By Katie Fehrenbacher: In California’s emerging energy storage industry, a new player is making a big impression.
A three-year-old, well-connected San Francisco startup has signed a contract to buy and install a whopping 500 megawatt hours worth of grid batteries from Tesla. That size of deal is the equivalent of installing tens of thousands of Tesla’s Powerwall batteries, many in California, over the course of the next five years. The startup is calledAdvanced Microgrid Solutions and the company installs batteries in buildings and uses smart software to manage the collective battery energy to help utilities better run the power grid.
The company is led by co-founders Susan Kennedy and Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, who each have long history in the energy industry. Kennedy is the former chief of staff to California Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis, and former commissioner for the California Public Utilities Commission. Pfannenstiel previously chaired the California Energy Commission, worked at utility PG&E for twenty years, and was the assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy in charge of energy strategy. In addition to Advanced Microgrid Systems’s well-connected founders, the company also has an important advisor—DBL Investors’ Managing Partner Nancy Pfund, who was also an early investor in Tesla.
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