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Solar + Storage

Energy storage plays an important role in the U.S. solar industry and energy markets as a whole. Federal, state and local policymakers are making decisions now that will dictate to what extent storage can and will be used as the grid diversifies and electricity demand increases. The U.S. energy storage industry comprises hundreds of companies and thousands of American workers that manufacture, distribute and install residential, commercial and utility-scale energy storage systems across the country.

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Solar + Storage

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Transforming the U.S. Electric Grid

Storage is playing a revolutionary role in the further advancement of solar and clean energy. As clean energy capacity increases, ramping up energy storage on the U.S. grid will be critical, regardless of what resource it’s paired with. Over the next decade, the U.S. must dramatically ramp up standalone storage and solar + storage installations to achieve our economic and climate goals. Federal, state and local policy action is needed to unleash the potential of storage nationwide, and SEIA is leading that advocacy.

Quick facts:

  • Solar + storage has, and will continue to have, a symbiotic relationship. Ultimately, the wide-scale adoption of solar will lead to the wide-scale adoption of storage, which will in turn lead to more opportunities to deploy solar.
  • While storage can be used in many applications, the success of the storage technology is intimately tied to solar because of its potential for meteoric growth in the solar sector.
  • A May 2021 report from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab showed that of all the energy generation projects in interconnection queues nationwide, solar is accounting for the majority of projects paired with energy storage. 6% of wind and natural gas projects in the queue have storage attached, while 34% of pending solar projects are paired with batteries
  • To reach our goal of solar accounting for 20% of electricity generation by 2030, storage will play an increasing role in providing power when the sun is not shining.
  • SEIA is the voice of of the competitive storage industry. We have an entire division of our membership dedicated to storage - The Storage Advocacy Network, as well as a policy steering committee working on solar + storage issues. Learn more
  • Membership in SEIA by storage technology providers and their supply chain partners is a must have in gaining access to the solar market and in leading solar + storage policy priorities.

Read more about SEIA's ongoing advocacy on behalf of competitive storage nationwide

Why Solar + Storage?

Solar and storage create business opportunities for each other. As solar penetration increases, states and solar companies are turning to storage. Energy storage can smooth electricity prices through arbitrage, manage evening energy ramps, mitigate the risk of curtailment, provide black start capability, provide backup power and more.

The cost of lithium-ion batteries (the most common type of storage paired with solar) has fallen rapidly as manufacturing has scaled up to support both electric grid applications and electric vehicles. For distributed projects, storage can help customers manage the move toward time-of-use (TOU) pricing and later TOU periods and give system owners access to the power from their solar panels for more hours of the day.

Many solar companies view storage as a business growth opportunity. While there is certainly plenty of room for growth of stand-alone solar in most states, the long-term success of the solar industry and its ability to scale beyond about 20% of total electricity generation depends on the cost-effective integration of storage.

Increasing energy storage at strategic points on the U.S. grid, regardless of resource pairings, will provide key benefits to electricity customers and the overall economy. That’s why SEIA is a fierce advocate for the energy storage industry as a whole. SEIA is the leading voice of open market competition in the electricity sector, and we have a unique role to play in ensuring that energy storage is deployed as quickly as possible, and at the lowest possible cost.

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Policy Opportunities

SEIA strongly supports the creation of an Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for energy storage. SEIA is lobbying aggressively to ensure legislation that extends the ITC to energy storage technologies moves through Congress.

SEIA is providing top level communications and lobbying for storage. We are educating members of Congress and the administration, as well as the general public, about how solar + storage can transform the energy landscape.

SEIA advocates on behalf of competitive storage at all scales and across market segments. Areas of focus include: 
  • Continued federal lobbying to unleash the ITC for storage
  • Establishing solar + storage as cost-effective and reliable alternatives to fossil fuel power plants in utility Integrated Resource Planning
  • Ensuring that utilities are required to normalize, or spread out, the tax incentives they receive for developing storage projects, protecting competitive markets and deploying storage at the lowest cost for electricity customers
  • Continuing to promote and establish effective, costed-out, solar + storage rate design
  • Facilitating siting and permitting of co-located solar + storage projects
  • Promoting interconnection process improvements to speed up timelines and get more storage projects connected to the grid
  • Reforming wholesale market rules to properly value grid-scale storage projects and ensure market access
  • Providing input on product standards and building codes for storage
  • Adding storage to consumer protection materials for distributed and utility-scale storage at the state level
  • Improving methodologies to assess resource adequacy valuation for storage and solar + storage projects
  • Additional public-private investment to make storage affordable and applicable across a broader range of projects

Engage in SEIA’s Solar + Storage Work Through Membership Committees

  • Energy Storage Division
  • Energy Storage Committee
  • Codes & Standards Working Group
  • Federal Policy Committee
  • State Policy Committee
  • Individual State & Regional Committees (Texas, California, Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Intermountain West)
  • Public Relations Committee

For more information on membership Committees & Working Groups at SEIA, click here.