Stem, Inc., the global leader in commercial-scale intelligent energy storage services, has completed testing on its customer-sited storage fleet installed for Hawaiian Electric Company.The storage fleet provides one megawatt (MW) of intelligent storage services across 29 customer sites to accommodate more renewable energy resources on the O‘ahu grid. Extensive testing confirms that Stem’s software-driven storage acts as a virtual power plant (VPP) to manage diverse load shapes and site characteristics to serve the utility’s real-time needs. Stem integrates reliable energy storage hardware with predictive, cloud-based analytics seamlessly and in real-time. Stem’s unrivaled data analytics software incorporates weather forecasts and historical and real-time usage data to predict when electric use will peak at a given site. The system rapidly and automatically responds to spikes in electricity use, drawing on stored power to reduce costs for customers without requiring operational changes.
Customers receive access to Stem’s PowerScope, which includes real-time site energy visualization, forecasts and costs. Stem combines this information with data from Hawaiian Electric’s renewable generation monitoring and forecasting so the utility can effortlessly call upon the stored electricity for added stability during solar generation variability and peak demand times. “These customer-sited solutions strengthen Hawaiian Electric’s renewable planning as we build toward our commitment to a 100-percent clean energy future,” said Dora Nakafuji, Hawaiian Electric’s director of renewable energy planning. “This shows we can scale behind-the-meter energy storage to create a more stable and efficient grid as we provide customers with higher levels of renewable energy to reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions.”
Most of the systems are installed in family-operated and kama‘aina (or “long-time in Hawai‘i”) commercial firms, small businesses, and institutions. Customers are using Stem technology to reduce their energy costs and integrate their own renewable systems. Stem applauds these customers who are innovation leaders, including Watanabe Floral, Higa Meat Market, Kuroda Auto Body, Menehune Water, American Land Company, Bello’s Millwork, Commercial Sheetmetal Co., Hawaiian Mission Academy, University of Hawai‘i, Cades Schutte Building, Pearl City Shopping Center, and the Honolulu Museum of Art. Numerous O‘ahu-based mainland corporate leaders are also participating, including Albertsons Companies, Whole Foods, and Wet’n’Wild water park.
“Hawaiian Electric and the Energy Excelerator are speeding the adoption of cutting-edge energy technology to benefit the people of Hawai‘i, the environment, and the grid,” said Tad Glauthier, Stem vice president of Hawai‘i operations. “The rest of the nation is looking at Hawai‘i as a leader in renewables and grid modernization, and Stem is proud to be a part of this important transformation.” The fleet is a first-of-its-kind collaborative project through Energy Excelerator, a Hawai‘i-based startup project of the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research, that provided support funding and a platform to partner with the utility. This successful demonstration marks a turning point, enabling the two companies to now move on to deeper integration of distributed resources on the grid under a new grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, “Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV” (SHINES). Glauthier and Nakafuji will co-present the demonstration findings and talk about next steps on January 31 at DistribuTECH in San Diego, CA.
Stem leads the behind-the-meter energy storage market with more than 580 systems totaling more than 100 megawatt hours installed or under contract with customers including Cargill, Wells Fargo, Marriott International, Macy’s, Albertsons Companies, Whole Foods and Reliance Steel. Stem pioneered the subscription-based storage-as-a-service model to enable commercial, industrial, and institutional customers to reduce their energy bills and boost sustainability efforts with no upfront costs or intervention in their operations. The company has secured more than $350 million in project financing—the largest capital pool in the industry—from partners that include Generate Capital, Starwood Energy Group, and Clean Feet Investors.