Sharp opens up $25 million in financing for SmartStorage installations

Sharp Electronics’s Energy Systems and Services Group. based in Camas, Washington, is now offering financing for commercial and industrial (C&I) solar PV systems coupled with its SmartStorage energy storage solution available to developers and integrators as well as end users. The system is available both in 30kW/40kWh and 30kW/80kWh configurations, and is scalable up to 16 units. The batteries are lithium manganese oxide from Samsung, with a warranty for 4,000 cycles.

The initial funding of $25 million is expected to support the deployment of more than 12 MW of hybrid systems within the next twelve months, but the company has indicated it is interested in building the program into a business of $100 million or more. “Sharp’s innovative 10-Year Asset Management Service Agreement and Demand Reduction Performance Guarantee were key elements in establishing system bankability, which enabled us to introduce this financing program of such breadth,” notes Carl Mansfield general manager and founder of Sharp’s Energy Systems and Services Group.

The SmartStorage system includes a predictive algorithm that manages electric utility demand performance tuned to site operations and to utility rates. The system operates with or without a co-deployed PV system. The system also includes Energy Toolbase, which helps predict return on investment, among other analytics.

“Financing is a critical piece to the advancement of the energy storage industry,” said Mansfield. “By offering this precedent-setting financing mechanism broadly to the industry and making it available to project development allies, we are able to equip developers with readily available financing for hybrid solar-storage systems.”

The distributed energy storage market is still nascent, but energy storage for solar systems is expected to reach $8 billion in 2026, according to Lux Research. The Global Energy Storage Forecast, 2016-24, from Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts about 45GW and 81GWh of storage could be installed by 2024, representing an investment of $44 billion.