Energy storage has been in the news recently with the recent announcement of Alevo’s new battery plant that may bring 6,000 jobs to the Charlotte area.
Research in battery technology and large scale manufacturing by companies like Alevo has the potential to greatly reduce the cost of energy storage. We think cost-effective energy storage is the “missing link” for solar power.
Energy storage could be the key to solving two big problems: the mismatch between when most solar power is produced (middle of the day) and when folks use it most (early morning in the winter and late afternoon / early evening in the summer) and intermittency on partly-cloudy days (with rapid up and down variations in the amount of solar power produced.)
State and federal tax policy will also impact the deployment of these new solar/storage systems. We understand there is a good chance that the federal solar tax credit may be expanded to include solar/storage investments.
On the other hand, unless extended, the 35 percent state solar tax credit will expire in 2016 and the 30 percent federal solar tax credit drops to 10 percent in 2017.
Early next year, Wake Electric plans to install a small prototype solar / energy storage system to learn more about this technology and hopefully demonstrate its capabilities. Expect to hear more about this project in the coming months.
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