Grid solutions: An interview with Greg Tremelling of Oztek

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pv magazine: In addition to inverter manufacturing, can you talk about your product range, and Oztek’s market niche?

Greg Tremelling: Oztek has been providing digital power solutions for over 20 years. Our product range spans grid energy storage through motive / mobile applications for trains and heavy trucks.  Most recently we have been getting a lot of attention for our high density 40KW modular energy storage product.  I would say our market niche is our ability to make high density, flexible digitally controlled power supplies.

With so many manufacturers making off-the-shelf products, why is there a need for semi-custom solutions and what does this market look like?

There are so many applications for power products out there and any requirement which doesn’t align with a standard product creates a need for a custom or semi custom product. Making custom products is a tough way to run a business. This is why Oztek creates modular and configurable solutions so that we can successfully address more of the market using standard products.

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You will be on a panel moderated by pv magazine at the Energy Storage North America conference. What are your thoughts on the larger energy storage market in the United States, and where it is going?

I see many applications for energy storage in north America becoming more viable every day. Utilities, developers, and consumers are all now realizing the benefits of storage and we are seeing regulatory actions to support storage as well. A smarter distributed grid will be able to manage congestion, peak loading, and renewables all at once. The future grid will be capable of leveraging renewables and longer duration storage together to level load the distribution system.

The fires and power shutoffs in California are bringing a lot of attention to backup power. What do you see for the future of this market of energy storage for resilience and backup power? 

Going forward I see more people making the choice to become more self-sufficient. It will start with businesses and applications where not being resilient becomes expensive.  For example, processing plants and factories can incur huge costs for even short power outages. The market for resiliency in North America is growing and over time this will drive economies of scale to the point where consumers will be able to affordably make the choice to become electrically resilient as well.

Can you give us a sneak preview of what you’ll be discussing at ESNA? 

Sure. One of my favorite topics is discussing the advantages of distributed or modular energy storage systems vs. central large plant style systems. I think they both have a place however integrators must carefully evaluate the tradeoffs and soft costs of not having a modular system.