Sunrise brief: Solar+storage gains a solid foothold across the U.S. grid


Data confirm the rise of solar-plus-storage hybrids across the U.S. grid. Battery prices are falling, and renewable energy generation continues to expand, leading power plant developers to co-locate energy storage along with power generation assets.

Startup Sunday: EnergyX aims to cut Li-ion battery costs with a novel technology.  Also starting up: Edgehog secures funding for its self-cleaning, anti-reflective glass; and Maana Electric looks to the Moon for its shipping container-sized PV module factories.

Battery companies join research partners to improve cycling. By targeting a specific organic material used in lead batteries, the group hopes to improve charging efficiency, which would result in longer battery life.

Solar FlexRack provides trackers for distributed solar projects in three states. The 30 MW of solar capacity is slated to be completed in 2022, with another 20 MW under development with Swinerton Renewable Energy.

Tesla sells Maxwell Technologies but keeps its dry cell tech for lithium-ion batteries. Tesla acquired the supercapacitor maker in 2019, but has since moved on and sold the unit to UCAP-Power, while keeping the company’s dry electrode tech.

Solar PV shipments were up 33% in 2020 as demand rose and costs fell. EIA reported that solar PV module shipments in 2020 totaled nearly 21.8 million peak kilowatts and had a total value of more than $8.2 billion.

Europe had just 650 MW of solar cell manufacturing capacity at the end of 2020. The Photovoltaics Report published by Fraunhofer ISE said that Europe had just 1.25 GW of solar wafer production capacity at the end of 2020.

TC Energy advances 1 GW pumped hydro energy storage project. The pumped hydro project aims in part to reduce the amount of electricity that is exported from Ontario to several U.S. states at a loss.

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