NECEC and Foley Hoag LLP Host Energy Storage Forum

Just days after the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) released its comprehensive energy storage report State of Charge, NECEC and Foley Hoag LLP hosted a sold-out Energy Storage Forum in Boston and New York City. Featuring a robust panel connected by video link at both locations, attendees engaged in a timely discussion on the benefits, opportunities, and challenges of the emerging energy storage industry.

Moderated in Boston by Mark Barnett, Chair of Foley Hoag’s Energy & Cleantech Industry Group, and in New York City by Peter Rothstein, President of NECEC, panelists included:

  • Judith Judson, Commissioner, DOER
  • Kelly Warner, President, Advanced Microgrid Solutions
  • Henrik Holland, Venture Principal, Shell Technology Ventures
  • Kate Burson, Northeast Market Development, Tesla
  • Michael Oster, CEO, Eos Energy Storage
  • John Bellacicco, Director of Northeast Operations, Stem

Commissioner Judson began the discussion with an overview of State of Charge, speaking publicly on the report for the first time, referring to energy storage as a “game changer” for our electricity system. The commissioner emphasized the potential cost benefits the technology can provide, noting that 600 megawatts (MW) of storage implemented by 2025 would save Massachusetts $800 million, in addition to 350 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (the equivalent of taking 73,000 cars off the road).

The forum’s other panelists then shifted the conversation back and forth between Boston and New York City, offering unique business perspectives on energy storage. Kelly Warner revealed that Advanced Micogrid Solutions currently has 120 MW of storage under contract, dozens of which will be built in malignant grid sites. He credited the “bodacious renewable goals” established in many state renewable portfolio standards, as well as revolutionary procurements by utilities themselves, with driving the early success of the storage industry.

Similarly, Kate Burson of Tesla stressed the need for regulatory environments that encourage utilities to enter long-term storage contracts, in order for storage to truly succeed. Eos CEO Michael Oster reminded attendees that applications for storage vary across the globe, noting that while in Germany storage is primarily only seen at residential scale, residential is still only early adopters in the US, where as grid scale storage has more market potential. Storage will also play a critical role in powering developing nations, so many of which rely on distributed energy and microgrids rather than a centralized system.

The insights provided by the panelists, as well as the questions posed afterwards by attendees, revealed two major themes that will likely guide the future of energy storage: technological opportunities and the role of utilities. To explore these themes and to continue the growing conversation around energy storage, click here to view a recording of the entire forum.

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Sean Davenport

Sean is NECEC's Communications Manager.