The U.S. storage market is booming. But while the solar PV industry has come a long way, with decades of deployment to look back on, battery energy storage is still coming of age. And when things move fast, things can go wrong. At pv magazine’s Virtual Roundtables USA event in late-November 2020, experts raised the challenges that accompany opportunities for battery storage. A move toward greater maturity allows some lessons to be learned from solar – leveling up energy storage will require commitment from the sector with standards, testing, and quality performance.
In pv magazine’s second roundtable session, Advanced technologies, the U.S. storage market came under the spotlight – in particular, the lessons that can be learned from solar as the market moves towards greater maturity. Also under discussion was the trend among PV manufacturers to producing ever larger cells and modules in the continuous drive to bring down LCOE. But is big necessarily better?
This year’s pv magazine Quality Roundtable USA looked at extreme weather, and how resiliency can be built through modern O&M. Representatives from DuPont, Stäubli, Nextracker and RETC took to the virtual stage to discuss weather-related damages, and how to harness quality materials and workmanship to industry’s advantage, particularly when it comes to insurers. Ariel Re and NovaSource, meanwhile, looked at issues like risk management insurance solutions and asset stabilization. Case studies and presentations on the field performance of PV modules, and extreme hail and fire, were also included.
Corporate power purchase agreements and the combination of PV plants with hydrogen production open up new medium-term financing opportunities for solar projects, as was demonstrated at the fourth session of the pv magazine Roundtable Europe event. The evolution of corporate deals may have been slowed by current price developments but hydrogen may come sooner than many had predicted.
Industry body SolarPower Europe is trying to stay bullish about the lingering effects as the continent starts to come out of lockdown and one analyst has predicted a healthy large scale solar market will carry the US through the crisis.
Analyzing monitoring data does not always accurately identify under-performing assets; and when investigating supposed power loss with IV-curve measurements, a representative sample via thermography should be selected. These are two conclusions drawn from a case study, which will be discussed during the upcoming asset management session at the pv magazine virtual roundtable Europe 2020.