US-based independent solarpower developer 8minutenergy Renewables has expanded its business into the energy storage market with a 1GW project pipeline.

The company focuses on the development of standalone storage and hybrid photovoltaic (PV) and storage systems.

GTM Research has predicted that the annual energy storage capacity in the US will rise to 655MW next year, reaching more than 2GW by 2021. 8minutenergy Renewables' storage solutions vice-president Steve McKenery said: “Utilities and corporations nationwide are looking for reliable, cost-competitive clean energy solutions. Solar PV and energy storage are poised to meet this demand while delivering strong returns.

“Not only can storage improve project economics, but it can also make renewable power dispatchable, that’s a clear win for the future of clean energy.”

While working in collaboration with major manufacturers, the company aims to provide energy storage solutions featuring lithium-ion and flow batteries, flywheels, and other storage mediums.

"Not only can storage improve project economics, but it can also make renewable power dispatchable."

In addition, the company has expanded its existing solar PV research and development facility by adding energy storage facilities to test performance of the power plant, as well as grid balancing capabilities.

8minutenergy Renewables' storage integration vice-president Carl Stills said: “Having worked closely with the largest utilities in America for the past few decades allows us to uniquely understand our customers’ needs and system requirements.

“We are working on storage solutions that are already cost-competitive across the board, improve energy yield, and maximise renewable incentives. Now with fully dispatchable renewable energy, we can complement any existing utility portfolio.”

Currently, 8minutenergy is pursuing opportunities in solar markets, including California, where it runs more than 700MW in operational generation assets.