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Battery Storage Plays Bigger Power Role

Battery storage has become a critical part of the electrical-power mix for municipalities nationwide during heatwaves—and battery makers are now planning record-setting numbers of installations, The Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.

What’s going on: During this past summer’s heatwaves, “[l]arge-scale batteries … filled in when large power plants tripped offline and helped stabilize the grid. … Before 2020, large-scale batteries barely existed. Now U.S. developers are planning record amounts of large installations across 29 states.”

  • In the second quarter of 2023, businesses connected almost 1,500 megawatts of battery storage—enough to power approximately 300,000 homes at peak demand, the Journal reports, citing S&P Global.

Why it’s important: Increased battery-storage capacity could help as colder, less-sunny autumn and winter arrive, leading to declines in solar-power generation and greater demand on the grid for heating.

  • The recent easing of both inflation and supply chain problems—coupled with the battery-storage credit introduced in last year’s Inflation Reduction Act—mean “the [battery-storage] industry is seeing an accelerated recovery.”

The NAM’s take: “Battery storage is a growing piece of an all-of-the-above energy policy that helps keep the lights on and manufacturers working—while taking stress off the power grid,” said NAM Vice President of Domestic Policy Brandon Farris.

  • “The NAM is working to ensure that manufacturers can appropriately benefit from the IRA provisions designed to promote decarbonization.”    
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