FEBRUARY 14-16, 2023 | Long Beach, CA   Register Now

Conference Program

Climate Solutions Start Here: Solar + Storage Lead the Way

The Intersolar North America and Energy Storage North America 2023 conference program will highlight the readiness of solar and storage as available and immediate climate solutions. The program will also emphasize how grid electrification is a pillar of climate response strategies, in addition to the integral role solar and storage play in that transformation.

Session Spotlight

Here are a few sessions included in the 2023 conference program.

California Energy Storage Market – State of the Union

Presented by Adam Gerza, VP Business Development, Energy Toolbase

There are several powerful dynamics influencing California’s energy storage market today. With both headwinds and tailwinds, many evolving over time, it has become increasingly difficult to predict what the future of California’s energy storage system (ESS) market holds.

The Energy Toolbase team has compiled data from both internal and external sources to provide a state of the union on California’s energy storage market, unpacking the direct impacts of the most influential factors, including:

  • NEM-3 the landmark policy proceeding is expected to get a final decision in 2022 and go into effect in 2023. With solar grid exports expected to get devalued this creates a stronger price signal and savings opportunity for ESS, leading to more deployments.
  • Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), authorizing the 10-year extension of both solar and energy storage Investment Tax Credits (ITC) is a huge tailwind for the market.
  • Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) energy storage budgets, specifically the large-scale budget is nearing its end. SCE and PG&E ran out of funds in 2022, and SDG&E is expected to exhaust its budget soon, which is a market headwind.
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  • Rising retail electric rates, the ETB team recently authored a whitepaper showing the rapidly escalating rate of inflation of retail electric rates in both the residential and C&I sectors, which is a market tailwind for both solar and storage.
  • ESS Supply Chain disruptions caused by Covid shutdowns, raw material price inflation, and EV demand are causing longer lead times and cost increases, which has created a challenging environment and been a market headwind.
  • ETB Sourced Data our platform data shows strong growth in ESS proposals, attachment rates, and the number of accounts modeling ESS. Our developer survey showed optimism for more deployments.
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Overall, we are bullish and optimistic about the future growth of the energy storage market in California. Our ETB Developer platform data, which is a leading indicator, continues to show strong and consistent growth for ESS modeling activity across all metrics. The extension of the ITC via the IRA, the NEM-3 outcome creating a stronger price signal for ESS, retail electric rates continuing to inflate, and developers becoming more experienced. We fully expect ESS deployments and attachment rates to continue rising. That said, there are still looming headwinds that must be considered with the sunsetting of the SGIP incentive program, along with current ESS supply chain challenges.

Clean Energy Workforce Development

Supply chain challenges and federal funding are reinforcing the value of reinvest in America’s clean energy workforce. This panel brings together perspectives from labor, industry, and leading labor economists to discuss the transition of the clean energy workforce, and key steps needed to realize this transition, including community engagement, training programs, and partnerships.

EVs as Grid Storage Resource/V2X Interconnection

Moderated by Ed Burgess, Policy Director, Vehicle-Grid Integration Council (VGIC)
Other panelists TBA

As the grid becomes more electrified, electric vehicles will have a role to play in storing and releasing excess energy to the grid. We have already seen the use of time-of-use rates for EV charging to help shave demand peaks on the grid, but how else can we utilize EVs for the grid of the future?

This panel will discuss the existing policy and technological landscape around EVs as a storage resource before delving into how we can better utilize EVs as a way to handle additional demands on the grid, addressing:

  • How Vehicle-Grid Integration (VGI) is increasingly being recognized for the huge value proposition and range of potential benefits it can offer
  • Opportunities for VGI within the federal infrastructure bill and Inflation Reduction Act, and key action items needed to continue advancing VGI
  • The VGI value proposition for enhancing grid reliability services, electrifying transportation and the grid, and other value stream opportunities for consumers, EV operators, utilities, and society at large
  • The current landscape of VGI in a variety of regional and state jurisdictions, highlighting where VGI advancements and progress is being made, and evaluating key considerations related to interconnection, rate design , and wholesale market reforms
  • Status of V2X Interconnection policies and practices across the country

Residential Solar Adoption Timeliness and Permitting

Presented by Jesse Cruce, Energy & Policy Market Analyst, Strategic Energy Analysis Center at National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

This session covers NREL’s work evaluating residential PV adoption timelines and permitting/interconnection processes. The work utilizes project-level data covering 10-25% of U.S. installs each year 2017-2021, along with surveys of jurisdictions and installers. Questions of interest include:

  • Which challenges impact adoption timelines?
  • How have timelines changed over the last 5 years (especially during COVID-19)?
  • Which processes offer “best practices” for widescale improvements?

Initial results from NREL’s collaborative development of the SolarAPP+ automated permitting platform will also be presented.

Utility Approaches to Energy Storage Fire Safety

Presented by Jay Sandler, Distributed Energy Operations Manager, Duke Energy Corporation
Other panelists TBA

Battery energy storage is an evolving market and the fire safety aspect of this technology has become an emergent, hot topic in the utility industry. This session will hear from a variety of different utilities across the country, discussing their experiences and case studies with battery storage development and operation and the associated steps they are taking for fire safety. The session will cover best practices for storage container design, fire safety specifications, and fire safety trainings. Furthermore, speakers will evaluate the dangers of Li-ion batteries, lessons learned from industry fire safety events, utility safety systems that utilities have deployed at current battery sites, and utility first responder training programs.

Innovation in Project Structuring to Support Project Finance

Moderated by Gary Dorris, CEO, Ascend Analytics
Other panelists TBA

Competitive power markets offer a unique opportunity to utilize storage as a physical hedge to serve financial firm obligations of a power hedge. On both a stand-alone basis or in conjunction with renewable generation, storage serves as a physical hedge that can secure the equivalent of a contracted revenue stream using over-the-counter hedges.

This presentation provides a case study for operating margins and risk of renewable plus storage projects hedged with market forward contracts and compares the outcome relative to a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The analysis examines the optimal hedge ratio, reduction in risk, and the added premium of flexible storage serving as a physical hedge against spot market prices for both standalone storage and renewables plus storage. The comparison to PPAs will be based on utility procurements.

Virtual Power Plant Business Model

Presented by Nehal Divekar, Manager, Emerging Technologies, Customized Energy Solutions
Other panelists TBA

A Virtual Power Plant (VPP) is a network of decentralized, medium-scale power generating units as well as flexible power consumers and storage systems. VPPs are managed via aggregation software, offering functions meant to mimic those of a traditional power plant control room. Depending on the particular market environment, VPPs can accomplish a whole range of tasks. In general, the objective is to network distributed energy resources such as wind farms, solar parks, and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units, in order to monitor, forecast, optimize and trade their power. This way, fluctuations in the generation of renewables can be balanced by ramping up and down power generation and power consumption of controllable units. But the VPP not only helps stabilizing the power grids. It also creates the preconditions for integrating renewable energies into the markets. Individual small plants can in general not provide balancing services or offer their flexibility on the power exchanges. This is because their generation profile varies too strongly or they simply do not meet the minimum bid size of the markets. By aggregating the power of several units, a VPP can deliver the same service and redundancy and subsequently trade on the same markets as large central power plants or industrial consumers.

This session will cover the basics of what a virtual power plant is and how it can create value for both utilities and customers, with examples from real-world programs.

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More sessions—and speakers—will be added as detailed are finalized. Check back soon for more! Have questions in the meantime? Contact us.

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