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eLab Accelerator 2019

Battery Storage Game Plan

Project Objective

This team, co-led by two member-owned cooperative electric utilities from Minnesota and Colorado, aims to assess use cases for energy storage technologies, with an eye towards applicability for electric cooperatives. The team will prioritize near-term steps for utility and other stakeholder action, and consider policy implications and enablers that can help accelerate the adoption of storage projects that can lower costs and enable clean energy.

Team Members


  • Greg Ridderbusch, CEO, Connexus Energy (Champion)

  • Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO, Energy Storage Association

  • Ellen Anderson, Executive Director, University of Minnesota Energy Transition Lab

  • Chelle Izzi, Executive Director - Development, NextEra Energy Resources

  • John Parker, CEO, United Power

  • Jerry Marizza, New Business Director, United Power

  • Brian Burandt, VP Power Supply and Business Development, Connexus Energy

  • Michael Noble, Executive Director, Fresh Energy

Project Description

Battery energy storage has the potential to unlock cost-effective, flexible solutions to transform the electric grid and energy supply. This team will develop a battery storage game plan that can facilitate the commercialization “breakout” of the technology in the Colorado and Minnesota markets, for distribution- and behind the meter-sited use cases. This project will allow these markets to lead by example to inspire and inform others.

Progress Made to Date

Pre-Accelerator
  • Connexus Energy developed a 10 MW solar + 15 MW/30 MWh storage project in 2018
  • United Power developed a 4 MW/16 MWh storage project in 2018
Post-Accelerator

At eLab Accelerator, the team identified and prioritized use cases for battery storage projects deployed in co-op utility service territories. The team laid out an action plan to take advantage of near-term opportunities among first-mover co-ops, and a roadmap for longer-term options to accelerate the adoption of battery energy storage for co-op utilities nationwide. The team vetted their use cases and action plans with other teams and experts and tested ways in which battery storage deployment could complement the broader clean energy transition underway.