The Energy Storage Association's 27th Annual Conference and Expo was held in Denver, April 18-20. With record-setting attendance and the largest energy storage expo hall - the industry gathered to set a path forward for continued growth and acceleration of energy storage markets, policy, and technology.
The conference was hosted by the team at RES Group, and Xcel Energy served as the Host Utility for this year's gathering.
The industry was welcomed to the state by Governor John Hickenlooper, who shared with attendees the importance of fostering the advanced energy economy, and how like Colorado aim to play a leading role in supporting the development of manufacturing and industry, and implementing policies to support the deployment of projects.
Former Colorado Governor - and Founder of the Center for the New Energy Economy -
Bill Ritter delivered an excellent keynote presentation that highlighted the importance of dynamic regulations and market strategies that are able to keep pace with the rapid advancement of technology during his keynote presentation on Tuesday evening.
"Your industry has turned a corner. Costs are plummeting, and projects are demonstrating value in the field. We have to continue to educate and build a bigger dialogue with stakeholders - utilities, regulators, and legislators need to hear your stories."
ESA's Executive Director, Matt Roberts, delivered the opening keynote on Wednesday and laid out an ambitious agenda for the future of the industry. Calling for 35 GW's of energy storage installed in the United States by 2025 - it provided a compelling vision for how the electrification of the economy and the need for a disruption-proof grid that can adapt to new demands and stresses will continue to propel the industry forward.
"Electrification will fundamentally transform the entire power sector – and this confluence of forces is putting us on a path to deploy more than 35 GW’s of energy storage by 2025. Drastic cost declines, market and regulatory reforms, and, most importantly, increasing recognition of the multi-faceted value of being able to store energy, in all its forms," said Matt Roberts.
"What is needed to achieve these outcomes is a fundamental re-thinking of how we invest in the grid, the criteria on which we make decisions, and how we plan to meet our future needs," he continued. "Holistic planning – investing not predicated on peaks and cost, but driven by value and outcomes for the grid and the many ways that it improves our daily lives."
Building on the excitement of the event, AES Energy Storage co-founder and President John Zahurancik brought even more energy and a bigger sense of purpose for the industry to consider as we continue to progress.
"While it took us 9 years to install the first 100 MWh's of energy storage capacity in PJM, we just completed more than that in California in under 5 months. This growth and acceleration are immense, in the US and around the globe. We are changing the way that utilities and grid operators think about the grid - building towards 35 GW's by 2025 and beyond."
Attendees and exhibitors noted the all-around quality of the conference - from leading executive insights and hands-on education to the quality of leads that were generated and the business opportunities that were built.
Denver was an ideal location for the industry to come together, engage in new ideas, and challenge each other to achieve aggressive goals for continued acceleration of the industry.
Thank you to all of our exhibitors, sponsors, attendees for making this event a success - your investment in ESA is driving open new markets, and your achievements are informing a rich dialogue that is transforming the power sector.
ESA's 2018 Annual Conference and Expo will be held in Boston, MA from April 18-20, 2018.