Three Keys to Successfully Siting Battery Storage


John Lacey

Senior Vice President, Director of Public Affairs

From California to New York, battery fires have become a serious threat to successful battery storage siting. These events reinforce NIMBY sentiment and demand a proactive strategy. Without a strategic communications plan, storage system permitting and construction will be hindered as these systems are regarded as more hazardous than helpful.

Whether installing battery storage for utility-scale, commercial-scale or pairing a storage system with renewable generation, effective developers need communications plans and approaches that fit the communities in which they are working. Here are some of the best practices related to battery storage that developers can use:

1. Create and Implement a Strategic Communications Plan

Communicating effectively on energy storage is not easy and only gets more challenging when fires are brought up. Nearly every conversation on the topic is plagued with misinformation, general lack of understanding, and concerns about safety.  To make matters worse, these factors are compounded by a variety of political ideologies.

Effective communications plans will help developers manage these hard-to-navigate issues and lead with facts. A good plan will include strong key messages that drive a full-suite of tools (fact sheets, project FAQ’s, developer talking points) and tactics (open houses, and speaking opportunities).

2. Engage with Local Media

Most storage development efforts prefer to stay out of the press. However, there is an old saying that “you must make friends before you need them.” This is especially true when it comes to complicated topics impacted by misinformation and emotion. Topics like energy storage and fires.

A good communications plan will identify members of the local media a developer should, and should not, contact. Establishing relationships with key reporters early will establish trust and help keep future news stories focused on the facts.

3. Host Educational Events

Taking your messages and information directly to the public is the best way to inform and educate stakeholders. Fire department trainings, open houses, community presentations, and third-party validator events are all effective ways of communicating with communities. These events should be well advertised, and contain strong materials as take aways as well as a robust strategy to talk about the event before and after.

For more than 30 years, Mower has been providing support to our energy clients, assisting them in successfully executing public outreach and offering guidance on more than 10 gigawatts of approved, permitted and built projects. With a national focus on siting and extensive experience with all seven U.S. ISOs/RTOs, Mower possesses the expertise necessary to assist developers in navigating complex relationships with community groups, local and state governments, and other stakeholders.

No matter where you are in the siting process, Mower is the trusted partner that developers need. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help with siting your next project, please contact John Lacey ( or Austin Philleo (

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