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Energy Storage Surge

Batteries embraced to cut electric costs

The number of energy storage systems installed across America last year climbed to 250 with a total capacity of 64.1 megawatt-hours, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

That is up markedly from 48 systems with a combined 12.2 megawatt-hours in 2014.

Commercial property managers, retailers and universities are leading the charge to embrace storage as part of their strategy to lower their overall electric power bills.

J.C. Penney is storing energy at night in banks of lithium-ion batteries and using the power during the day when electric rates are higher.

“The batteries used by Penney can provide about 35 kilowatts of power for roughly two hours, and are expected to save each store at least $6,000 a year on its power bills,” the Journal reported.

“Penney plans to install batteries at three additional stores this year and 14 more next year,” the paper wrote. Six of its stores in southern California are already using energy storage to cut power costs.

California has mandated that big utilities deploy or coordinate installation of 1,325 megawatts of storage by the early 2020s. The state is offering rebates of up to 60 percent of the cost of the storage equipment.


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