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Energy Toolbase’s Top Solar and Energy Storage Blogs of 2022

Without question, 2022 has been an exciting year for the solar and energy storage market, full of several updates and improvements within Energy Toolbase, as well as many notable new regulations and policy changes and updates to prominent net metering programs. With every change comes a response, and the ETB team has spent time compiling data and the latest market research to answer different questions about how they might play a role in your current or future solar and storage projects. We’ve done just that through our blogs in ourNewsroom. Our team prioritizes providing you with top-tier, trustworthy content to support you with your projects. Over the past year, users have continually returned to glean valuable insights on the top 5 blogs below. 

1. Standalone Energy Storage – Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022: What You Need to Know 

In July of this year, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin rolled out a reconciliation package (that has since passed) including approximately $369 billion in spending for renewable energy and climate. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, or IRA, includes an extension and expansion of the investment tax credit (ITC) and the production tax credit (PTC) for clean energy technologies, including solar, energy storage, wind, geothermal, fuel cells, and microgrid controllers. The passing of the IRA leads to notable changes for the energy storage industry, one of which is that standalone energy storage assets are currently eligible for the ITC — a massive tailwind for the energy storage industry. Previously, energy storage projects only held ITC eligibility if batteries were part of a solar project. Developers can benefit from the increased value, improved grid flexibility, and resilience that standalone energy storage has to offer. Due to the IRA, the ITC has risen to 30% for standalone storage and solar + storage projects under a ten-year term. Read thefull blog here.  

2. Monetize Your Energy Storage Asset – Demystifying How Acumen EMS™ Reliably Dispatches to Achieve Optimal Financial Returns 

Our team of experts developed a comprehensive whitepaper to inform solar and storage developers and host customers on how ourAcumen EMS™ energy storage controls software operates and expands economic value capture. Acumen EMS is our controls software that leverages AI and machine learning to forecast and optimally discharge energy storage systems operating in the field. In our whitepaper, we discover how an energy management system (EMS) optimizes the dispatch of an energy storage system (ESS) in behind-the-meter (BTM) settings specifically. For a more interactive overview of our Acumen EMS device, watch our Acumen EMS product videohere or read our whitepaperhere. 

3. California’s New Building Energy Efficiency Standards, Mandating Solar + Storage, are set to go into effect on January 1, 2023 

We diligently researched the CEC’s (California Energy Commission) new Building Energy Efficiency Standards for both residential and commercial properties. The Energy Code contains energy and water efficiency requirements for new buildings and modifications for existing buildings. The previously established 2019 standards set the tone by requiring new residential homes to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system and for new commercial buildings to have roof space for solar panels. The 2022 Energy Code has made California the first state to require solar + storage, where all newly constructed commercial buildings must have a solar photovoltaic (PV) array and an energy storage system (ESS) installed. The new mandate will effectively result in an additional 280 megawatts (MW) of solar deployments annually, according to the CEC. It will expedite solar and energy storage project deployments in the non-residential sector. Because the Energy Code is updated every three years, our team stays up to date to ensure the changes are reflected appropriately in ETB Developer. Particularly, our ETB Load Profiler feature in Developer allows users to synthetically build a 365-day load profile by comparing it to other reference load profiles, which comes into hand when a user does not have interval meter data for their customers (for example, for new buildings). Read the full bloghere. 

4. Last Call for Commercial Storage SGIP Incentives: SCE’s Budget is Exhausted, and the End is in Sight for PG&E and SDG&E 

In June, our team covered California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), the country’s largest behind-the-meter (BTM) storage incentive, which provides compensation for the installation of qualifying renewable energy technologies. The program was initially launched in 2001 to encourage the deployment of distributed generation (DG) systems to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and increase electric grid reliability and demand reduction. Relaunched in 2020, the program included a $675 million budget for energy storage projects, and the CPUC divided storage funds into five categories, including Small Residential (for systems under 10 kW), Large Scale (for systems > 10 kW), Equity Resiliency, Equity Residential, and Equity Non-Residential. We discuss the state of the Large-Scale Storage budget in the SCE territory (being the first of the 3 IOU territories to deplete their Large-Scale budget), as well as the status of PG&E’s and SDG&E’s remaining funds in further detail at the time of this June 2022 analysis. Read thefull blog here and learn more about our take on California’s SGIP. 

5. ETB’s Battery & Energy Storage System – Supply Chain and Pricing Report (Q2 2022) 

ETB’s Battery & Energy Storage System – Supply Chain and Pricing Report was developed and published by our Supply Chain Manager, offering leading expertise in battery energy storage system supply (BESS). In the first quarter of this year, BESS supply disruptions hit a record high, so we were compelled to provide a report analyzing the market drives and trends that might have influenced such impactful disruptions by drawing from respected industry trade press outlets and more. Given the “perfect storm” of factors having led to such disruptions (including COVID, skyrocketed raw materials prices, continued EV demand, insurmountable inflation costs, and hefty shipping costs), there was a notable impact in lead times and price increases of up to 20-30% for energy storage systems. Energy Toolbase has adapted by regularly communicating with BESS vendor partners to receive foresight on changes as quickly as possible to share with our customers any updates on lead times and prices with transparency and speed. Given the supply chain difficulties, ETB has continued to see record ESS activity and demand, which we have effectively measured by ESS proposals generated on the ETB Developer platform, and closed ESS purchase orders that utilize our Acumen EMS controls software. We cover in complete detail each of the significant factors that led to BESS disruptions inthis blog. 

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