Distributed Storage to Strengthen Grid Response in Hawaii

September 11, 2014 by Jeff Shepard

Stem, Inc. will deploy one megaWatt of behind-the-meter energy storage in a demonstration project with Hawaiian Electric Company to support grid response services. Stem will manage its advanced energy intelligence solution for commercial and industrial customers throughout Oahu. The aggregate portfolio of energy storage customers will provide additional grid capability during periods of variable solar generation and peak demand.

Stem’s energy storage and data analytics predict and rapidly respond to spikes in customers’ electricity demand, drawing on stored power to reduce energy costs without affecting operations. Stem’s technology also leverages the renewable forecasting and monitoring project that Hawaiian Electric currently operates. By participating, Stem customers will receive financial incentives to provide grid responsive power while supporting clean energy on the grid. Stem’s deployment will support the transformation of the Hawaii electric grid from one dependent primarily on fossil fuels to one that incorporates large amounts of solar and wind.

“Hawaii’s renewable energy growth and isolated location present unique and significant challenges for local grid operators,” said John Carrington, CEO of Stem. “Utilities and regulators are watching Hawaii to determine the viability of storage-enabled grid services. We are proud to be working with Hawaiian Electric to address those grid challenges with our technology.”

Hawaiian Electric and Stem will work together to identify and enlist participation of commercial and industrial customers with rooftop solar systems. All installations are expected to be completed by March 2015.

“We see energy storage supported by smart grid software as an increasingly essential component of the modern grid,” said Alan Oshima, incoming president & CEO of Hawaiian Electric. “Through partnerships with innovators like Stem, we will further modernize our system, integrate more renewables, and better serve our customers at lower costs.”

The program is supported by $1 million in grant funding from Hawaii’s Energy Excelerator, which was created to commercialize game-changing energy technologies in Hawaii’s unique test bed, and help companies scale globally. “Stem is unique because of their dual impact. They aren’t just reducing costs for individual buildings; they also knit together multiple batteries to enable the integration of more renewable energy system-wide,” said Dawn Lippert, Director and Co-Founder of the Energy Excelerator. “We’re excited about what this means for the future of Hawaii and other markets.”