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The annual U.S. energy storage market will near 1.7 gigawatts by 2020 and have a value of $2.5 billion. This remarkable growth will be driven by new power and energy applications for batteries. One key to the emerging energy storage market is the increasing maturity of the microgrid as a means of providing value to power producers and consumers. This paper will discuss the role of battery based energy storage systems (BESS) in the successful development of microgrid projects. The benefits provided by batteries in microgrids include increased energy security, improved power quality, and access to smart, agile energy management strategies. These benefits will be explained and examples of successful battery projects will be cited.