The battery and energy storage industry and the solar pv industry are becoming more and more inextricably linked. It will now be interesting to see whether the solar pv industry pulls the battery and energy storage industry up with it or whether the battery and storage industry drives solar pv along.
One of the most significant of battery and storage launches was the AC battery unit from Enphase. This is powered by ELIIY Power lithium chemistry backed by Daiwa House. The system offers 1.2 kWh of energy storage with a275 watt to 550 watt power output. Once pilot tests have been carried oud across Europe, Australia and the United States, Enphase will commence shipping their product to market in early 2015. “We want to do for energy storage what we’ve done for pv.” Said Enphase co-founder Raghu Belur.
This all came to light at the recent SPI show. Before the show, Stem, a company based in Millbrae, California announced a new and exciting strategic partnership. The American firm are set to enter into a strategic partnership with Kyocera Solar to pursue energy storage markets in California, Hawaii, New York and other jurisdictions. As of now, only 10% of Stem’s project business is linked to solar pv capacity. The company expects that to rise shortly with plans to introduce a larger format version of its product during the first quarter of 2015.
Elsewhere, a major international agreement has been made when Chicago based S&C announced a contract for the sale of 20 of their Pure Wave systems to Australian utility company Ergon Energy for grid utility support for their single wire earth return network. Each of the 25kw Pure Wave units could power an average home for 5 days during a power outage by providing up to 100 Kilowatt hours of energy.
Clearly battery and energy storage is a rising industry that can’t be ignored. Just how this industry will evolve with solar pv is something industry insiders will be watching with a keen eye.