AMS CEO: Energy storage can reach scale without subsidies

DUtilityDIVE
By Peter Maloney
November 29, 2016

Pri­vate invest­ment will help scale stor­age, says Advanced Micro­grid Solu­tions CEO Susan Kennedy

It is often said that an energy stor­age project needs more than one stream of rev­enue to suc­ceed and often reg­u­la­tory bar­ri­ers are seen as the biggest imped­i­ment to reach­ing that goal.

Indi­anapo­lis Power & Light’s 20 MW, 20 MWh Hard­ing Street stor­age facil­ity that entered ser­vice in May is one exam­ple. It pro­vides grid ser­vices for IPL, but mar­ket rules in the Mid­con­ti­nent ISO are not con­ducive to bat­tery stor­age plants, so IPL has peti­tioned the Fed­eral Energy Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion to find that MISO’s rules are dis­crim­i­na­tory and need to be revised.

How­ever, some stor­age com­pa­nies have built a dual rev­enue stream into their busi­ness model. They see the mar­ket for energy stor­age not as a flow of ser­vices from on one side of the meter to the other, but as more of a two-​​way street serv­ing cus­tomers on both sides of the meter.

A big part of Advanced Micro­grid Solu­tions’ busi­ness, for instance, involves installing behind-​​the-​​meter energy stor­age sys­tems, but as CEO Susan Kennedy said, “We are a utility-​​facing company.”

That was evi­dent in the company’s July 2015 announce­ment of a deal to deliver 50 MW of energy stor­age for South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Edi­son. Under the deal, SCE will pur­chase capac­ity from the stor­age sys­tems under a 10-​​year con­tract, and expects to use the elec­tric­ity stored in AMS’ hybrid-​​electric build­ings to off­set the power once pro­duced by the decom­mis­sioned San Onofre nuclear power plant and other soon-​​to-​​be retired gas-​​fired plants.

But the stor­age sys­tem to pro­vide the util­ity those ser­vices will reside on the cus­tomer side of the meter in what AMS calls hybrid elec­tric build­ings. There, a com­bi­na­tion of energy stor­age tech­nol­ogy and ana­lyt­i­cal soft­ware will enable the build­ing own­ers to improve energy effi­ciency, lower energy bills and reduce green­house gas emissions.


Every­thing about the eco­nom­ics of stor­age is about scale. ”

Susan Kennedy, CEO of Advanced Micro­grid Solutions


In Novem­ber, AMS announced a deal with Invesco Real Estate to bring its hybrid build­ing tech­nol­ogy to the Invesco’s South­ern Cal­i­for­nia real estate port­fo­lio while ana­lyz­ing the real estate firm’s entire U.S. port­fo­lio for fur­ther deployments.

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