AMS CEO: Energy storage can reach scale without subsidies

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.

To read the full arti­cle, vis­it DUtil­i­ty­DIVE.