners still opt for established technology like gensets.

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