One of the most enjoyable and interesting benefits of reading PM Network is learning about industries that weren’t even imaginable just a short time ago. One such project sector is grid-scale electric battery storage plants.
As part of efforts to make renewable energy sources more reliable, companies are building battery capacity to store electricity to use when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. The market for power storage is predicted to grow at a 60 percent compound annual growth rate through 2020. In the U.S., this market is estimated to increase tenfold between 2016 and 2022, reaching US$3.2 billion.
Because this type of project is so new, project managers face risks connected with lack of regulation and codes. Teams must have expert knowledge of battery storage systems so plans can be approved through existing power-sector regulations. A related challenge is transitioning the building project to operations staff, who may have never before managed such facilities.
Teams are overcoming these challenges and getting the battery plants online quickly, providing benefits to sponsoring companies and dependable renewable power. One of the more dramatic moves was made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who promised the government of South Australia, home to the world’s largest lithium-ion battery facility, an operational plant in 100 days after an agreement was signed—or else it was free.
Read all about this and other new and exciting project sectors each month in PM Network—this month more than usual, “the power of project management. Exclusively for PMI members. Every month.”