Why AMS sees promise in Texas

AMS sees potential in helping change the Texas energy market to one based more on the sun. Pic: Pixabay.

AMS sees potential in helping change the Texas energy market to one based more on the sun. Pic: Pixabay.

By Jason Deign

San Francisco, USA-based Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) is expanding into Texas as part of moves to grow its presence outside its core California market.

The company this month announced a USD$3.24m US Department of Energy grant-funded project with Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC), of central Texas, to investigate the use of storage with distributed solar generation.

The news came hot on the heels of another deal, with Texas Electric Cooperatives (TEC), to showcase a 200kWh AMS installation and offer energy storage systems at preferential rates to TEC’s member cooperatives.

“TEC is the co-op of co-ops,” said Manal Yamout, vice president of policy at AMS. “They have 75 co-op members, and what TEC does for them is bulk-buy poles and wires and now AMS batteries.”

The partnership is essentially a distribution deal that opens the door for AMS to sell batteries and services to consumer-owned electric cooperatives serving 2m homes and businesses in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. 
Read more →

Moixa wants to install a million batteries by 2020

Moixa Energy Holdings wants its wall-mounted battery systems in a million homes by 2020. Pic: Moixa.

Moixa Energy Holdings wants its wall-mounted battery systems in a million homes by 2020. Pic: Moixa.

By Jason Deign

A UK energy storage system developer is looking to go from 650 installations today to 1m by 2020 with an aggregation-based residential business model.

London-based Moixa Energy Holdings is positioning itself as a utility’s friend by aggregating residential storage assets into a virtual power plant that provides ancillary grid services, then sharing the rewards with its customer base.

On its website, the company claims its GridShare service can earn homeowners between GBP£50 and £75 a year, or “almost 15% of the average electricity bill.”

Chief executive Simon Daniel told Energy Storage Report that 2016 was a scaling-up year for Moixa, which began piloting smart battery technology in 2012 and launched its current products two years ago.

The company is expecting to shift up to 100,000 storage systems within the next 36 months, Daniel said. And although Moixa is looking to bolster sales abroad, most of that capacity could go online in the UK. 
Read more →

AMS to start series B fund hunt this month

Advanced Microgrid Solutions is on the hunt for new investors after growing its business using batteries supplied by Tesla. Pic: Tesla Motors.

Advanced Microgrid Solutions is on the hunt for new investors after growing its business using batteries supplied by Tesla. Pic: Tesla Motors.

By Jason Deign

Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) of San Francisco, USA, is readying for a new fundraising round that could kick off as early as this month.

The much-hyped project developer is looking to bring in more than the USD$18m it achieved in its last financing effort, which closed just under a year ago.

“We are about to launch our series B and that will be concluded this year,” chief commercial officer Katherine Ryzhaya told Energy Storage Report.

The money will be used to speed up the growth of the company, which currently has 2.5MWh of storage in operation and aims to have installed more than 5MW and 3.5MWh by the end of this year, according to Ryzhaya.

“With the series B we will only be scratching the surface of the opportunity within the US,” she said. “We also have customers with a focus on the UK and Japan.”
Read more →

Kreisel aims to put Tesla through its paces

Kreisel today launches a residential battery with improvements developed for the automotive sector. Pic: Kreisel.

Kreisel today launches a residential battery with improvements developed for the automotive sector. Pic: Kreisel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Jason Deign

Kreisel Electric has become the latest battery vendor to take on the Tesla Powerwall with the launch of a residential energy storage product today.

The Austrian industrial firm is looking to improve on Tesla’s trailblazing battery pack with a system that uses the same 18650-size lithium-ion cells, with a few significant manufacturing improvements.

Critically, Kreisel uses a laser system to solder connections to each cell in the battery. This is in contrast to traditional manufacturing processes where welding is employed.

The heat generated from the welding process damages cells before they are even used, said Christian Schlögl, head of business development. “With our laser technology we don’t destroy the cell,” he told Energy Storage Report.

The laser manufacturing process helps make sure all of the 8,000 or so cells in each battery have the same capacity and voltage once connected, so there is no need to balance them afterwards.
Read more →

AMS on growth plans, new investor

The rapid growth of Advanced Microgrid Solutions continues as it prepares to announce a new major global investor, after signing contracts for Tesla energy storage, and with Shell and Southern California Edison. Photo credit: Tesla Motors

Advanced Microgrid Solutions is set to announce a new major global investor, after signing contracts for Tesla energy storage, and with Shell and Southern California Edison. Photo credit: Tesla Motors

By Jason Deign

San Francisco, California-based start-up Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) has confirmed it is set to announce “a very large global strategic” investor, probably later this month.

The investor, described as being active “both on the investment side and on the energy generation owner and service side” is set to join existing backer DBL Partners in an “over-subscribed” USD$10m new funding tranche.
Read more →

Will tech giants follow Tesla into energy storage?

Tesla Apple and Google: investments suggest these might be the companies dominating the energy storage market of the future.

Tesla Apple and Google: investments suggest these might be the companies dominating the energy storage market of the future. Photo credit: Apple Inc

By Jason Deign 

Tesla’s early success in the energy storage market is raising questions over whether nearby Silicon Valley firms might follow suit. Apple and Google are just two consumer technology giants that could make a play for the sector.

Apple, whose 1 Infinite Loop HQ is just 20 minutes’ drive from Tesla’s Freemont offices, has long been the subject of energy storage speculation. In 2011 the company filed a patent for a novel wind energy storage system.

The system was designed by Jean Lee of Apple’s Environmental Technologies Department, who has also investigated the use of hydrogen fuel cells for laptop power.

It “uses a set of rotating blades to convert rotational energy from a wind turbine into heat in a low-heat-capacity fluid,” according to the patent application.

“Next, the system selectively transfers the heat from the low-heat-capacity fluid to a working fluid. Finally, the system uses the transferred heat in the working fluid to generate electricity.”
Read more →

One battery to rule them all?

After the Tesla Powerwall launch, there is reason to think lithium-ion batteries could become the overwhelming technology of choice for battery storage. Photo: Tesla Gigafactory

After the Tesla Powerwall launch, there is reason to think lithium-ion batteries could become the overwhelming technology of choice for battery storage. Photo: possible Tesla Gigafactory design.

By Jason Deign

The Tesla Powerwall launch three weeks ago focused attention on energy storage but may also have been a nail in the coffin for non-lithium-ion (Li-ion) technologies.

In drastically reducing prices, Tesla removed one of the remaining barriers to adoption of Li-ion as the standard for battery storage.

Currently other technologies are vying for supremacy on the basis of cost, safety, performance and bankability.

However, the launch of a residential battery system for USD$3,500 helped lay to rest the idea that Li-ion is automatically more expensive than other chemistries.

Even Tesla’s grid-scale Li-ion offering, the Powerpack, looks competitive with the most cost-effective battery technologies out there.
Read more →

Tesla stock surges on storage speculation

Tesla stock surges on eve of domestic, commercial and utility-scale energy storage announcement. Experts warn of high valuation.

Tesla stock surges on eve of domestic, commercial and utility-scale energy storage announcement. Experts warn of high valuation.

UPDATE: Elon Musk has unveiled the price of Tesla’s ‘Powerwall’ consumer product will be USD$3,500, significantly below expectations.

By Jason Deign

Tesla Motors shares were changing hands for mind-boggling amounts ahead of a likely energy storage announcement as Energy Storage Report went to press this week.

The electric vehicle maker’s stock, which was given junk-bond rating less than a year ago, closed at just over USD$230 a share yesterday after having peaked at $237.06 on Monday.

Tesla’s valuation soared at the beginning of the week after Deutsche Bank issued a ‘buy’ recommendation relating to a battery storage announcement due tomorrow.

“Tesla’s announcement may be more significant than the market indicates,” said Deutsche Bank. “While stationary storage is still in its infancy, we believe that there are clear indications that significant growth lies ahead.”
Read more →