The US company’s platform allows organizations and institutions – from campuses to hospitals and the military — to make use of microgrids and distributed energy resources for their power supply, via a third party.
Target projects will involve the installation of ESSs — which primarily consists of a base load generator such as CHP or fuel cells, PV, wind, energy storage, load control and a microgrid controller — that is owned and operated by a third party, with power sold as it is consumed by the end user.
John Westerman, vice president for technical solutions at DEN, told ESJB: “This is the microgrid as a service business model. In the energy storage benefits stack, the storage system may be used to prevent export of excess PV generation to the grid and store for later use by the facility for peak demand management or evening energy requirements.
“Other functions include supporting CHP generation to force operation at higher efficiency operating points, maintain grid stability from intermittent renewables, energy arbitrage, power quality improvement, demand response, and ancillary services to the grid.”
The business model allows for the sale of excess energy to the grid when there is an economic benefit. However, said Westerman, in most energy markets, a behind the meter microgrid solution provides energy to a facility to offset retail energy costs, and compensation for selling back to the grid is typically at an energy wholesale price which is much lower.
“In many cases, ancillary services do not require export to support the grid. Load modification (through DER operations) can be used to realize voltage support, value at risk support, peak demand, and congestion support for the local utility where the microgrid can be compensated for these services.”
A report in July by market research firm Navigant Research forecast the energy-as-a-service industry could grow into a $221 billion global business by 2020.
The company defines energy-as-a-service as the management of one or more aspects of a customer’s energy portfolio — including strategy, program management, energy supply, energy use, and asset management — by applying new products, services, financing instruments, and technology solutions.
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