Energy Storage Study Finds Northern Appalachia a Perfect Candidate

WARREN, Ohio – Northern Appalachia is an ideal location for energy storage cluster development, according to a study by Brite Energy Innovators and Cleveland State University’s Energy Policy Center.

The region’s low cost of living and its more than 200 commercial businesses suitable for regional energy storage industry involvement position it as a manufacturing hub, the study finds.

Brite commissioned the 139-county study, said Sara Daugherty, chief of staff of the Warren-based business incubator.

“As we’re part of national conversations to re-shore manufacturing and secure a domestic supply chain, this study confirms how northern Appalachia not only complements but is critical for the creation, production and adoption of energy storage technologies,” she said.

The study covered 32 counties in eastern Ohio, 52 in western Pennsylvania and 55 in West Virginia. It focused on energy storage market trends, commercial and structural assets in the region, energy storage technologies, recommendations to policymakers, challenges and growth opportunities.

Mark Henning, research associate at Cleveland State’s Energy Policy Center, said northern Appalachia’s “legacy” makes it a natural fit.

“These legacies have led directly to occupational specialization in key engineering and technical fields compared to the U.S. in general,” he said. “This, coupled with the low cost of doing business in northern Appalachia, gives the region a strategic advantage for cluster development for energy storage.”

Advanced energy concept research and development is being coordinated for West Virginia’s benefit, said Sam Taylor, assistant director for strategic partnerships and technology at West Virginia University Energy Institute. These include blue hydrogen production, carbon dioxide sequestering and potential energy production resources from former mine sites.

Andrew Thomas, director of the Energy Policy Center at Cleveland State University, co-authored the study.

To access the full study, visit

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.