PV storage and smart grids

In recognition of the growing importance of both storage technology and grid integration, pv magazine has created a dedicated "Storage & smart grids" page. Here you will find relevant, and regularly updated information on both topics.

Online news

pv magazine weekly news roundup: Nov 21-28

Tesla motor.

Assault of batteries shapes the week, while the good vibes of the 15th Forum Solarpraxis are punctured by the news of SolarMax"s insolvency.


Belectric reveals battery storage facility at large-scale PV plant

Belectric's energy storage system.

Belectric and Vattenfall cut the ribbon for a new battery storage facility at the Alt Daber solar power plant in Germany.


Tesla looking to build battery fab in Germany, in talks to partner with BMW

BMWi production in Leipzig, Germany

In an interview with Germany's Der Spiegel, Elon Musk called for a greater commitment to battery development from German automakers, arguing that large-scale battery production would lead to lower prices for electric cars.


LG Chem partners with Siemens on battery storage systems

Siemen and LG Chem sign MOU on battery storage collaboration, November 19, 2014

Just days after Daimler announced that it would halt production of its in-house battery cells and instead use LG Chem cells for its electric and hybrid vehicle batteries as well as for stationary storage solutions, the South...


Daimler: Deutsche ACCUmotive to offer stationary PV storage

Daimler Deutsche ACCUmotive stationary storage

The German auto giant plans to offer batteries for industrial and stationary storage in addition to the batteries it uses for its electric and hybrid vehicles.


Electrovaya moves towards Li-ion battery factory purchase

Lithium ion battery.

The lithium ion battery manufacturer plans to acquire a 500 MWh-capacity manufacturing plant for the production of lithium ion electrodes and other products.


Greensmith riding energy storage wave atop software platform

Greensmith CEO John Jung

Interview: Greensmith, a leading provider of energy storage management software, has seen dramatic growth in the grid-scale energy storage market, putting the company ahead of its 2014 targets. CEO John Jung spoke with pv...


Residential storage market to increase to 900 MW by 2018

Storage.

IHS analysis released today forecasts the grid-tied residential storage market to increase from 90 MW to 900 MW over the next four years. The startling tenfold market expansion is primarily due to the increasing attractiveness of...


RES Americas to build 40 MW energy storage system in Illinois

RES Americas 4 MW storage system, Sunbury, Ohio

BYD America will supply the battery storage modules for the projects. The batteries use lithium iron phosphate. Construction is to begin this winter, with completion scheduled for August.


UBS: Solar plus storage is already cost effective in Australia

GSES, UBSe solar-storage graph

A new study from investment bank UBS says solar plus storage already make economic sense for Australian households, a finding that could dramatically reshape the nature of the energy industry in the country.


Utility SCE to deploy solar, storage and efficiency to meet electricity needs

New solar projects will join energy storage and other clean energy solutions as a major component of Southern California Edison's plan to meet electricity needs following the the shut-down of the San Onofre nuclear plant.


Imergy taps Foxsemicon to manufacture modular flow batteries

Imergy storage system

The California-based energy storage group says it will benefit from Foxsemicon's vertical integration, strong process control and economies of scale. It will also reduce Imergy's manufacturing costs.


Storage and energy management installed at 9 MW PV plant in Pennsylvania

PbC battery from Axion.

Once complete, the 48-acre solar farm will be largest in the state, with Axion Power International providing its PbC batteries and PowerCube technology as storage.


Alevo sets up gigfab in US, expands storage operations in China

Alevo's Victory Industrial Park in Concord, North Carolina.

The Swiss energy storage startup is setting up a new gigawatt-scale battery production facility in a former cigarette factory in North Carolina and has signed a deal with China-ZK to sell its products and technology in China.


Update: MegaCell boards smart urbanization joint venture

MegaCell founder and CEO Franco Traverso

Franco Traverso has provided pv magazine with additional information on Urbeco, the new European alliance that aims to carry out smart and eco-friendly urbanization in developing countries. Belgium's Groupmec and Switzerland's...


MegaCell boards smart urbanization joint venture

MegaCell Engineering CEO Franco Traverso

Urbeco, a new European alliance, aims to carry out smart and eco-friendly urbanization in developing countries. Belgium's Groupmec and Switzerland's Ovóla have joined MegaCell Engineering in the venture.


Stem and Kyocera launch commercial energy storage solution

Stem and Kyocera's energy storage solution.

The integrated storage system has been designed to reduce demand on the grid using predictive analytics that respond to spikes in electricity demand.


BYD unveils two electric buses with vast battery capacity

The Lancaster eBus from BYD Motors.

Storage experts BYD unveil two electric buses at the American Public Transportation Association Expo in Houston, Texas, this week.


Panasonic announces launch of lithium-ion battery unit at Tesla Gigafactory

Tesla Gigafactory, artist's rendition

Panasonic CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga has said the corporation's initial investment in the Gigafactory will amount to "tens of billions" of yen.


Greensmith sees dramatic growth in grid-scale energy storage market

Greensmith CEO John Jung

The leading California-based energy storage software provider is a key partner in 35 grid-scale projects across the U.S.


Flow batteries: more cost effective for residential and utility-scale installations?

Bill Watkins, CEO of Imergy Power Systems

CEO interview: Bill Watkins, CEO of Imergy Power Systems, speaks exclusively with pv magazine about the company's vanadium-based flow battery energy storage products and why they make sense for PV developers. Imergy is...


Forecast 2030: stored electricity at $0.05/kWh

Solar battery storage

Winfried Hoffmann, a well-known figure throughout the PV world, has created a learning curve for battery storage that predicts costs will fall much faster than many experts believe.


Utility SCE unveils largest battery storage system in US

SCE battery storage system.

The 32 MWh storage system has been part-funded by the Department of Energy and is set to push the capabilities of energy storage on the grid.


Solar microinverter, power optimizer market to surpass $1 billion in 2018

Enphase PV microinverter

Key markets like the U.S., the U.K. and Australia are driving demand for module-level power electronics, according to IHS. The market has already grown to more than $300 million.


Rural electrification set to transform Asia-Pacific microgrid market

PV system, Philippines

The proliferation of microgrids in Asia-Pacific has been encouraged by rural electrification programs in developing countries, and the establishment of commercial microgrids in developed nations, according to Frost & Sullivan.


Hawaii: Distributed storage project launched to stabilize grid

A solar installation in Hawaii.

A 1 MW distributed storage project has been launched, that will see 1 MW of distributed storage added behind the meter in Oahu, Hawaii. The storage and control systems will be supplied by Stem.


Eltek to supply 300 solar-powered base stations in gulf region.

Eltek building, Drammen, Norway

The Norwegian power solutions group will provide autonomous power systems for mobile telecommunications in the Arab gulf region. Eltek has provided solar powered telecom installations across Africa.


Tesla’s battery Gigafactory likely to result in over 50% oversupply

A Tesla.

New research from Lux Research makes the prediction that the Tesla Motors/Panasonic 35 GW lithium-ion battery production will result in 50% overproduction. The scenario will likely occur, says Lux, as Tesla misses its target of...


Germany slates $210 million for sustainable power grid research

Transmission tower maintenance, Germany

Some 200 research institutes and companies are taking part in the initiative, part of the country's ambitious goal of an 80% renewable energy share by 2050.


Lithium batteries leading electrochemical energy storage technologies

Lithium-Ion Battery for BMW i3 electric car

A new study by the Technical University of Munich indicates Asian developers are leading the way when it comes to energy storage systems and far outpacing U.S. and European rivals.


TÜV SÜD to offer storage system certification

TUV SUD inverter/storage testing

The German testing group has unveiled its new Renewable Energy Storage Systems certification program, which it says will aid manufacturers as well as sellers and end-customers.


Photon Energy employs German tech for pilot project Down Under

Photon Energy 283 kW plant in Sydney

The group has secured funding from the German government to design, install and operate a PV battery power supply for a broadcast antenna in Australia operated by communications infrastructure provider BAI.


Report: Energy storage market expected to rise to $50 billion in 2020

BMWi production plant, Leipzig, Germany

The automotive market is displacing consumer electronics as the biggest user of energy storage, which will lead to further scale and cost reductions, according to Lux Research.


Sonnenbatterie expands distribution in Europe

Sonnenbatterie storage system

The German smart storage company has opened up its latest distribution outlet in Slovakia -- its fifth foreign market -- as demand for energy storage systems in Europe continues to rise.


DNV GL launches GRIDSTOR project

Solar storage battery.

The open-source, recommended practice project from DNV GL will address the needs for a comprehensive energy storage framework, focusing on system safety, operation and performance.


ASD unveils new hybrid battery

ASD hybrid storage system

Combining the strengths of existing technologies, the storage system offers the advantages of stand-alone and grid-tie use.


meeco expands Maldives PV project

Maamigili Airport, Maldives

The Swiss company is partnering with Villa Group on a PV project cluster that total of five PV installations throughout the island nation.


Micro-grid market to soar after 2015, says Frost & Sullivan

Micro-grid from Schneider.

Driven by growing renewable energy demand in numerous regions, the market for micro-grid installations will grow rapidly between 2015 and 2020.


California calls for large-scale energy storage

Opening session, Energy Storage trade fair, Düsseldorf.

The Energy Storage trade fair in Düsseldorf begins with a rousing call from California for more energy storage solutions.


NEC snaps up grid-scale battery business

Storage battery system.

The Japanese company has purchased A123 Energy Solutions from China's Wanxiang Group for a reported $100 million.


SMA and E.ON develop world's first modular large-scale battery

The M5BAT at SMA.

The 5 MW M5BAT storage system is located in Aachen, Germany, and has been backed by a €6.5 million grant from the German government's Energy Storage Funding Initiative.


Italian energy storage market set to explode

Storage battery

Energy storage could be a very attractive prospect for users of photovoltaic energy, particularly in markets where electricity retail costs are high.


Silicon Valley startup signs 1 MW of intelligent storage

Green Charge Networks energy storage

Green Charge Networks' intelligent energy storage solutions complement solar PV, electric vehicle charging and energy efficiency strategies.


Grid-connected storage market set to explode

Storage GE Durathon energy storage

The grid-connected energy storage market will increase from 340 MW in 2013 to more than 6 GW in 2017, according to IHS. The U.S. is set to lead the sector.


WFES 2014 to highlight smart metering

WFES 2013

The upcoming World Future Energy Summit will examine the policies and technologies needed to reduce energy consumption, with smart metering among this year's main showcases.


US Energy Department report examines storage

GE Energy storage

The U.S. Department of Energy report identifies the challenges facing the widespread use of storage solutions, including cost, safety and industry acceptance.


SolarCity storage solution guards against increasing US power outages

Solar battery.

The company's DemandLogic smart energy storage system has been designed to use stored energy during peak demand hours, while also providing backup during grid outages.


Toshiba to install and operate PV systems on German apartment buildings

German city of Villingen

The electronics giant plans to sell solar power to residents at lower prices than utilities. Toshiba will initially install 3 MW serving 750 apartments with the aim of increasing capacity to more than 100 MW by 2016.


Hitachi to introduce 1 MW storage system

Hitachi CrystEna concept graphic

The company is aiming to meet growing demand for energy storage and stabilization solutions as power grids face increasing challenges in coping with ever more renewable energy. Tests are to start in the U.S. early next year.


Germany's requirements for a stable, renewables grid

Delegates at the 14th Forum Solarpraxis in Berlin.

Attendees at the 14th Forum Solarpraxis in Berlin have called for the role of renewables installations in stabilizing the electricity grid to be recognized. Grid representatives acknowledge possibilities but lament the lack of a...


Related information

In print

Below you will find links to articles on storage and smart grids published in pv magazine, up until May 2013. For more recent articles, please visit the magazine archive.

Interview: Implementing storage solutions

pv magazine, 05/2013

The German Energy Storage Association (BVES) held its first meeting of members. Eicke Weber, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and the organization’s first president, explains the goals.

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Grid mobilization

pv magazine, 05/2013

The German Energy Storage Association (BVES) held its first meeting of members. Eicke Weber, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and the organization’s first president, explains the goals.

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Trends in energy storage markets

pv magazine, 04/2013

Market activity in energy storage, as with most cleantech sectors, is tied to government strategies pertaining to industrial innovation. The three regions with the most innovative and dynamic economies, Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America, have developed distinct strategies for cleantech and, more specifically, for energy storage, as Anissa Dehamna, Pike Research explains.

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Comparison of life spans

pv magazine, 03/2013

How long a battery lasts when used for a certain photovoltaic application depends on the circumstances. The manufacturer’s specifications are derived under favorable laboratory conditions. Thus in practice such values may often vary. Ulrich Ehmes explains how such information can be evaluated.

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Great savings potential

pv magazine, 03/2013

Solar power plants are still attractive for farmers. This is demonstrated by the example of a farming operation in which scientists have evaluated the consumption of self-produced electricity and electricity purchased from the grid, taking into account the possibility of load shifting. The study’s authors, Josef Neiber and Werner Schmid, explain.

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Self-consumption by the back door

pv magazine, 03/2013

Lower module prices and high levels of insolation mean photovoltaics is attractive in Spain even without government support. As a result, more and more companies are installing their own solar power systems to reduce electricity bills – although the government in Madrid has yet to pass any clear legislation regulating self-consumption.

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Main driver

pv magazine, 03/2013

The president of the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA), Jochen Flasbarth, on the role of storage, power to gas (PTG), power to liquid (PTL) and PV in a renewable energy scenario.

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Net metering in Brazil

pv magazine, 02/2013

We have seen a lot of governmental stimulus for the PV industry, in particular in Europe, with varying degrees of success and often at great cost. Many other countries have learnt from the seemingly endless discussions in Germany, Italy and Spain and have chosen alternative support systems to the customer-friendly feed-in tariff mechanism.

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Self-consumption

pv magazine, 02/2013

Small, decentralized solar energy production units, energy storage devices and a battery management system can help people to become independent from the public power grid and constantly rising electricity prices. The first systems for self- consumption prove that it really works.

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Vision 2050

pv magazine, 02/2013

A study conducted by Fraunhofer ISE shows that electricity in Germany does not have to be any more expensive in the year 2050 than it is today, and that it can be produced completely from renewable energies. This time PV technology fares decidedly better than in past studies on the topic.

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Battery overview

pv magazine, 02/2013

Batteries are an integral part of the total storage solution offered for renewable energy applications. However in the selection process, comparison of the different batteries available is not easy since chemistries and performance for applications differ.

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Stepwise innovation

pv magazine, 01/2013

Battery innovation will proceed due to both private and public investments, but guided by stepwise innovation introduced by legacy battery vendors, says Pike Research analyst Brittany E. Gibson.

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Power to gas solution

pv magazine, 12/2012

The electricity grid is under pressure to restructure itself to accept more renewable power. Power has been generated from gas conventionally. Now there is a practical option to go the other way too, power to gas, giving renewable-generated power a smart solution for storage and use.

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Smart inverters

pv magazine, 12/2012

With the popularity of PV prompting a move away from large centralized power generators to numerous decentralized small-scale generators, the latest generation of inverters have a significant part to play in modernizing grids for a renewables age, as TÜV Süd’s Christian Dirmeier and Ma Zhengdong explain.

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Net metering

pv magazine, 12/2012

A new net metering scheme should help Israel’s solar PV market grow more quickly in 2013 and there are signs that grid parity may soon be achieved.

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Storage market overview

pv magazine, 11/2012

The smorgasbord of storage solutions is on an upward trend as the products on offer increase this year. The first market overview on storage provides an orientation to integrated solutions and to this hot topic.

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Success in smart grid

pv magazine, 10/2012

The smart grid is projected to support a multi-trillion dollar global industry during the next two decades and this will open up a new frontier for entrepreneurs and investors in areas such as renewable energy technologies. Chairman of the IEEE Public Visibility Board Committee, Charlton Adams, Jr., elaborates.

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Changing energy habits

pv magazine, 10/2012

Electricity distributors, with the support of government funding, are piloting various energy storage applications as the UK sets out to reduce carbon emissions significantly in the coming years.

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Cross border solar

pv magazine, 10/2012

Prospects of exporting solar energy from Mexico to the United States have encouraged large power plant installations along the border area. While relative advantages exist in Mexico for lower cost installations, regulatory incongruities may hobble efforts to move the clean energy northward. Smart grid and transmission line developments currently underway should foster more activity in this unique region.

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The next big thing: Vanadium

pv magazine, 09/2012

One of the world’s newest “super powers” is not on the map yet, has not been recognized by the United Nations, and will not make an appearance at Comic-Con International. Its name is vanadium (chemical symbol: V), and it is a grayish-white, ductile and tensile metal that has unexpectedly become one of the most precious commodities on the planet.

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Solar and storage: A perfect marriage

pv magazine, 09/2012

Solar power manufacturers and storage solutions producers are joining forces. Pike Research’s research analyst in the Smart Energy practice, Brittany Gibson, explains how this helps and the direction of these collaborations.

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Now that’s smart

pv magazine, 09/2012

For some time now, experts have been saying that it is theoretically possible to obtain 100 percent of required power from renewable energy sources. In the heart of Berlin, a so-called micro smart grid is poised to provide evidence for this. But the project has placed researchers in uncharted scientific territory.

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From coin cell to giant

pv magazine, 09/2012

The technology is well known and there are enormous quantities of lithium batteries for laptops and mobile phones in use. While these batteries can also be used to store solar power, new developments are looking more promising for the near future.

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Renewable energy dynamics

pv magazine, 09/2012

Energy storage economics and electricity prices are inherently linked to each other. The decision to invest in energy storage will be partially driven by the idea to save on electricity bills or to assure power quality. Florian Schubert from Renewable Analytics explains the dynamics behind energy storage.

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The art of energy management

pv magazine, 09/2012

Many companies have been looking at the topic of energy management for a number of years, firstly to lower operating costs and secondly for ecological reasons. Franz Breitwieser, System Technology, Fronius International, explains how.

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Transmission lines

pv magazine, 08/2012

While hundreds of megawatts of new solar power projects have been approved by U.S. states and municipalities in recent times, the question of where associated transmission lines will be sited still hangs over some of these developments like the Sword of Damocles, a problem that could crash down with a terminating effect on a project.

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Decentralized power storage

pv magazine, 8/2012 

Gunar Hering, Principal at Boston Consulting Group, analyzes how storage technology will accelerate the adoption of photovoltaics.

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Interview

pv magazine, 8/2012

pv magazine spoke with Mastervolt International’s CEO Hans van Nikkelen Kuijper on the company’s strategy in the changing inverter market and its road map for the future.

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Inverters

pv magazine, 8/2012

Without new developments in inverters, solar power cannot be fed into the grid problem-free anymore. The electricity grid is changing and will continue to change. Inverters play a vital role. pv magazine joined the immense crowds at the inverter halls during Intersolar Europe to speak with manufacturers who gave us their two cents on the current situation.

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Off-grid PV

pv magazine, 8/2012

In some off-grid markets, solar power is already more cost-efficient than electricity from diesel generators. More market segments will join the list with rising diesel prices. We asked some of the many off-grid experts exhibiting at Intersolar Europe to describe the current state of the market for PV stand-alone systems, what is important, where the barriers are, and what are the major trends.

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Off-grid solar

pv magazine, 07/2012

The Alliance for Rural Electrification reports on a rural micro-grid project that powers a 60 home village on Santo Antão, the largest of the islands of Cape Verde, an archipelago off the coast of Western Africa. The most important application of the PV micro-grid, which includes an individual energy allowance scheme, is the production of ice to preserve fish.

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Grid integration in Germany

pv magazine, 7/2012

With record amounts of solar power generated in Germany this year, it is clear that the country’s regulatory framework is successfully fostering renewable energy. However success has had an impact on the economics of the electricity market. Now both fossil fuel incumbents and new solar players are trying to influence lawmakers to ensure their economic future.

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Raw materials

pv magazine, 7/2012

Lithium’s use as a raw material in batteries has given it a starring role in the energy age of tomorrow. However, the expected boom in electric mobility could create bottlenecks in the supply chain for PV powered systems.

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Self consumption

pv magazine, 06/2012

Inverter manufacturers are responding to this new market segment. Some are equipping their devices to control electrical loads. Some are even including weather forecasts. Others are building complete systems and integrating battery storage systems. All in an effort to increase the rate of self-consumption.

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Advancing Li-ion

pv magazine, 05/2012

Whether for off-grid applications or for self-consumption micro-grid systems, lithium battery storage technologies have steadily expanded their application scope and efficiency. REAPsystems together with the University of Southampton conducted research on a new version that can potentially increase efficiency and reduce cost.

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Solar with fossil fuels: partner or competitor?

pv magazine, 05/2012

Fossil fuels are usually considered a competitor to solar technologies, not a partner. But utilities in the U.S. are installing concentrated solar power technologies at their existing coal and natural gas power plants. The trend can bring either added competition or opportunity for the PV market.

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Energy storage systems

pv magazine, 2/2012

Europe’s leading utilities are investing in new storage capacities to be able to utilize more solar and wind energy, and at the same time cope with the phasing out of feed-in tariffs. An overview of storage technologies that support photovoltaic energy.

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Battery storage solutions

pv magazine, 11/2011

The combination of battery storage and PV has become a hot topic at industry conferences and exhibitions with the introduction of a range of new products and services targeted at utilities, grid operators, and PV power plant owners. The long-term benefit is improving the integration of solar energy into the energy mix.

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Cloud surveillance

pv magazine, 10/2011

A criticism commonly leveled at renewable energy producers is that the electricity they supply is variable and intermittent. A new project bringing together researchers, a plant owner/operator, grid operator and state and national government agencies hopes to overcome this hurdle, and track and predict the shadows cast by cloudy skies.

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Storage systems

pv magazine, 09/2011

Storage technology solutions are emerging in the U.S. solar market as something like the second punch in a boxer’s one-two knockout combination, delivering a hard-fought win for solar project economics.

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Interview: Smart energy

pv magazine, 09/2011

ProxEnergy is a young company that has been established by a man who has had years of experience in the solar industry. Knowing that current grids are not designed for bi-directional transport of electricity and information, the founder of the company felt it was important to think about energy transition. Frans van den Heuvel talks to pv magazine about his new setup and what he aims to achieve with the company slogan 'Produce it-Control it'.

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Solar inverter upgrade

pv magazine, 07/2011

A Canadian Engineering Professor has come up with a way to use idle solar inverter capacity in the evening to help relieve congestion on the grid and expand capacity for wind and other renewable sources. If it works as envisioned, it could open up new revenue opportunities for both solar and wind developers and help utilities defer costs.

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