Demand Energy builds momentum

Jeff Damron has been appointed vice president of sales at Enel Green Power's Demand Energy subsidiary. Pic: Demand Energy.

Jeff Damron has been appointed vice president of sales at Enel Green Power’s Demand Energy subsidiary. Pic: Demand Energy.

By Jason Deign

Demand Energy, the Enel Green Power energy storage developer, last week beefed up its senior team with the addition of Greensmith sales lead Jeff Damron.

An energy industry professional with more than 20 years of experience who was previously Greensmith Energy’s vice president of grid-scale energy storage sales, Damron joined Demand Energy as vice president of sales.

While at Greensmith, Damron helped pull in more than 60MW of utility-scale and commercial and industrial storage transactions.

His haul included the Alta Gas Aliso Canyon deal in California, one of the largest storage systems deployed in North America. 

Aliso Canyon gas storage field

The deal, one of three contracts handed out last year to help the Southern Californian grid cope with constraints caused by a catastrophic leak in the Aliso Canyon gas storage field, saw Greensmith installing a 20MW, 80MWh system.

Reporting to Gregg Patterson, Demand Energy’s president and CEO, Damron will work closely with Brian Asparro, chief commercial officer, and Doug Staker, vice president of market and business development.

Staker, who formerly led Demand Energy’s sales efforts, will now be working with Enel and Enel Green Power on global market and business development opportunities, said a source close to the company.

In a press note, Patterson signalled that the signing was part of moves to crack the 32 international markets where Enel Green Power has a significant presence.

“As we scale operations and sales activities on a global level to capitalise on the opportunities being part of Enel Green Power brings, Jeff’s experience building and leading high-performance teams will be invaluable,” he said.

“His track record is exceptional, his background is ideally suited and he knows how to produce results.”

A storage player renowned for software

Demand Energy, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Enel Green Power North America, is looking to drive widespread adoption of its software platform, called the Distributed Energy Network Optimization System (DEN.OS).

Deployed initially in New York city and more recently in Costa Rica, the system maximises the economic returns of behind-the-meter storage systems either alone or in combination with distributed generation.

“The software platform was designed as a scalable end-to-end solution that delivers differentiated value across the entire project life cycle, able to support utility-side, behind-the-meter and microgrid projects,” said Demand Energy.

The ability to support storage systems integrated into renewable energy plants is likely to be of great value to Enel Green Power and parent Enel. 

Wind and solar projects worldwide

The company is a relative newcomer to storage, but has installed 6.8GW of wind and 1.1GW of solar projects worldwide.

In 2015, Enel Green Power started to experiment with integrated solar-plus-storage plants, adding a 1MW, 2MWh battery system to a 10MW PV plant in Sicily that was being curtailed at 8MW because of grid constraints.

Since then, the company has also added storage to wind, at its Potenza Pietragalla project in Basilicata, Italy, and to a microgrid, on the island of Ventotene in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

More recently, Enel lifted the wraps on an innovation hub at the University of California Berkeley, where it aims to identify start-ups “that could help fulfill some concrete need for the company,” according to Greentech Media.

It seems likely Damron will be tasked with delivering similar projects, but using Demand Energy’s experience and software, for clients worldwide. 

Next phase of growth and expansion

“I’m truly excited to be part of Demand Energy’s next phase of growth and expansion,” Damron said in a press release statement.

“We have an industry-leading distributed energy resources technology platform in DEN.OS, a world-class team and the international reach of the Enel Group.

“I see a tremendous opportunity to establish this organisation as a technology and market leader.”

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