Commercial, Demand Management, Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Storage, Utilities, Sourcing Renewables - October 25, 2016
Home Depot to install 200 energy storage systems
The Home Depot has plans to deploy a new energy storage solution, created through a newly announced strategic alliance of suppliers, at about 60 of its retail stores, bringing its total installations to 200.
Bloom Energy, Southern Co. and its recently acquired subsidiary PowerSecure on Oct. 25 announced the strategic alliance that will include project investment and joint technology development to provide behind-the-meter energy solutions, including the Bloom fuel cell-plus-PowerSecure storage solution being deployed by The Home Depot, the energy companies said in a news release.
The news marks yet another plot point in the storyline of traditional electric utilities embracing distributed energy and clean technologies in an effort to meet increasing demand from their large commercial and industrial customers. Southern, one of the largest utility holding companies in the country, in May announced the completion of its acquisition of PowerSecure International, a distributed infrastructure company that had been serving C&I electric customers with solutions to help them meet individual reliability, energy efficiency or green objectives.
According to the Oct. 25 announcement, PowerSecure will acquire an estimated 50 MW of Bloom Energy Servers under long-term power purchase agreements with high-quality commercial and industrial customers. Bloom Energy, The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 6, is also in the midst of an IPO process, having filed confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
"By bringing together the scale and utility sector leadership of Southern Company, its industry-leading suite of PowerSecure distributed infrastructure assets, and the Silicon Valley-style innovation and distributed generation leadership of Bloom Energy, the alliance will provide an integrated, comprehensive energy solution," the companies said in their joint news release.
The solution is designed to fully integrate Bloom's firm 24x7x365 Energy Server platform with PowerSecure's smart storage solutions. The result will deliver a reliable onsite generation solution tuned to the customer's precise power requirements that will also flexibly adapt to changing conditions, bringing customers intelligent optimization of their energy usage while driving cost savings and long-term cost certainty.
"As the technology revolution in energy evolves, we must continue developing innovative solutions on the other side of the meter to deliver greater value for customers," Southern Chairman, President and CEO Tom Fanning said in the release. "This strategic relationship marrying PowerSecure's smart storage and other distributed energy solutions with Bloom Energy's fuel cell technology allows us to play offense in the rapidly changing energy landscape by expanding our distributed infrastructure business."
The companies say the integrated platform will be designed to meet customer needs on several critical dimensions:
- Enabling optimized use of power to drive cost predictability and strategic savings.
- Delivering the quality and exact type of power required by each part of their business, for example, AC power for offices and DC power for data centers.
- The ability to dial-in the level of reliability required from "no need" all the way up to mission critical reliability for tier IV data centers and critical operations.
- Providing the level of resiliency needed to ensure that the risk of operational disruption due to external events such as weather or other natural disasters is minimized.
- Enabling preferred level of performance on sustainability attributes.
In addition to the planned deployments of the system by The Home Depot, the energy companies said another, unnamed customer will deploy 30 MW of distributed power through the alliance that will support hospitals, clinics and administrative centers.