LG Chem: C&I to be as big as grid-scale

LG Chem battery boss sees huge growth in C&I storage. LG Chem is also taking on Tesla in home energy storage and increasing its grid-scale projects.

LG Chem battery storage boss sees huge growth in C&I storage. The company is also taking on Tesla in home energy storage and increasing grid-scale projects. Photo: LG Chem

By Jason Deign

A top executive at LG Chem has added to growing optimism over the prospects for commercial and industrial (C&I) energy storage growth in the US.

Peter Gibson, LG Chem’s director of energy storage system sales, told Energy Storage Report: “In North America, revenue-wise the C&I segment in the next five years could be as large as or even greater than grid-scale.”

His sentiment echoes views expressed by project developers such as Sharp and Demand Energy, which are seeing growing interest in behind-the-meter systems among large energy users.

“Looking at the advantages storage can bring to demand-charge management, we’re very optimistic about how large that C&I segment could grow in the next five years,” Gibson said.

LG Chem last month unveiled a partnership with the worldwide electrical distributor Gexpro, the operating system developer Geli and the power converter maker Ideal Power to target the C&I market.
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Sharp eyes $100m US commercial opportunity

SmartStorage, the Sharp energy storage system, is being targeted at commercial and industrial customers as Sharp see no value in the utility and residential energy storage markets for now.

SmartStorage, the Sharp energy storage system, is being targeted at the commercial market as Sharp see no value in utility and residential energy storage in the US for now. Photo credit: Miyuki Meinaka

Sharp is aiming to make around USD$100m from the commercial energy storage market in the next couple of years, according to a senior US executive.

Sharp’s Energy Systems and Services Group general manager and founder, Carl Mansfield, told Energy Storage Report the company already has a pipeline of up to 400 customer sites under review.

Last week the electronics giant unveiled a 30kW installation with Baker Electric, one of its US energy storage channel partners.

Sharp, which launched its SmartStorage product line last year, is also eyeing expansion of its US-based energy storage products into Japan, Mansfield said. “We are in the process of adapting this product for the Japanese market,” he confirmed.

He said Sharp believes there is “a pretty big opportunity for commercial demand response based on batteries.”
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Distributed energy: battery’s holy grail?

As SolarCity resumes installation applications for its solar energy storage systems in California, we assess the wider potential for batteries and distributed energy storage.

As SolarCity resumes installation applications for its solar energy storage systems in California, we analyse the wider market potential for batteries and distributed energy storage. Photo: © BrokenSphere/Wikimedia Commons

Grid-scale battery makers might want to re-set their sights on distributed energy storage if current market trends are anything to go by.

Across a number of major renewable power markets, demand for commercial and residential energy storage is beginning to mushroom as a result of burgeoning solar photovoltaic (PV) installations and a desire for greater independence from the grid.

In Northern Illinois, USA, for example, Intelligent Generation is reported to have 10MW of commercial and residential solar-and-storage projects in the pipeline.

The company has developed a smart system that can help these distributed storage assets cut out demand charges with the regional transmission organisation PJM Interconnection, as well as providing demand response and frequency regulation capacity.

The combination of solar, batteries and intelligent management leads to a quicker return on investment than installing PV alone, says Intelligent Generation.
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Ideal Power Converters in NREL tie-up

Ideal Power Converters (IPC) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have signed a cooperative research and development agreement to use IPC’s patented Energy Packet Switching topology for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

The effort is aimed at creating new systems that may reduce construction and operating expenses related to charging infrastructure and accelerate deployment of fast-charging infrastructure and plug-in electric vehicles, IPC says.

The company has also this month won a US National Innovation Award for its 30kW 3-Port Hybrid Converter, which is expected to reduce the costs and improve the efficiency of systems that integrate photovoltaic power, grid storage and electric vehicle charging.