Advanced Microgrid Solutions Gets $200M From Macquarie to Finance Aggregated Energy Storage

Greentech Media
By Eric Wesoff
July 11, 2016

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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