As the commercial/industrial (C&I) solar market finally found its footing in the United States, thanks in large part to increasingly accessible financing, an energy-storage segment would grow along with it. And now IHS Markit has looked at the major players and ranked them according to more than 10 carefully defined criteria.
Stem tops the list as the most effective storage system for C&I installations, while Green Charge and AMS round out the Top 3. Demand Energy, Go Electric, Viridity Energy, IHI, SimpliPhi, Primus Power, JLM Energy, ESS, Lockheed Martin and Ensync complete the Top 12.
Each company has developed its own strategy to compete in this increasingly crowded segment. The Top 3 have focused on building off their home market of California, while the smaller players have focused on narrow markets that play to their strengths, like battery technology, microgrids and other submarkets within the C&I storage market.
According to IHS, these companies are the most effectively positioned to offer C&I customers who are looking for bankable solutions – which is an old refrain for solar industry veterans. Bankability has also been important for modules, inverters and racking.
What it means is that they are looking for stability, not only in products but companies. The expectation is that adding these products to the systems will encourage banks to invest in the project (hence the term bankability).
IHS notes that the expansion of behind-the-meter energy storage systems at C&I sites helps the customer buy providing backup power and demand-charge management end customer and utilities, which makes them vital to long term distributed energy deployment.
These companies are rated on more than 10 parameters, including: installed base, contracted pipeline, number of states and utility territories, customer satisfaction, growth strategy, R&D investment, demand response contracts and capabilities, as well as their value stack and business model.