SunEdison and AMS team on 50 MW California storage project

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A landmark agreement between renewable energy development company SunEdison and microgrid specialists Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) to deploy a 50 MW storage system in California has today been signed.

The two companies will jointly develop and finance the storage system for Californian utility Southern California Edison (SCE), which will purchase capacity from the system under a 10-year capacity contract.

As part of SCE’s energy modernization program, the utility is transitioning away from gas-fired and nuclear plants, and the electricity stored in this AMS-delivered storage fleet is to be used in part to offset capacity lost following the decommissioning of the San Onofre nuclear plant, and other soon-to-be-retired gas-fired plants.

SCE is aiming to procure 2.2 GW of clean energy capacity – including stored energy – by 2022. AMS was awarded the SCE storage contract in 2013, and will sell this and future assets to Terraform Power, a SunEdison subsidiary, once fully commissioned.

Between now and 2017, the contract awarded to AMS, and with SunEdison’s support, should see 200 MWh of battery storage capacity built out in California, largely in the form of hybrid-electric buildings located close to load centers.

"We’re enthusiastic about working with SunEdison as our development and financing partner to deliver these innovative solutions to our host customers and SCE," said AMS CEO Susan Kennedy. "We are creating the future of the energy grid."

SunEdison’s Tim Derrick, general manager of advanced solutions, added: "With these systems from AMS, the utility will for the first time be tapping into energy stored by its own customers to provide grid support during times of high demand. SCE deserves great credit for being the first utility to issue local capacity contracts for behind-the-meter, aggregated battery storage."

The first fleet of AMS-SunEdison storage systems is scheduled to come online in Irvine, California, early next year – at which point TerraForm Power will acquire ownership. "TerraForm anticipates acquiring these systems once operational, making them the first storage projects in our fleet," said TerraForm Power CEO Carlos Domenech. "These systems fit well with our contracted clean power generation fleet, as they have long-term capacity contract with SCE."