NEC enters C&I storage arena

The move is timely, given expectations that this market will explode from a level of less than $1 billion now to $10 billion by 2025, according to Navigant Research.

The DSS platform utilizes lithium-ion battery storage technology, power conversion, and its AEROS advanced controls software, within a range of outdoor-rated configurations. The company suggests that the system is “smaller, simpler, smarter and safer than competitive products.” The MSRP price for the system is around $750 per kWh, depending on configuration, notes Roger Lin, the senior director of product marketing for NECS, in Westborough, Massachusetts.

The platform is optimized to support advanced service creation at the grid edge, whether in front or behind the meter, simplifying the deployment of storage-based services for C&I customers while distribution utilities benefit from simplified use of storage to smooth intermittent distributed renewable generation, shave grid demand peaks, achieve more efficient system utilization, and control distributed assets.

The platform is scalable from 85kWh to 510kWh of energy storage capacity and offers from 30kW up to 650kW of power capability. The AEROS software package offers operating modes that include switching from demand charge management to revenue earning by providing system services. In the future, the software will facilitate the formation of aggregated portfolios of installations to permit a larger-scale provision of utility services, which on the U.S. East Coast currently are valued more highly than on the West Coast. “There are early pockets of value, for which we provide the tools,” Lin says.

“We have long understood the value of energy storage at the edge of the grid,” said Bud Collins, CEO of NEC Energy Solutions. “Our new DSS platform enables our customers to easily offer a host of new energy management services to their C&I enterprises in the sub-megawatt scale. The platform takes away the complexity of energy storage system design while offering safety and reliability, allowing our customers to focus on creating new energy management business models.”

The DSS platform will be sold and supported by a global partner network with expertise in renewable energy, energy management, power quality, microgrids and energy development. Partner recruitment has already begun in North America, EMEA and will continue worldwide in preparation for the commercial availability of the DSS energy storage platform, which is expected in Q1 2017 for North America and rolling out globally later in the year.

“The fully-integrated DSS system delivers simplicity, flexibility and reliability in a cost-effective package. This brings emerging storage-based energy services to the mainstream, and allows us to offer new services to our customer base.” said Norm Nielsen, CEO of Chico Electric, a leading PV installer and electrical design-build contracting company located in California, one of the key markets for distributed energy storage systems.

“We are combining energy storage and demand response strategies to maximize the value of our C&I customers’ flexible demand. This demand-side flexibility is paving the way for a completely different electricity market, one which is powered by renewable energy and puts consumers in charge of how, when and from where they consume their energy. Products like this are key to unlocking the benefits to businesses and our electricity system as a whole,” said David Hill, Managing Director, Storage at Open Energi, a leading energy services and demand response provider in the United Kingdom.