Solar, Storage

Listen Up: Let’s Talk Energy Storage

To many experienced solar hands, the emerging grid energy storage business looks a lot like the solar industry did about a dozen years ago. We have always been trying to figure out how solar power works at night — and energy storage can do the trick. Today, energy storage technology works reliably, commercial applications are coming onto the market, and incentives are available to help make the economics pencil out for customers.

Listen To Podcast

Our guest this week on the Energy Show is Tom McCalmont, former CEO of RealGoods Solar and ReGrid Power, and now CEO of McCalmont Engineering. In addition to providing engineering services for large-scale commercial and utility PV systems, Tom has been working on ways to use energy storage to balance out the power requirements for buildings.

Just as in the PV industry, there are three big markets developing for building energy storage: utility/grid-scale, commercial buildings and homes. Once the price of installed systems comes down, the economics can be pretty compelling. If you’d like to get some real world insights into the emerging building energy storage industry, listen to this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.

Find more episodes of The Energy Show here.

About The Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don’t have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we’ll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices. 

About Your Host

Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He’s been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Lead image: Green microphone via Shutterstock