The NEC Energy Solutions Blog

Energy Storage North America a resounding success

The energy storage industry is facing a period of expansion as battery solutions emerge as a key tool for utility companies. This expansion was particularly evident in the recent Energy Storage North America conference in San Jose, California, as the event attracted an incredibly large and diverse audience. A recent PV-Magazine report explained that the conference was such an enthusiastic, well-attended event that it clearly displayed the growing nature of the energy storage sector.

Looking back on ESNA
According to the news source, this year's ESNA conference stood out because of its scale and because of the number of companies that talked about their plans to invest in energy storage systems. The conference featured approximately 1,300 pre-registered attendees, approximately double the size of previous years. Furthermore, a large number of utility providers explained that they have plans to invest in energy storage technology.

The report said that even though energy storage solutions have not had enough time on the market to prove their fiscal potential, many utility providers are already embracing the technology. Talks about energy storage adoption in states like Hawaii and California were not surprising at the event, but representatives from utilities in Illinois, New York and a utility collective that covers a wide range of states also talked about plans to invest in energy storage. The discussions surrounding these projects generated considerable excitement throughout the event as they showcased the rapid growth taking place across the industry.

Janice Lin, co-founder of the California Energy Storage Association and developer for the conference, told the news source that event clearly showcased how much energy storage is impacting the energy industry.

"Energy storage is a game changer for the electric power system, and this year's ESNA event truly represents that," Lin told PV-Magazine.

Understanding the excitement behind energy storage
Part of the reason why so many utility providers are excited about batteries is that are able to solve such a diverse range of problems. Energy storage systems can be used to balance loads on the utility grid, store renewable energy to make it available at a later time, support a variety of backup/grid resiliency plans and make it easier to respond to distributed generation. All of these functions give energy storage technologies a role in how utility providers manage their own systems, interact with generation partners and engage with consumers.

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