Energy Storage -- the Swiss Army Knife of Energy

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Legislative Energy Commission hearing

A popular topic in the energy sector this year is storage, and the Minnesota state legislature is focused on it too. Among the topics prioritized by the Legislative Energy Commission (LEC) this fall—which have included the Conservation Improvement Program (CIP), wind siting, and biomass—energy storage was the focus of the committee’s most recent meeting on November 9.

Image by S&C Electric Company via IREC

Image by S&C Electric Company via IREC "Charging Ahead: An Energy Storage Guide for Policymakers."

Minnesota’s LEC is a bipartisan group of legislators from the Senate and House of Representatives who are tasked to review, monitor, and recommend energy policy as it impacts our state’s environment and economy.  

 

On hand at the meeting to deliver testimony and describe their work in storage were key stakeholders in Minnesota’s energy business sector from utilities, Mortenson Construction, Tesla, and the University of Minnesota’s Energy Transition Lab.

 

This summer, GTM Research estimated that by 2022, the U.S. energy storage market will grow to approximately 2.6 GW and be worth $3.2 billion – a tenfold increase from 2016. In addition to new market opportunities for business, energy storage delivers a wealth of benefits and was described by presenters at the LEC as “the bacon” or “Swiss Army knife” of energy, because storage helps make everything a little better and can be deployed for many uses.

 

For state government, energy storage has considerable appeal for the benefits it delivers in terms of resiliency and security. Businesses in Minnesota stand to gain from the expansion of energy storage in multiple ways, as a way to reduce costs and improve power quality to their own operations through better management of electricity, and as companies who can deliver energy storage products, services and expertise to customers.

 

Brent Bergland, a General Manager from Mortenson Construction noted that sixteen years ago their energy team included twenty professionals and has grown to a group of 450 employees with ten people now dedicated to projects in storage. With energy storage poised for strong growth in the next five years that will add many more jobs to our state’s economy, it is crucial that our private and public sectors work together for a shared vision of how this emerging resource can help businesses, consumers and utilities.

 

CEEM would like to thank each of the presenters that took the time to attend, and share their work and expertise in energy storage. If you would like more information about energy storage or the LEC meetings, all of the materials presented as well as audio and video are available here. Additionally, if there is a topic you would like to help educate legislators on please reach out to Logan O’Grady CEEM’s Director of Policy and Public Affairs.

– Posted By Lily