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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Why you might want to give up this year’s profit

A handful of manufacturers may bet on market share this year and lower battery prices –or electric vehicle manufacturers could force price reductions.

Will battery companies bet on market share and lower battery prices, or could electric vehicle makers force reductions? We ask ABB. Photo credit: Tesla battery, Wesley Fryer

A handful of battery makers could force an industry showdown this year by taking a long-term bet on market dominance and lowering prices. And if they do not, there is a good chance automakers may force price reductions anyway. Industry watchers believe the battery market is reaching a tipping point similar to that seen a few years ago in the photovoltaic (PV) solar sector, where one or two players could trigger a wave of consolidation by launching cut-price products.

The issue is which manufacturers will be willing to sacrifice their short-term profits in exchange for market share, believes Hans Streng, senior vice president and general manager of the electric vehicle charging infrastructure product group at ABB. “Right now the prices set the volumes in the battery market, not the other way around,” he says.

“It’s a strategic choice for battery manufacturers whether they want to open up the market for themselves or wait for change to happen for them.”
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Tesla buys new batteries, opens plant

herlands, Belgium, France and Germany are starting to receive the first European Model S cars. Photo credit: Tesla Motors

European customers in Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany are starting to receive Model S cars. Photo credit: Tesla Motors

Samsung SDI is to supply Tesla Motors with the lithium-ion cells that power the company’s Model S electric vehicles, reports Ecopreneurist. Samsung thus joins Panasonic in providing batteries to the car company, which expects 21,000 electric vehicle sales this year and more than twice that in 2014.
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Britain boasts the biggest battery

Britain is a small island full of big surprises, not least when it comes to renewable energy. Pursuing a policy that some would call pluralistic, others opportunistic and some incoherent, the current administration has embraced fracking a week after opening Europe’s biggest offshore wind farm. Now comes another surprise at an electricity substation at Leighton Buzzard, in the county of Bedfordshire.
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Samsung & Xtreme Power develop energy storage

Samsung and Xtreme Power have been chosen by the US Department of Energy-backed Center for the Commercialization of Electric Technologies to install a 1MW/1MWh lithium ion-based battery energy storage system at the Reese Technology Center in Texas as part of a smart grid project, reports Electric Light & Power.

The USD$27 million for the demonstration project will be provided by partners and the US Department of Energy, and will focus on combining utility-scale energy storage with wind energy. Possible uses for the system would include mitigating intermittent fluctuations of a number of nearby wind turbines, regulating the distribution bus voltage, serving as spinning reserve, and providing frequency support during the loss of generation.