Federal and state government mandates and incentives, combined with technological advances, have dramatically increased renewable energy sources during the past decade. Variable renewable energy sources such as solar and wind have demonstrated great potential for meeting electric power demand but remain limited from a grid integration standpoint due to intermittency when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing.
As a result, state governments and independent system operators are placing increased emphasis on utility-scale energy storage systems; and several states, including California, have adopted mandates and incentives for rapid deployment. While several different storage technologies exist or are in development—including pumped hydropower and thermal storage—increasing focus is on battery storage systems to meet energy storage needs. As with any energy project, however, utility-scale battery storage projects present land use, permitting, and environmental and health and safety issues; and developers need to anticipate and address these issues to successfully meet project development timelines and goals.