Having advanced to the 10th place on GTM Research’s list of U.S. utility-scale solar developers, California based solar developer 8minutenergy is now ready to add energy storage to its field of expertise. According to Steve McKenery, vice president of storage solutions, compared to a few years ago, now solar storage projects are more lucrative than the cost of a new combustion gas turbine. Utilities can also save on the cost of gas needed to maintain spinning reserves, since storage is ready for immediate response without burning fuel. And storage combined with solar furthermore helps a utility by enhancing utilization of transmission infrastructure.
The Energy Storage sector offers a great opportunity for all the market players who are ready to add innovative products, services and expertise to their company’s portfolio in order to address new industry demands.
“We can utilize our land and interconnection status that we have on 8minutenergy-developed projects to have a place to build the storage project and interconnect it to the grid fairly quickly and at a competitive price,” McKenery said.
The company concentrates on solar projects with 100 megawatts or more and all past year’s projects were planned with storage in mind, although the storage team works on standalone storage projects as well. 8minutenergy uses proven suppliers like LG Chem and Samsung SDI for its lithium-ion batteries. In an effort to optimize the integration of batteries into the solar systems and improve efficiency, the company is looking into utilizing DC-to-DC architecture instead of an AC architecture.
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