Morning Brief: California ISO brings the largest battery storage resource in the nation online

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The California Independent System Operator connected the largest battery storage resource in the nation to its power grid last month. The initial phase of LS Power Group’s Gateway Energy Storage Project in San Diego County came online June 9, adding 62.5 MW of storage interconnection to the ISO grid, which currently has just over 216 MW of storage capacity in commercial operation. “We are at a turning point for storage on our system,” said Steve Berberich, ISO CEO. Source: CAISO

Ares Management, Cyrus, and Keyframe Partner with Wunder Capital to invest more than $100 million in the U.S. commercial solar market: Wunder, a fintech company, makes solar more accessible for businesses, municipalities, and nonprofits, gives investment partners programmatic access to solar investment opportunities.  Source: Wunder Capital

Solar firm buying land rights near coal plants with eye toward transmission: As coal plants retire, they leave behind power lines and grid connections that can be a big asset to renewable developers. A utility-scale solar developer is acquiring land rights near U.S. coal-fired power plants, hoping the facilities will close sooner than expected and open up lucrative transmission connections. Photosol US, a subsidiary of a French company, has purchased options near plants in Nebraska and Kansas, as well as the San Juan Generating Station in northern New Mexico. Source: ENN

New project will tackle barriers to energy storage interconnection: Despite significant growth of the energy storage market in recent years, the process of connecting this technology to the electricity grid remains complex and unclear in many states.​ A new project​ aims to simplify the interconnection process for energy storage. The project team, led by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), will ​identify and develop solutions to regulatory and technical barriers in the interconnection process of standalone energy storage and solar-plus-storage projects​. Source: IREC

NREL research points to strategies for recycling of solar panels: There is expected to be an explosion of retired PV modules by 2050. PV modules have a 30-year lifespan and there is currently no plan for how to manage the end of their lifespan. The volume of modules no longer needed could total 80 million metric tons by 2050. In addition to quantity, the nature of the waste also poses challenges. PV modules are made of valuable, precious, critical, and toxic materials. There is currently no standard for how to recycle the valuable ones and mitigate the toxic ones. Source: NREL