Morning Brief: PG&E customers ready to ride out fire season with batteries, are EVs holding back stationary energy storage systems?


Fires are coming. But PG&E and some cities are holding up battery backups: It’s been six months since Dan Terre, his wife and their two children were forced to flee their home in Sebastopol, a small city near the coast in Sonoma County, as the Kincade fire threatened to burn through town. Sebastopol was ultimately spared. But even if Terre’s family could have stayed, they would have been stuck without electricity for five days, the result of PG&E shutting down its power lines to prevent them from sparking additional blazes. This year, Terre wanted to be ready with solar panels on his roof and a big battery in his garage to keep power flowing the next time PG&E decided to shut off the electricity. But as the coronavirus brought much of daily life to a halt, problems mounted for Terre’s solar-plus-storage project. Sebastopol had closed its permit office. And PG&E had stopped doing the on-site work that many home solar installations need to move forward. Source: The Los Angeles Times

Are EVs holding back stationary energy storage systems? For the stationary battery sector, the next two decades are going to be seismic. According to BloombergNEF’s Energy Storage Outlook 2019, capacity will grow from 9 GW in 2018 to a staggering 1,100 GW by 2040, a 122-fold increase. However, if the sector is to rise to the challenges it needs significant investment, to the tune of $662 billion according to the research provider. Report co-author Yayoi Sekine said analysts now think, “the majority of new capacity will be utility-scale, rather than behind-the-meter at homes and businesses.” Branding it the second wave, some industry players, believe the stationary power market is set to explode with the right investment and nurturing. Source: Power Technology

Chinese EV startup Nio secured a $1 billion investment from several state-owned companies in Hefei in return for agreeing to establish headquarters in the city’s economic development hotspot. The capital comes from Hefei City Construction and Investment Holding Group, CMG-SDIC Capital and Anhui Provincial Emerging Industry Investment Co. Source: TechCrunch

Energy storage system developer Kore Power has entered into a strategic partnership with ELM FieldSight. The partnership is intended to increase business and sales by pairing Kore’s Mark 1TM Energy Storage System with FieldSight’s microgrid product line. FieldSight offers to customers a microgrid asset monitoring and control system, under which the Mark 1TM will be used in the company’s energy storage platform. Source: Kore Power

Nautilus Solar Energy has closed on a $90 million debt financing agreement led by National Bank of Canada and including Royal Bank of Canada. The company will be using the funds to expand into key community solar markets in the United States. Specifically, the $75 million in funding that comes as revolving construction facility will be used to fund approximately 100 MW of community solar projects in Rhode Island, Maryland, New York and Minnesota. Source: Nautilus Solar

Wealth, shown to scale

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