Greensmith sees dramatic growth in grid-scale energy storage market

Greensmith, a leading provider of energy storage management software services, reports dramatic growth in the grid-scale energy storage market, with 23 MW worth of projects utilizing its GEMS energy storage software platform commissioned in 2014.

The company, based in Emeryville, California, says the growth in demand is being driven by utilities, renewable energy project developers and other customers who are increasingly using energy storage for a variety of applications, including frequency regulation, capacity, ramp rate control, transmission and distribution (T&D) deferral and renewables smoothing.

The growth has placed Greensmith ahead of its 2014 goals. In addition to commissioning 23 MW worth of projects this year, the company has also delivered 35 systems to 19 customers since the company’s inception. It has also integrated 10 different batteries and six inverters/power control systems with its GEMS software platform, which supports a diverse array of applications, including frequency regulation, grid stabilization and behind the meter storage. Greensmith is also developing a new software licensing program.

Among the projects that are deploying Greensmith’s GEMS software platform are:

  • a California utility that has deployed the platform at a 500 kW /1.5 megawatt hour (MWh) storage project used for scale capacity and solar firming
  • a commercial scale solar developer which has deployed the platform at a 75kW/150 kilowatt hour (kWh) storage project used for commercial and industrial energy management and solar firming
  • a California utility which is deploying the platform for a 1.5MW/3.0MWh storage project used for transmission and distribution deferral
  • a Virginia utility which is deploying the platform for a 50kW/120kWh storage project

Citing data from Navigant Research, Greensmith points out that the market for advanced batteries for utility-scale energy storage applications will grow from $164 million in 2014 to more than $2.5 billion in 2023.

"While demand for grid-scale storage is growing, the challenges related to developing these highly specialized systems remains," adds Greensmith CEO John Jung. "The GEMS software platform provides customers with the intelligence and flexibility they need to make energy storage systems a versatile part of their operations, and not just pilot projects or assets with functionality that is limited to a single application."

Software platform optimizes energy storage

Greensmith says its GEMS software platform, which integrates the hardware in an energy storage system, including batteries and inverters, increases flexibility in the design, deployment and use of grid-scale energy storage systems. "The GEMS software platform is hardware agnostic, allowing users to mix and match multiple types and brands of batteries and other types of hardware in the same system, thereby lowering costs, avoiding vendor lock-in and improving the system’s overall return on investment," the company adds.

Energy storage systems running the GEMS software platform can also be used for multiple applications: Since GEMS monitors and controls every piece of hardware and software in a storage system individually, the system can be used for demand response during one part of the day and then later used for grid balancing or electric vehicle (EV) charging later in the day, the company points out.