Energy storage: the Californian opportunities and exciting new technologies we learned about at ESNA


Energy storage is an ever more important part of clean energy technology. In an age of increasing renewable energy generation, coupled with challenges to some parts of the grid, energy storage has emerged as a key linchpin in the work to improve and strengthen America’s electrical infrastructure, and push for a renewable future.

The GI Energy (GIE) team recently attended the Energy Storage North America (ESNA) conference in Pasadena, CA. The convention was lively and innovation was in the air, as energy storage suppliers, project developers, and end-users converged to discuss the future of energy storage.

For us, two highlights were:

  • · CAISO’s Karl Meeusen, who spoke on the multifaceted role of battery storage in California during the Storage as Transmission panel. Karl highlighted various transmission and generation opportunities in CAISO territory, and the recently approved non-wire alternative (NWA) process. In line with our work on the Con Edison REV demonstration battery storage project, GIE is actively involved in the rapidly evolving NWA processes underway across the country, including participating in utility NWA solicitations around these types of projects; and
  • · Keynote speaker Bill Gross, the founder of IdeaLab, revealed pioneering advances in the design of a physical “Energy Vault” storage system. A gravity-driven potential and kinetic energy system, the Energy Vault is a developing technology representative of the innovation happening in utility-scale energy storage. GIE constantly challenges the status quo both with business models and technologies – for example, GIE has led the development and expansion of installations of geo-exchange energy foundations. We will follow the progress of Energy Vault technology with interest.

Sorry if we missed you there! If you’d like to continue the discussions above, or talk about any other aspect of energy storage, please get in touch with James Robinson, our Energy Storage lead.