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.
Tesla has partnered with ReStore, the Belgium demand response start-up bought for €70million ($81million) in November 2017 by UK-based Centrica, to build a 18.2MW lithium ion virtual power plant for grid balancing services in Belgium, Tesla announced on May 14. The system at Terhills, in northeast Belgium, is using 140 powerpacks to store excess read more
Utility-scale PV firm Lightsource BP, a strategic partnership between Lightsource and fossil fuel giant BP, announced on May 8 it had bought into the smart home market with the buy-out of Internet-of-Things software developer Ubiworx. The platform connects solar panels to residential energy storage — which stores power for use during low generation periods read more
Two eye-catching finalists in this year’s Outstanding Project category of the Intersolar Europe Smarter E Award announced on May 11 were a deep-cycle lead acid microgrid in Africa and a 37.5MW lithium ion system in North America. Trojan Battery, the manufacturer of a battery range called Deep-Cycle Solar AGM, is shortlisted for its microgrid read more
US utility Hawaiian Electric Company announced on May 2 it is planning to build a total of 120MW of lithium ion grid-scale energy storage to ensure its security of supply, allow for increased renewables penetration and reduce fossil fuel use on the Oahu electric grid. The projects are subject to approval by the Public read more
Battery materials and electrolyte producer Stina Resources announced on May 1 it had completed the purchase of all the outstanding assets of vanadium redox flow battery maker Gildemeister Energy Storage, including its CellCube technology and energy storage business. Little more than two weeks later the Canadian headquartered firm announced it was changing its name to read more