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In 5 Years, Batteries Will Blanket The U.S., Duke Executive Says

FORBES — "There's going to be a lot of excitement around batteries in the next five years. And I would say that the country will get blanketed with projects," said Spencer Hanes, a managing director of business development with the Charlotte, North Carolina-based utility.

"With the way that the cost curves are coming down it's a big opportunity for all of us to deliver what customers want."

What customers want, it seems, is solar-plus-storage. They want it enough that homeowners are propping up the battery business even before it can make them money, said Adam Gerza, chief operating officer of the solar software firm Energy Toolbase.

"The momentums and drivers behind actual installed solar-storage projects are things like backup power and energy independence, and there's a little bit of a screw-my-utility kind of attitude," Gerza said, sitting alongside Hanes on a panel Thursday at Solar Power Midwest in Chicago. "In one word, it's almost like emotion."

Most homeowner projects do