This coming July, NAATBatt International will team up again with Intersolar North America to produce two workshops on issues important to the storage industry:  inside-the-meter battery safety and policy drivers for the solar-storage market.  Intersolar North America, which this year will include a special ees track on storage, will run from July 13-16, 2015.  The NAATBatt International workshops will be held on Tuesday, July 14 at the Mascone Center in downtown San Francisco.

Intersolar North America has long been of great interest to NAATBatt.  Intersolar North America is the most attended solar energy conference in North America with more than 27,000 trade visitors expected to attend this year.  As solar developers and installers become increasingly interested in storage technology, Intersolar North America is the ideal place to educate potential customers about the benefits of adding storage to solar systems.  Intersolar North America attendees are very different than those companies that regularly attend energy storage trade shows.  Intersolar North America attendees are not yet necessarily sold on energy storage technology.  But they are very anxious to learn about it.  This is a great opportunity for companies in the storage space to shape expectations and pick up new business.

The first NAATBatt workshop on the morning of July 14 will focus on safety issues concerning behind-the-meter battery systems.  These issues will be critical in shaping the emerging market for residential and commercial battery systems.  Lost a bit in the publicity surrounding Elon Musk’s announcement of Tesla’s new home battery system is that fact that it and other battery systems involve installing a potentially dangerous, high voltage device in a home or commercial property where it may come into contact with the public.  This is very different issue than installing a storage system in a utility substation or on a transmission line.

The behind-the-meter safety workshop will start by examining the size of the potential market for behind-the-meter ees systems and where those systems are likely to be deployed.  Attendees will hear from UL about the product certification process that behind-the-meter battery systems must go through and from a panel of experts about the evolving regulatory landscape that system installers will need to navigate as they deploy these systems in homes and commercial properties nationwide.  Finally, we will hear from a panel of installers and storage developers, who will talk about how they deal with safety issues in the field and what they are telling their customers.

The second NAATBatt workshop on the afternoon of July 14 will focus on policy drivers for the solar-storage market.  What should state and federal governments that wish to promote the storage of solar PV-generated electricity be doing to most effectively commercialize that technology?  Different states have taken widely different approaches and more than 32 energy bills are now pending in Congress.  What works and what doesn’t work?  This interactive workshop will explore that question.

The policy workshop will start with overviews of incentive programs for solar-storage technology at the state and federal levels.  A representative of the Electricity Storage Association will talk about current initiatives and proposals that may impact solar-storage at the federal level.  Todd Olinsky-Paul of the Clean Energy States Alliance will speak about various approaches to solar-storage being taken by different states.  And Alex Morris of the California Energy Storage Alliance will talk specifically about solar-storage initiatives in California.

The policy workshop will continue with a panel discussion among developers and installers throughout the United States talking about what they would like to see governments doing to remove barriers in the solar-storage marketplace.  The workshop will end with participants breaking into topic-focused discussion groups in order to narrow and identify proposals and positions that solar-storage advocates can act on over the coming year.

I hope you will join us on July 14 for what should be a great program providing a deep dive into issues that will be fundamental to the commercialization and deployment of solar-storage systems throughout the United States.