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Washington, DC — The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is announcing a new venture to prioritize energy storage across policy advocacy, membership, research and events.

The venture, called the Storage Advocacy Network, will be a formal branch of SEIA and serve as a national and state advocacy voice for energy storage. Storage is a multibillion-dollar piece of the cleantech sector, but companies need strong policy leadership to make sure they can maximize their growth in the solar sector and beyond.

SEIA is offering one board of directors’ seat to the Chair of its Storage Division and ten free memberships to diverse companies focused on energy storage. Through collaboration with various SEIA committees, the Storage Advocacy Network will shape the organization’s lobbying and public affairs advocacy on energy storage.

“Solar and storage are inextricably linked, and SEIA is increasingly working at the intersection of these market-moving technologies,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s president and CEO. “Over the next decade, we need to dramatically ramp up solar + storage installations to achieve emissions goals, and we’ll need world-class federal and state advocacy to help us get there.”

SEIA will be putting its full weight behind state and federal policies that scale competitive energy storage deployment, increase private sector investment in storage and create well-paying jobs across the entire storage value chain. The Storage Advocacy Network is a natural evolution of the ongoing work SEIA is engaged in across the country to create and expand markets for energy storage.

Storage is already an essential part of SEIA’s Solar+ Decade ambitions — for solar to achieve 20% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030 — and will be critical to President Biden’s goal of achieving net-zero power sector emissions by 2035. As renewable energy capacity increases, ramping up energy storage on the U.S. grid will be critical, regardless of what resource it’s paired with.

The U.S. energy storage market is on track to grow five times its size by 2025 from 1.5 GW in 2020 to 7.8 GW in 2025, according to analysis from Wood Mackenzie. The U.S. energy storage market surpassed $1.5 billion in 2020 and on its current trajectory, it will be a $7.6 billion annual market in 2025. But to reach 100 gigawatts of energy storage by 2030, annual storage deployment needs to more than double between 2025 and 2030.

“There is a massive gap between our energy storage goals and where we are now, and business as usual is not a recipe for success,” Ms. Hopper said. “SEIA is the voice of open market competition in the electricity sector, and we have a unique role in ensuring energy storage is deployed rapidly at low cost for America’s energy future.”

Just last week, SEIA, along with the Colorado Solar and Storage Association negotiated favorable interconnection standards in the Rocky Mountain State. SEIA also will continue its engagement in the codes and standards process to ensure storage is properly incorporated into the rules that govern installation and interconnection of storage resources.

SEIA’s research and events have increasingly focused on energy storage over the years, and the organization’s signature research reports, like Solar Means Business, will feature new analysis on energy storage adoption and market trends. SEIA’s events already feature a considerable focus on energy storage. The industry’s flagship event, North America Smart Energy Week, includes the largest energy storage conference in North America, Energy Storage International.

In the near future, SEIA will announce how the organization will further incorporate storage into its flagship research products, educational programming and policy advocacy.

Several companies voiced support for SEIA’s storage endeavor:

“Greater deployment of energy storage technologies will enable growth across the renewables industry, and allow us to optimize the service and access to clean energy that we, as a solar contractor and an industry partner, are able to provide to our clients and pass on to communities across the U.S.,” said George Hershman, President of Swinerton Renewable Energy (SRE) and SEIA Board Chair. “Energy storage is a priority at SRE, and we support SEIA’s leadership in this exciting segment.”

“Solar is the primary energy source that is paired with battery storage, and together these technologies provide critical resilience benefits for customers and the grid,” said Suzanne Leta, Head of Policy and Strategy for SunPower. “There has never been a more important time for effective national solar and energy storage industry representation advocating for 21st century solutions to address 21st century grid challenges.”

“We are thrilled that SEIA is expanding its storage advocacy and representing the interests of competitive storage providers aggressively,” said Sunrun Chief Policy Officer Anne Hoskins. “Nearly 20,000 of our 550,000 customers have home batteries, and at a time with power outages in Texas and California, this new advocacy arm will continue to move solar and home batteries into the mainstream when they’re needed most.”

“The energy storage market for large utility-scale solar projects is taking off and will grow significantly over the next decade, and we need an advocacy voice that can meet the moment,” said Scott Canada, Executive Vice President of Renewable Energy & Storage at McCarthy Building Companies. “SEIA has already accomplished so much in storage advocacy, and we are thrilled they are stepping up to support the industry and companies engaged in competitive storage.”

“For the two critical challenges ahead: modernizing our grid to respond to climate impacts and fulfilling our pledge to significantly cut the electricity sector’s carbon emissions – solar with integrated storage is the obvious solution,” said Dr. Tom Buttgenbach, Founder & CEO of 8minute Solar Energy and SEIA Board Member. “Solar-plus-storage can power the grid with inexpensive, reliable, dispatchable, carbon-free electricity. We applaud SEIA for its leadership and persistence in expanding our focus to unlock the full potential of solar.”

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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