Aggregation could be the killer app for storage.
Susan Kennedy, CEO of Advanced Microgrid Solutions, has observed, “The entire electrical distribution system is designed around a single premise: You cannot store energy.”
The premise of her company: “Equipping a building with the technology to store and manage its own electricity turns that building into a standalone storage unit,” and if you “combine a dozen buildings into a fleet, you have the utility equivalent of a peaker plant.” She told GTM recently, “We’re offering utilities a customized solution using energy storage behind the customer’s meter, harnessing that load to provide specifically what the utility needs in a particular region. It’s a clean, fast, flexible product that doesn’t exist in the utility world today.”
And when mainstream infrastructure investor Macquarie Group declares its aim to put $200 million into a fleet of battery projects from Advanced Microgrid Solutions — it’s a good sign.
“AMS’ focus on contracted, grid-scale energy storage projects stands out amongst developers forging a path in energy storage space,” said Rob Kupchak, head of U.S. power, utilities and renewables for Macquarie Capital.
“Macquarie Capital is the gold standard for investment in critical infrastructure,” said Kelly Warner, president of AMS, in a statement.
Macquarie will provide project capital that will be used to build and operate a fleet of AMS’ distributed energy storage projects located at host sites. The systems will be used for “utility grid services including flexible and reserve capacity, solar integration and voltage management, in addition to retail energy services such as demand management, backup generation and enhanced power quality.”
The capital will address AMS’ projects such as:
- The 50-megawatt contract from Southern California Edison to provide behind-the-meter battery storage in the Western Los Angeles Basin area
- California real estate firm Irvine Company’s energy storage deployment across 24 office buildings equipped with Tesla Powerpacks and AMS’ software. The batteries are intended to “shave peak energy while also providing Southern California Edison with up to 10 megawatts of capacity.”
- A number of other projects with Opus One Solutions, Skyscraper One Maritime Plaza, California State University, Shell Energy North America and the Inland Empire Utilities Agency.
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