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

Tesla Powerwall battery coming to Germany in Q4

Tesla Powerwall battery storage system

The announcement of a new and low-priced home battery from U.S. manufacturer Tesla is has generated quite a buzz in Germany, although many questions have remained unanswered -- until now. pv magazine speaks to Tesla about its...

Manz records EUR6.4 million Q1 loss, remains positive for 2015

Manz solar.

German production equipment supplier Manz AG has recorded a significant loss in Q1 2015. However, the company remains positive for its 2015 outlook with a EUR 92 million ($103.7 million) order backlog and expects revenues between...

Germany: KfW subsidizes over 10,000 solar battery systems

Demand for solar power storage systems in Germany is continuing to rise, with reports that over 10,000 storage batteries for PV systems have been subsidized since 2013. Q1 2015, meanwhile, has seen a 40% YOY increase in the...

Storage insiders tepid on Tesla's new battery system

The Tesla Powerwall

Tesla presented its new battery power-storage system last week in California. The sensational low price of the system does not yet have the competition shaking in their boots; not officially, at least. On the contrary, whether...

SolarCity narrows Q1 loss, beats installation forecast

SolarCity rooftop installation.

The solar company installed 153 MW in the first quarter, and increased revenue by 6% to reach $67.5 million.

Tesla 'R' Us: more solar firms partner with the Powerwall

Tesla S, Powerwall in the home.

Tesla's breakthrough battery storage offering proves irresistible to leading solar companies keen on bundling the tech with their own service and products.

Tesla's tech breakthrough only half the battle, says Lux Research

Tesla Powerwall.

New home storage system requires collaboration with power electronic providers, greater cost reduction and attractive finance options to really achieve market penetration, say analysts.

Tesla unveils sleek, low-cost battery solution for home and commercial

The Tesla Powerwall home battery.

Powerwall home battery and Powerpack commercial battery unveiled by Elon Musk last night could prove game changing for domestic and business storage.

Sungevity and Sonnenbatterie strike storage partnership deal


Companies pair up to offer home energy storage to customers in the U.S. and Europe, roll out set to begin in second half of 2015.

Update: SPI buys stake in ZBB ahead of storage deal

ZBB Energy Corp. headquarters

As part of a supply agreement valued at between $80 million and $120 million, SPI will integrate ZBB Energy's advanced energy storage systems in its PV solutions for solar markets around the globe. The Chinese solar developer...

Tesla to announce home and utility-scale battery next week

Elon Musk of Tesla Motors.

Company sets April 30 date for unveiling, widely believed to be a new home battery and one for utility scale, to be produced at company’s new gigafactory.

Sumitomo taps RES, Toshiba for major US energy storage project

Grid power lines, Denver, Colorado

The Japanese conglomerate is investing in renewable energy infrastructure to help balance the electricity grid serving the northeastern United States. Sumitomo has commissioned RES to build the first independent large-scale...

Smart grid implementation could generate $3.75 billion for Netherlands

PowerMatching City, Netherlands

As part of the PowerMatching City pilot project, a community of 40 households used solar panels, micro CHP plants and heat pumps to provide their own electricity and heat their own water. They also used smart software to share...

Solar plus ecosystem and offsite wholesale PV to takeoff

Shayle Kann at the Solar Summit

Integrated solutions such as distributed rooftop PV, plus storage, plus load management are set to reshape what we think of as the U.S. solar market today. This was one of the key takeaways in a compelling presentation delivered...

Enphase clears Hawaiian Electric's solar interconnection backlog

Honolulu, Oahu's capital city.

The U.S. microinverter specialist meets its goal to clear 90% of the backlog on Oahu, increasing the company's portfolio on the island to 20 MW of solar interconnections.

Off-grid weekly digest

A diagram of the new IKEA solar tent.

The pv magazine digest of the world's off-grid news, put together by specialist editor Peter Carvill.

Texas microgrid to integrate nine DG sources with storage

The Oncor microgrid.

Three U.S. companies have combined efforts to deliver a microgrid capable of integrating nine different distributed generation (DG) sources to optimize renewable generation and storage utilization and deliver reliable power. S&C...

Sharp supplies peak shaving batteries for Baker Electric facility

Sharp at PV Expo.

Japanese company's SmartStorage behind-the-meter energy solution selected for utilization with commercial building owners in Southern California.

China dispatch: Huawei continues smart PV solution rollout in China

Huawei has already brought its smart PV solution to Germany, and is now expanding the offering into its home Chinese market.

ICT company unveils smart PV power station developed in conjunction with Huanghe Hydropower Development at press briefing in Qinghai Province, China.

SunEdison buys 100 MWh of Imergy batteries for India microgrid project

Imergy battery system.

Solar developer purchases 1,000 storage systems as it steps up efforts to bring electricity to villagers in parts of rural India.

Green Charge, Itochu sign global sales deal for smart storage solutions

Green Charge Networks smart storage unit

Japan's third largest trading house will distribute, supply and procure Green Charge Networks' storage solutions internationally.

Natcore Technology, Eurotron sign joint development deal

Natcore technicians operating the screen printer to apply grid and back contacts to test solar cells.

The U.S. company says the partnership is designed to hasten commercial integration of its technologies into solar modules.

Global EV market reaches 740,000 cars, new study finds

BMW i3 production.

Analysis by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) reveals 320,000 new electric vehicle registrations in 2014 as car battery suppliers hit $2.17 billion in revenue.

Chinese solar storage sector set for 14% growth annually to 2018

Solar battery storage system.

Study by RnRMarketResearch forecasts Chinese solar battery market to total 65 GW by 2018, with annual growth averaging 14% as solar and storage industries converge.

Kyocera expands storage offering in Germany

Kyocera facility

The leading Japanese battery provider is teaming up with domestic players Energetik and Solare Datensysteme to launch a new residential energy storage solution in Germany.

pv magazine weekly news digest

Onlookers in the U.K. enjoy today's solar eclipse, which was billed as an unprecedented test for Europe's power grids.

The solar eclipse was on everybody's lips as expectant eyes turned to Italy and Germany to see how the grids would cope, while elsewhere it was a tale of R&D breakthroughs, bold solar targets and even a dramatic fire.

Ideal Power and LG Chem collaborate on storage and conversion deal

battery energy storage

A multi-year alliance agreement will see LG Chem roll out its commercial and microgrid storage systems in collaboration with Ideal Power's power conversion technology.

Australia: Rooftop solar subsidies appear safe, storage program launched

The Alkimos Beach development.

Signals from the Australian Federal Government appear to indicate that rooftop solar will remain free from subsidy cuts. Program to trial solar plus storage at new housing development announced.

SolarCity launches global microgrid service

A SolarCity rooftop array.

U.S.-based third-party owned solar provider SolarCity has launched its GridLogic microgrid service, which will integrate distributed solar with battery storage and load management for discrete areas of electricity consumers. In...

North America: Commercial applications to lead storage rollout

A large scale battery storage product.

IHS has concluded that 700 MW of solar systems installed in North America will be coupled with storage in 2018. Representing nine percent of all installs, this is up from 30 MW in 2014.

UK: Electric vehicles could drive 40% cut in oil imports by 2030

BMW charging under a solar PV carport.

Motorists could save more than $1,500 on fuel costs annually provided the U.K. creates the required infrastructure to support electric vehicles, says new study.

KIT-test: Some battery cells last five times longer than others

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Andreas Gutsch of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology has enlivened the discussion about the quality and safety of lithium-ion storage batteries with new tests.

UK: The smart home in focus as startups drive innovation

Micro grid system.

The concept of the smart home is emerging as a hot topic in the debate regarding the U.K.'s energy future. At the EcoBuild last week, a special session entitled "Smart and Efficient Use of Future Energy" depicted accurately the...

We have lift-off: Solar Impulse begins round-the-world journey

The Solar Impulse aircraft was constructed in Switzerland and has been conducting test flights in Abu Dhabi since January.

Solar-powered aircraft finally began its circumnavigation of the globe on Monday morning, taking off from Abu Dhabi at 07:12 local time with Andre Borschberg at the controls.

pv magazine weekly news digest

Vladimir Klitschko in action.

Solar is poised to land the decisive blow in the global energy battle as cost and storage align perfectly, U.S. pricing finds its rhythm and the U.K. market continues its upward trajectory.

‘Breakout year’ for non-hydro energy storage in U.S., finds GTM report

Battery storage.

While pumped-hydroelectric energy storage continues to dominate the U.S. storage landscape, with 22 GW of total installed capacity, installations of non-hydro alternatives such as chemical battery systems are growing fast.

SunEdison acquires Solar Grid Storage

Solar Grid Storage energy storage unit

The Pennsylvania-based energy storage and PV company brings its projects, pipeline and personnel to SunEdison, allowing it to now offer battery storage solutions to complement solar and wind projects worldwide.

Report: Lithium ion batteries dominate emerging grid storage market

A battery.

A new report from Lux Research has found that lithium ion (Li-ion) battery technology is set to dominate the emerging grid-tied storage market. The report finds that 90% of proposed grid storage projects in 2014 are set to be...

EU poised to hit RE target thanks to solar and wind, EEA reports

European Union.

The expansion of solar and wind power across the European Union brings cheer, doubts raised over biofuels and biomass.

Battery storage start-up Alevo plans 200 MW project in US

Alevo manufacturing.

Swiss energy storage start-up Alevo Group today announced a partnership with Customized Energy Solutions (CES) to deploy 200 MW of its lithium-ion-based battery systems in an undisclosed wholesale energy market in the United...

Tesla gears up for charge into home battery storage market

A Tesla in the EU.

Tesla Motors, the electric vehicle company throwing down a major challenge to the global motor industry, says it is now looking to become a front-runner in energy storage in a major new challenge to the traditional electric...

Younicos forms new business units to capitalize on growing storage market

Battery storage.

The Berlin-based energy storage company announces creation of three new business divisions and experienced senior management team as it eyes global opportunities within the sector.

Investments in 'grid-edge' companies climb to $1.3 billion in 2014

Alevo gigafab in North Carolina

According to GTM Research, investments in the field last year surpassed 2012 and 2013 but remained below the $1.4 billion the sector raised in 2011.

DNV GL to provide grid storage testing to ARPA-E

A battery.

Renewable energy and sustainability advisory DNV GL has signed a four-year deal to supply performance testing for U.S. government agency ARPA-E. The testing will validate the performance, reliability and safety of grid-tied...

Japan's METI to roll out energy efficiency and storage subsidy

Japan. Toyko.

Distributed battery installations are set to receive a boost in Japan, with the country's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry set to roll out a $779 million incentive scheme. The scheme will also target energy efficient...

Aquion Energy enters 1 MWh battery supply deal in Hawaii

The Hawaiin capital.

U.S. aqueous hybrid ion battery developer and supplier Aquion Energy has entered into a supply deal with the residential community Bakken Hale, to supply a 1 MWh battery system. The battery installation will be coupled with a PV...

Manz books $47.5 million in battery orders

Manz HQ.

German PV, battery and flat panel production equipment supplier Manz has announced EUR 40 million ($47.5 million) in lithium ion battery equipment supply deals. The details of the orders have not been revealed.

Californian grid operator to address net imbalance

The Californian flag.

The Californian Independent System Operator (CASIO) is addressing the famous load duck and attempting to "let the duck fly."

Interview: Storage at cusp of strong growth in commercial market

A lithium ion battery.

Last week GTM Research released its latest solar-plus-storage market report. Ravi Manghani, senior analyst energy storage at GTM Research spoke to pv magazine about the emerging storage market in the commercial sector both for...

Germany sees price drop in solar power storage systems

Regensburg, Germany

Prices for solar power storage systems have fallen by 25% since spring. The German solar industry expects continued growth in demand for storage systems.

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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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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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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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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