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We have written before about how the addition of inexpensive storage solutions is the next step in solar system development. The ability to “smooth-out” the power production curve - or even the ability to shift output to more profitable delivery hours (such as under the LADWP’s Feed-in Tariff’s Time of Delivery multipliers) - will be a huge step forward toward allowing solar to finally meet its potential. Now we hear that two industry giants are pairing up to provide that solution: inverter manufacturer Power-One and battery manufacturer Panasonic.
Details are few, but there is this from the parties’ press release:
Initial efforts will focus on developing the residential, commercial and utility-scale, grid-connected, energy storage systems business in Europe and the U.S. as well as the non-residential segment in Japan.
Unstated is when such a product will actually be introduced or any of its particulars, most notably, its cost. Still, this is a promising development for an industry that still struggles to shed its image of just being a “fair weather friend." Indeed, one source estimates the market for solar storage technology will exceed $11 billion by 2020 worldwide. We will keep you posted.