Modernization of the Grid With Energy Storage
Nick Gillett, Associate Director of Sustainability at Nickerson, sat down with Maggie Teliska, PHD, Manager of BESS (Battery Energy Storage Solutions) Technical Services at Enel Green Power North America, to explore the need for a transition to clean energy and how to initiate solutions through Sustainability PR.
The Power to Pioneer Solutions in Sustainability PR
Well into 2023, we are seeing much-needed progress for ‘greenifying’ energy systems through increased innovation and investments in renewable energy sources. The need persists for decarbonization and a transition to a cleaner, greener electric grid that is reliant on renewable energy sources. This is a vast improvement to our current grid, which is primarily supported by fossil fuels.
The rapid — and necessary — transition to clean energy is a prerequisite to staving off the worst implications of climate change. In very recent times, on several occasions a year, we hear of ‘once in a century storms’. The increase of these once infrequent and devastating storms is a direct result of an overeliance on fossil fuels. Without actionable steps taken to transition to clean energy, the effects of the climate crisis will only get worse.
The Solution: Innovation in Energy Storage
A historic pitfall to the ubiquity of renewable energy within the existing energy grid has been matching energy demand with an intermittent supply. Overcoming this has been a focus of public and private funding to help accelerate the transition toward renewable energy. Innovation in energy storage provides the opportunity for reducing the carbon emissions tied to the energy grid by bridging the gap between supply and demand.
Energy storage operates by moving a medium from one state to another. For example, pumped storage hydropower moves water from a higher elevation to a lower one producing energy. Batteries move a moiety, all of which produces energy. al energy storage heats and cools a medium (air, water, chemicals) to store and release energy. In employing these types of energy storage technology, a major roadblock to a primarily renewable energy grid can be removed. Energy can be stored when supply is high and deployed during higher demands.
“It’s an exciting time to work in the world of sustainability, where the energy sector is seeing incredible innovations.”
Through breakthroughs in technology and increased funding, deploying energy storage solutions can bridge the gap between today’s and tomorrow’s grid and increase the feasibility and accessibility of renewable energy. In 2022, the United States government enacted the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which has been widely regarded as the most significant climate legislation in U.S history.
Included in the IRA is $5 billion of investments appropriated to the Energy Infrastructure Reinvestment (EIR) program, which provides funding for projects meant to ‘retool, repower, repurpose, and replace energy infrastructure that helps reduce, sequester, and limit air pollutants.’ The IRA will enable more innovation, development, and deployment of renewable energy within the existing energy grid.
Tax credits and incentives will modernize the grid to be more resilient and efficient, with the help of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS). BESS, which commonly uses the lithium-ion battery technology used in modern electric vehicles (EVs), can store unused electricity from solar and wind sources to be used at another time, functioning as a stockpile for electrons — energy storage. This can change the existing unidirectional grid into a multidirectional system, making the grid more flexible, responsive, and efficient.
It’s an exciting time to work in the world of sustainability, where the energy sector is seeing incredible innovations. Yesterday’s grid set the framework, while the grid of tomorrow will provide new energy sources and upgraded infrastructure. This will help provide continuous, reliable, and seamless power — and a transition towards a more sustainable future.
Achieve Climate, Energy, and Decarbonization Goals
Nickerson is proud to be a part of global ESG and sustainability efforts, operating as a key communications and public relations firm for clients developing the built environment. Nickerson has the voice, experience, and subject-matter expertise to amplify information, projects, and initiatives relating to a clean energy transition. The Nickerson team elevates sustainability communications, serving as a trusted partner to elite, forward-thinking, responsible firms — and collectively working towards a more sustainable future.
Nickerson’s branding, marketing, public relations, and communications strategies that focus on the growth of sustainable initiatives have the power to pioneer solutions to the challenges facing our planet through our work with our client-partners.
“Nickerson serves as an agent for change, partnering with innovative, sustainable client-partners to share the incredible, innovative work they’re doing with the built environment and beyond.”
Success in Architecture and Design, Higher Education
One of Nickerson’s client-partners using PR to amplify their sustainable initiatives is Boston-based architecture and design firm Finegold Alexander Architects, who have long centered sustainability in every aspect of their work. Finegold Alexander’s recently launched FA Energy division is focused on decarbonizing the built environment through creative and cost-effective solutions, specifically targeting climate neutrality in higher-education institutions across the United States.
Together, the FA Energy and Nickerson teams have worked to highlight their achievements in the built environment and position them as sustainable leaders in the architecture and design industry. Nickerson’s strategic efforts have resulted in earned media such as Architectural Record, FacilitiesNet, and American School & University, effectively achieving our goal of promoting FA Energy’s sustainable solutions across a wider audience.
Nickerson serves as an agent for change, partnering with innovative, sustainable client-partners to share the incredible, innovative work they’re doing with the built environment and beyond.
About Maggie Teliska
Maggie Teliska, PhD, is the Manager of BESS (Battery Energy Storage Solutions) Technical Services at Enel Green Power North America, a part of the Enel Group. Maggie uses her extensive education and expertise in the energy and battery storage sectors to help drive the future of sustainable energy. She is a founding member of Women’s Energy Network Northern New England Chapter and was a contributor for Axios Expert Voice series. She is featured in the STEM Superheroes: Women in Energy Careers featuring 34 women in energy careers. Maggie received her PhD in Physical Chemistry from George Washington University and a BS in Chemistry from Boston College (where she was a classmate of Nickerson CEO Lisa Nickerson).
About Nick Gillett
Nick Gillett is the Associate Director of Sustainability at Nickerson, leading the division and providing management and strategic oversight of the architecture and design client-partner accounts. Nick received a Master of Sustainability Leadership degree from Arizona State University and a BA in Business & Sustainability from Western Washington University. He also holds a LEED Green Associate accreditation through the U.S. Green Building Council. Nick serves on the zero-waste committee of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).