Borrego to begin offering C&I, utility energy storage

Yesterday Borrego Solar announced that it would open a new division to offer energy storage solutions, both on a standalone basis and integrated with solar PV. This is the first time that the C&I and utility solar developer has expanded its offerings beyond solar PV.

The company’s will focus on offering long-duration energy storage, and over the next year will focus on working with utilities for the installation of megawatt-scale energy storage systems for integration with renewable energy and peak demand management.

Borrego also plans to offer energy storage to customers of the company’s existing solar portfolio, as well as new solar customers, primarily large electricity users in California, New York and Massachusetts.

The new division based will be based in Massachusetts and led by Executive VP of Strategy and Business Development Dan Berwick.

“We’re realizing that all across our customer base—from cities, school districts and public agencies to businesses, manufacturers and electric utilities—it is more frequently making economic sense to evaluate energy storage in conjunction with solar,” declared Berwick in a statement on the company’s blog.  “We knew that this technology shift was around the corner given the changes happening to the grid as we add more wind and solar power to it.”

According to GTM Research, there are around a dozen solar developers and installers in this space that have begun offering other energy management solutions, including energy storage.

This has been led by SolarCity, which began formally offering dispatchable electricity from energy storage and grid services in May, but has also included C&I developer REC Solar, which partnered with storage supplier Green Charge Networks.

GTM Research Director of Energy Storage Ravi Manghani says that the combination of offerings makes sense from multiple perspectives. “It allows these solar developers to offer an energy management suite, instead of just offering a PPA-based energy product, which doesn’t help C&I customers to manage their cost of electricity,” Manghani told pv magazine.

Manghani stresses that C&I customers are not only looking to reduce demand charges, but also are also concerned with reliability and resiliency. “This with solar increases the overall value of the combined package.”

He also notes that this is an attractive given the struggles that the C&I sector has gone through over the last few years, but also that there are inherent challenges. “The sales are higher dollar figure, so that in itself is a challenge, but we are also talking about these physical assets which have their own unique characteristics,” states Manghani.