Watch the recorded broadcast of Clean Energy Connections' The Age of Intelligent Storage below.

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When it comes to the widespread adoption of energy storage, the issue now is not if, but when.

A new report from PwC says that solar plus storage is about to remake utility business models. Some state regulators, primarily those in New York, are responding by rethinking the utility model altogether. Some energy experts have suggested utilities might have as little as five years to figure out the future of energy services.

The accelerating timeline is due in part to distributed energy storage of different types and sizes popping up across the U.S. In some regions, it’s a way to curb high demand charges. In other areas, it’s a way to backup rooftop solar. GTM Research forecasts that distributed commercial storage capacity in the U.S. will reach 100 MW this year and surpass 700 MW by 2020.

“Storage offers much more than just energy capacity; it also is a possible provider of ancillary services such as frequency regulation and is often used as a major factor in demand response programs,” said Omar Saadeh, senior grid analyst with GTM Research. In a few states, the need to balance renewables is driving grid-scale energy storage.

But the process of integrating distributed storage into grid operations and energy markets still has many kinks to be worked out. For energy storage to become mainstream, it will need sophisticated controls to interact with localized systems, such as microgrids, as well as interfaces so it can seamlessly respond to the needs of the grid. 

Join Greentech Media, Solar One and NYC ACRE on May 14 at 7 p.m. in New York City to dive into the evolving world of energy storage.

GTM Research’s Saadeh will be joined by Ted Wiley, VP of product and corporate strategy at Aquion; Ryan Wartena, founder of GELI; and Andrew Reid, senior engineer at Consolidated Edison to discuss the opportunities and challenges of energy storage not just in New York, but across the U.S.

The panelists will discuss issues such as the safety requirements of different systems, as well as how control systems vary across different energy storage deployments and what types of standardization are needed to move the industry forward.

The discussion is a featured event of Solar One and NYC ACRE’s cleantech panel discussion series, Clean Energy Connections, in partnership with Greentech Media and NY BEST.

The event about intelligent storage is open to the public. General admission is $25 and student admission is $10. Advance registration is required at www.cleanecnyc.org.

If you cannot join the discussion in person, Greentech Media will stream the event live below and at www.greentechmedia.com, and questions can be submitted via Twitter @CleanECNYC with hashtag #CleanNRGx.

And if you can’t make this Clean Energy Connections event, check out the schedule for the rest of 2014.

Tags: clean energy connections, der, derms, distributed energy, distributed energy resources, energy storage, intelligent storage, nyc acre, solar one