Friday, December 15, 2017

BP Jumps Back Into Solar With a $200 Million Investment in Europe’s Biggest Project Developer

If 2011 was the year of the solar shakeout, then 2017 is the year of solar's buildup.

BP embodies this transition.

Six years ago, during a period of mass bankruptcies and restructuring in solar manufacturing, the oil and gas major exited the industry after three decades in the business.

“Over the last six months we have realized that we simply can’t make any money from solar,” a spokesperson told the Financial Times in December of 2011. That was true for almost every company producing PV cells and modules at that time.

But with global solar demand three times bigger than it was in 2011, BP is getting back into the industry.

Instead of focusing on making solar modules, it's going to install them.

The global oil and gas giant announced today that it is taking a 43 percent stake in Europe's biggest solar developer, Lightsource Renewable Energy. The three-year, $200 million investment will give BP access to a multi-gigawatt pipeline of PV projects around the world. The company will be called Lightsource BP.

"We’re excited to be coming back to solar, but in a new and very different way. While our history in the solar industry was centered on manufacturing panels, Lightsource BP will instead grow value through developing and managing major solar projects around the world," said Bob Dudley, BP group's chief executive in a statement.

Lightsource is a vertically integrated developer that originates, finances and owns solar power plants. In 2010, the company had six employees. It has over 300 today. 

"We saw the value of doing nearly everything ourselves," said Lightsource CEO Nick Boyle, in an earlier interview with GTM.

Lightsource has a 6-gigawatt pipeline around the world, which will be executed "alongside our existing alternative energy and gas business," said Dev Sanyal, BP's chief executive for alternative energy.

In April, Lightsource announced an expansion into the U.S. market, led by a small group of industry veterans from SunEdison and Advanced Microgrid Solutions. Lightsource BP will focus on Europe, the U.S., India and the Middle East.

According to GTM Research, there will be 606 gigawatts of solar installed around the world by 2022. BP predicts that 10 percent of global electricity will come from solar by 2035.

BP has built up a 2.2-gigawatt portfolio of wind projects, solely based in the U.S. In 2013, the company weighed selling its wind business, but decided to keep the assets when it couldn't find a buyer.

Royal Dutch Shell made a similar reversal this year, after suspending investments in wind and solar in 2009. The oil major unveiled plans to invest $1 billion per year in clean energy. It also acquired competitive energy suppler MP2 Energy, which has a 1.7 gigawatt portfolio of wind, solar and gas projects.

In recent years, Total and Statoil have also stepped up their investments in solar, storage, offshore wind and carbon capture.

According to a report from Wood Mackenzie from earlier this year, revenues from renewables will be nearly three times higher than those from U.S. unconventional fossil fuels by 2035. This is causing oil and gas majors to reconsider their investments.

“The majors are faced with a mega trend of cost reductions and continuous growth in renewables that started slow but is gaining momentum,” said Valentina Kretschmar, director of corporate research at Wood Mackenzie, speaking about the report. “It’s driven by technology innovation that seems absolutely unstoppable right now, and there is a realization among the majors that it’s a trend that’s not going away -- and that it’s a threat to their core business.”



from GTM Solar https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/bp-jumps-back-into-solar

A Feast of Batteries, A Storm of Storage [GTM Squared]



from GTM Solar https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/a-feast-of-batteries-storm-of-storage

Stories That Defined the Global Energy Storage Market in 2017

This year's activity in energy storage could easily fill a book.

While a lot of attention was focused on California, a state that has done more to nurture storage than any other region, there was plenty of action in Asia, Europe and Australia.

Tesla focused most of its attention on Australia in the second half of the year; residential storage developers continue to see Germany as the market to watch; and China is emerging as a global electric vehicle behemoth. 

To understand just how far energy storage has come in these markets, we compiled a list of the most important stories, with a little help from the GTM Research team.

European energy companies went shopping for storage

When Scottish generator specialist Aggreko bought the German technology and project developer Younicos in July, it marked the latest major acquisition in Europe's energy storage sector.

Before Aggreko snapped up Younicos, Wärtsilä of Finland bought Greensmith. And Italian utility Enel acquired Demand Energy as part of a grid-edge spending frenzy that also included EnerNOC and eMotorWerks.

Enel’s shopping spree is likely just getting started, and there is every reason to believe other large European energy companies will continue to pick out energy storage targets.

Germany’s behind-the-meter storage market led the world

While it may not have garnered many headlines this year, Germany’s behind-the-meter energy storage market continued to expand at a fair clip.

Spurred by the desire to boost PV self-consumption in the post-feed-in tariff era, the German government body Germany Trade & Invest said homeowners were on track to install 50,000 behind-the-meter storage systems a year by 2020.

“With falling PV system and battery costs, the business case for storage is gathering pace,” it said. “By the end of 2016, somewhere in the region of 50,000 households and commercial operations had already invested in PV battery systems.”

Global battery manufacturing capacity went through the roof

The scale of manufacturing capacity increases announced in 2017 surprised many experts.

Mitalee Gupta, energy storage analyst at GTM Research, said: “In 2017 alone, more than 75 gigawatt-hours of new battery manufacturing has been announced globally, most of which is expected to come online by 2019.”

The 75 gigawatt-hours does not include capacity expansion by Tesla, she noted. Based on this dramatic rate of increase, Bloomberg New Energy Finance last month forecast the global energy storage market will “double six times” from now to 2030.

The world went mad for gigafactories. By June, at least ten new plants had been unveiled across the world. According to an analysis from Wood Mackenzie, global battery production will need to expand threefold by 2035 in order to meet demand for EVs.

Australia looked to storage for grid balancing and reliability

One of the year's biggest energy storage stories was Tesla’s race to build the largest battery plant in the world within 100 days, after Elon Musk made a bet on Twitter.

Energy storage is becoming an increasingly important feature in Australia as the country struggles to cope with a creaky grid and growing renewable energy penetration.

Hence, we saw renewed efforts to introduce flow batteries into the residential market; thermal storage paired with concentrated solar power to lower prices; and battery vendors partnering with roofing companies.  

Pumped hydro also got a bit of attention. In 2017, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency invested AUD $435,000 (USD $327,000) in a technical and economic feasibility study of a seawater pumped hydro storage plant in Port Augusta, South Australia.

Expect plenty more Australian energy storage action in 2018.

Prospects for energy storage faltered in the U.K.

The U.K. energy storage industry hit a setback this month after the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy changed the rules for capacity market auctions in a way that hampers the chances of batteries being installed.

The country slashed capacity payments for short-duration systems, which decimates the economic case for many batteries.

According to a Parliamentary group on energy storage, battery deployment could be anything between 1.7 and 12 gigawatts by 2021 -- depending on how policy shapes up in the coming years.

China’s electric vehicle market hit a record-setting pace

Even with a cutback in subsidy levels, China is on track to set a new record for electric vehicle sales, with the nation’s Association of Automobile Manufacturers expecting to see 700,000 more units on the roads. That compares to around 500,000 last year. 

China now accounts for 40 percent of electric vehicle sales. The country is also considering a ban on gas-powered cars, which could provide a stronger catalyst for EV growth. 

Hurricanes put the focus on storage for grid resiliency

In the aftermath of Puerto Rico’s devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria this summer, Tesla, Sonnen and others sensed a market for battery-backed, storm-resilient microgrids that could be worth $22.3 billion over the next decade, GTM reported.

Interest in the technology is already picking up, according to GTM Research energy storage analyst Brett Simon. “This year we saw a number of Caribbean storage projects approved and built,” he said.  



from GTM Solar https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/stories-that-defined-global-energy-storage-in-2017

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Repair to BEAT Provision Now Included in the Tax Bill

Sen. John Thune, a member of the tax reform conference committee, told Bloomberg on Thursday that a repair included in the final version of the tax bill would keep the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT) provision from completely eroding tax equity financing for renewable energy projects. 

"It's a fix that I think everybody in the end can live with, and will allow the credits that have been used to finance these projects to continue to be used to finance these projects,” Thune told Bloomberg. 

The BEAT provision requires multinational companies to calculate tax owed using two calculations. One calculation determines 10 percent of a company’s taxable income and the other determines tax liability, minus any tax credits including from renewable investments. Because multinationals would be required to pay the difference if one number was lower than the other, the provision eliminates tax benefits for investing in renewables, undermining billions of dollars in support for renewables projects.  

Thune was light on details regarding the “tentative” fix, but did say lawmakers wanted to make sure the wind industry went unharmed. A source working with Senate staff on possible fixes said the repair could be an amendment to BEAT that preserves 90 percent of the Production Tax Credit's (PTC) value. The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and the PTC phasedowns will also reportedly make it into the final bill. The conference committee said it would sign a report on the final text on Friday. 

Even with Thune’s comments, concrete details surrounding the bill remain hazy. Just yesterday several sources and legislators said a deal had not been reached on the provision. That's in part because Republicans working on the bill have kept the actual text as close to the vest as possible. 

“There’s nothing tangible," said Isaac Brown, managing partner with 38 North Solutions on Wednesday, adding that he heard rumors that Democrats on the bill’s conference committee wouldn’t even see the text until Friday. Brown said Republicans were staying “very tight-lipped.”

On Wednesday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski asked the clean energy industry to “not panic” as legislators sorted out the final version. But many working in the sector remain unnerved by the process. The House version of the bill cut the PTC and the ITC. While the final Senate version kept a ramp-down of those credits in place, it included the BEAT provision and a change to the corporate tax credit that would make companies less likely to try to lower their tax rate using renewables credits. 

Republicans say they will unveil the final text on Friday. Trade organizations and renewables advocates are largely holding comment until they can see the final wording. 

"We're encouraged by reports of progress in the House-Senate conference -- including indications that direct assault on renewable energy in the House measures will not be included in the final bill. We also understand there may be a repair to the BEAT program,” said Gil Jenkins, a spokesperson at the American Council on Renewable Energy, in a Wednesday email. “However, we don’t yet know the details of the repair and are unsure if it will be sufficient to allow renewable energy projects access to the financing that is essential for the use of tax credits.”

If Republicans are to meet the extremely fast-tracked schedule they’ve set out, they’ll vote on a final version of the bill sometime next week. That will put it on President Trump’s desk by Christmas. Clean energy advocates plan to work feverishly to sort out the ITC and PTC, the BEAT provision, and the corporate tax issues before then. But Brown said lawmakers may already be looking past this piece of legislation to the next -- one that will patch up its mistakes. 

“My expectation will be that members will be hearing from advocates up until the moment they vote next week, just because as the bill comes to light there are going to be intended and unintended consequences that result from a bill of this size,” Brown said. “We’re already hearing that even after this bill passes, next week in all likelihood, Republican leadership is already talking about a bill early next year to make technical corrections.”



from GTM Solar https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/repair-to-beat-provision-now-included-in-tax-bill

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Mexico Emerges as a Leader for Distributed Solar in Latin America

A favorable regulatory environment is positioning Mexico as the top market for distributed solar in Latin America.

The country is set to double its distributed generation capacity this year, with more than 300 megawatts of new installations, after Mexico’s regulatory commission increased the upper limit for net metering plants to 500 kilowatts, according to GTM Research Solar Analyst Manan Parikh.

Meanwhile a report by the Mexican Banks Association (Asociación de Bancos de México or ABM) projected the market for on-site, distributed energy technologies will see a compound annual growth rate of 121 percent, and is set to exceed 8 gigawatts and $13 billion by 2025. Growth will be led by solar.

That compares to the $110 billion going into Mexican energy-related infrastructure projects in the next 15 years, according to an EY note on Mexico’s National Electric System Development Program.

Mexican authorities are working to foster distributed generation as a slice of its 40 percent renewable energy target by 2035. For this to happen, the country will need to get around 18 percent of its generation from solar, compared to less than 1 percent at present.

Net metering will help. “There are several ways in which distributed generation projects can slot in,” said Parikh, including net metering itself, where excess solar energy is credited against future consumption, or net billing, where excesses are sold to the utility.

Net metering has already stimulated sales of sub-20-kilowatt residential solar systems, which this year could make up around 18 percent of all solar capacity in Mexico, based on GTM Research data.

Commercial-scale systems, of up to a megawatt, could represent another 10 percent. So far, the residential solar sector in Mexico has mostly been based on homeowners buying PV systems for their own use.

But companies are starting to offer financing packages as demand expands. In 2017, said Parikh, “several larger installers in Mexico, such as Galt, Enlight and Bright, formed partnerships or received financing for portfolios of systems.”

Up to 4.6 million customers could benefit from below-500-kilowatt net metering arrangements, the Mexican Banks Association said. Of these, most would be commercial or industrial users, but more than 431,000 could be on residential tariffs, the association said.

ABM said Mexican distributed solar customers are benefiting from the cost of PV systems, which fell 11.2 percent a year between 2013 and 2016, and rising electricity prices, with a compound annual growth rate of 3.8 percent between 2005 and 2015.  

Residential customers can usually recoup their distributed solar investment within three years, enjoying an internal rate of return of up to 35 percent, said the association.

For commercial users, the payback period is up to seven years and the internal rate of return could be up to 25 percent. “In both cases, the recovery period coincides with the financing terms offered by commercial banks,” said the ABM.

With such a favorable policy and economic environment, Mexico’s distributed generation market will be hard for other Latin American countries to beat. There are a couple of minor clouds on the horizon, though.

There is a spat between Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission (Comisión Reguladora de Energía or CRE) and Federal Electricity Commission (Comision Federal de Electricidad or CFE) over the net metering law.

“Some of the 2017 installations were in peril of not being interconnected by CFE because of an amparo or a blocking of the new net metering limits set by CRE,” according to GTM Research.

“CFE was selling electricity in the industrial segment for $13 per kilowatt-hour in Merida and Baja California. Under the nodal scheme, customers would get back $4 per kilowatt-hour in those locations. CFE was concerned that it would have to pay for the difference.”

Longer term, Parikh said it's unclear whether tariff prices, some of which have been on the rise in recent years, will be affected by the outcome of national elections in 2018.

The constitution bars current president Enrique Peña Nieto from running for a second term, and recent polls hint at a possible shift in power from Neito’s centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party to the left-leaning National Regeneration Movement.

Nevertheless, the Movement, formed in 2014 by former two-time presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, claims to support scientific and technological progress in renewable energy.

If so, Mexico’s full-throttle progress on distributed generation would not seem to be under any serious threat just yet.

Interested in Latin America's solar market? Join GTM February 13-14 in Mexico City for an in-depth look at the country's rapidly expanding solar market.

Solar Summit Mexico will leverage GTM Research’s expertise in Mexico to ensure your company is uniquely positioned to capture specific opportunities while appropriately managing regulatory, political and market risks. Find out more here.



from GTM Solar https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/sun-shines-on-distributed-generation-in-mexico

Solar PV O&M Landscapes Consolidate Globally

When it comes to operations and maintenance, one might expect the oldest and most mature PV markets to be the most consolidated, but the latest report from GTM Research and SOLICHAMBA indicates the opposite.

According to Global Solar PV O&M 2017-2022: Markets, Services and Competitors, Germany and Japan are the most fragmented of the top O&M markets, while Chile is by far the most consolidated. In fact, the top ten O&M players in Chile maintain close to 100 percent of the PV installed base (residential systems excluded), as shown in the chart below.

In all O&M markets, the broader trend is toward consolidatation, but the pace is notably different. 

 

Plant and portfolio size drive O&M consolidation

The Chilean market is characterized by very large plant sizes (above 50 megawatts) so the gigawatt-scale installed base consists of a limited number of assets owned by a small group of investors. This situation leads to a natural state of consolidation in the O&M market. As new capacity continues to get built in Chile in the years to come, with smaller plant sizes and a more diverse investor population, we are likely to see an uptick in O&M fragmentation as well.

Typical PV plants in the U.K. are much smaller than in Chile, but investor portfolios are very large. As more plants pass the two-year final acceptance certificate (FAC) milestone and get sold on the secondary market, ownership consolidation in the U.K. continues to increase to levels unparalleled in Europe. Final acceptance also gives owners the opportunity to transfer O&M activities away from the original EPC firm to another provider (or to an in-house team), so O&M consolidation is progressing even beyond ownership consolidation. Because new construction activity stopped after the end of the U.K.'s Renewables Obligation incentive program in the first quarter, some EPC firms are exiting the market and selling their O&M business (or simply disappearing), which results in even more consolidation.

If large plants and investor portfolios drive O&M consolidation, the reverse trend holds true as well: smaller plants and portfolios lead to greater O&M fragmentation. That's the case in Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan's large commercial and industrial PV segments, where system capacity ranges between 20 kilowatts and 5 megawatts and a typical investor may only own one to a handful of assets. EPC markets are also fragmented in these markets, and logically O&M markets follow suit.

Long-term O&M contracts freeze the market landscape

As markets mature and plants age out of warranty periods, investors commonly transfer contracts from the original O&M provider (usually the EPC or development firm) to a service provider or an in-house team. This consolidation process gets accelerated when the original contract holder disappears or goes bankrupt (like SunEdison and many others).

In Germany, however, transferring O&M services to a different provider remains a rare phenomenon because of long-term contracts that prove very difficult to terminate (unless the provider undergoes a change in ownership or fails to deliver the services). As a result, the main driver for O&M consolidation in Germany has been mergers and acquisitions: a few large players like Enovos Renewables O&M, ENcome, and greentech grew their O&M portfolios by acquiring the service businesses of troubled EPC and development firms.

Ownership fragmentation drives up the cost of sales

Even in Italy where investors have more flexibility to exit contracts, consolidation has been relatively slow. A few large players are battling for O&M contracts with large asset owners, but portfolio size drops precipitously past the top 10 or 20 investors. During the interviews conducted by SOLICHAMBA to prepare the new GTM report, several Italian O&M vendors reported that their average customer owns between 1 and 2 megawatts. With such small portfolios, vendors face challenges and high cost to acquire new customers, and the market consolidates at a slower pace.

Investors don’t like change

Here is the scenario that drives O&M vendors crazy: an investor issues a competitive tender for an O&M provider to take over their portfolio. Then, instead of transferring the contract to the best bidder, they ask their current provider to match the price and terms of the best offer. From an investor’s perspective, this makes perfect sense -- they get the benefit of the best market price and service terms, while avoiding the cost and effort of switching to a new vendor. From a vendor’s perspective, however, this means spending time and resources responding to tenders with very little payback.

Despite challenges, consolidation is happening

While we have been discussing a lot of obstacles to consolidation, the long-term trend is clear: O&M markets are consolidating. The factors above only impact the pace at which this consolidation occurs, which is extremely fast in markets like the U.K, slower in Italy, and slower in Germany.

Some markets are moving in the opposite direction, typically those where construction activity draws new players into the fray. Australia exemplifies this scenario with its utility-scale PV boom that broadens the market for EPC and consequently for O&M as well.

What about the U.S.?

O&M consolidation level is high in the U.S., especially for a market that continues to add new capacity at a fast clip. This situation stems from the dominance of few large firms in each part of the value chain in the utility-scale segment: development, EPC, and ownership landscapes. Secondary market activity has increased ownership consolidation, but the potential section 201 trade case remedies and inclusion of the BEAT provision in the new tax code are causing uncertainty and could lead to changes in market dynamics.

***

For more details about O&M markets, trends, and detailed competitive landscape analysis by country and segment (including 128 vendors), as well as market forecasts to 2022 and more than 70 detailed vendor profiles, refer to the latest GTM Research and SOLICHAMBA report: Global Solar PV O&M 2017-2022: Markets, Services and Competitors.



from GTM Solar https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/solar-pv-om-landscapes-consolidate-globally

Tokyo’s Tepco to Test Stem and Sunverge Behind-the-Meter Batteries as Virtual Power Plants

Sunverge and Stem, two California-based behind-the-meter battery startups, have landed their first international projects in Japan, joining mutual investor Mitsui in a series of virtual power plant projects for massive utility Tokyo Electric Power Co.

The projects, announced Monday, are relatively small-scale, considering Tepco's scale as Japan’s biggest utility. Stem’s Tepco project will involve three commercial-industrial building sites with about 750 kilowatt-hours of battery capacity, one of which, a recycling center in the Tokyo suburb of Yoshikawa, started operations two weeks ago, Stem CEO John Carrington said in a Tuesday interview. 

Sunverge CEO Martin Milani declined to give details on the scale of its work with Tepco in a Monday interview. But he did say that several of the company’s “dozens” of 19.6 kilowatt-hour battery-inverter units have been deployed in C&I locations owned for about a year, based on work with Mitsui that started in early 2016

Still, the two projects mark the first announced international projects for Stem, and an important new market for Sunverge, which is also operating in Australia. And with Tepco facing a future that’s much less reliant on nuclear power, and much more renewable and distributed in nature, with more competition for big energy customers, both companies are hoping these small-scale experiments will be the start of something much bigger.

“We think it’s the beginning of a variety of opportunities out there,” Carrington said. “We’ve talked about getting into new markets for some time,” he said, adding, “This will be a very compelling market. It will be evolving over the next 12 to 24 months.” 

Japan’s energy sector has been evolving, and struggling, since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster and the subsequent closure of much of the country’s nuclear reactor fleet, which caused major energy shortages and forced the country into emergency efficiency measures. 

Since then, the situation has stabilized, thanks largely to cheap imported natural gas, and several reactors have since reopened under pressure from the country’s largest utilities. Still, public opinion remains opposed to nuclear power, which makes up only about 2 percent of the country’s energy supply, compared to 30 percent before Fukushima. 

Meanwhile, Japan is still adding renewables at a rapid pace, despite the government’s scaling back its renewables goals and slower-than-expected growth and cutbacks from its wind and solar feed-in tariff program. 

Finally, Japan is undergoing a reform of its energy regulations, meant to open the vertically integrated system to more competition among energy providers. These combined factors are pushing the country’s biggest utilities to invest in distributed energy technologies, including batteries. 

Mitsui, which has invested in Stem and Sunverge alongside a range of renewable and distributed energy companies, will be the lead on the two projects. That makes it the owner and financier of Stem’s battery systems in this case, Carrington said. 

But Stem will operate the lithium-ion battery units, individually and in aggregate, from the same software platform, dubbed Athena, that runs its fleets in California, New York and Hawaii. “Our platform can aggregate that network -- now small, but we expect it will grow -- and provide a flexible demand resource for the utility, particularly as they add more renewables on the grid,” he said. 

Sunverge CEO Milani said the company is being asked to test three use cases. The first is fairly straightforward -- dispatching or importing power from the batteries to prove they’re tightly controlled enough to maintain a target wattage reading at each site. (Milani will speak today on a panel at Greentech Media’s Energy Storage Summit 2017 conference in San Francisco.) 

The second is to reduce demand charges, or extra costs imposed on buildings that exceed certain limits on how much power they can draw from the grid at any one point in time. That’s the core value proposition for most of the systems deployed by Stem, Green Charge Networks and other behind-the-meter battery players in the C&I space. 

While this business case is limited to markets like California or New York where demand charges are high enough to justify the cost, that’s certainly the case in Japan, where demand charges can add up to more than $10 per kilowatt, compared to an average electricity price of 30 cents per kilowatt-hour, he noted. 

The third use case is where the virtual power plant controls come in, Milani said. Many of its deployments in Tokyo are owned by the same company, he noted, and that company wants to “maintain them as a logical node -- a nanogrid if you will -- so if the total aggregate is supposed to have a load of x, and a certain site cannot meet its goals, we can use available capacity from a sister site and level them off.” 

In that way, “We can balance the load and reduce bills, even if one site is overcharging,” both from an electrical and a financial perspective, he said. “It’s basically treating an organization as a single organization, no matter how many sites it has. For Tepco, it could involve a specific contract with a specific tariff for a customer with multiple sites, that says, ‘Hey, if I want to ask you to reduce something, you can figure out which sites to reduce from, and as long as I get that capacity, I’m happy.’” 

Stem’s Tepco deployment is also based around demand-charge reduction, Carrington said. “The prosumers in Japan are ready for that,” he said, noting the rapid increase in demand response -- technology to reduce power use in response to grid needs or price signals -- in the country since Fukushima. “It’s pretty well known that they’re very energy-conscious, and that’s had an impact." 

But Stem is also testing some as-yet unspecified virtual power plant capabilities with Mitsui and Tepco, he said. “It allows them to leverage the real-time balancing and intelligence offered by our system and our software.” 

Both companies said that the data they’re collecting from the sites as they run through their VPP paces will be examined by Mitsui, Tepco and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, or METI, as part of the project. METI designated a total of 7 billion yen ($59.4 million) in subsidies for VPP development in fiscal years 2016 to 2017, Sunverge noted. 

Tepco is in the midst of a massive smart meter deployment, and been investing in renewable energy both at home and abroad. It’s also investing in startups on the grid edge, such as its £500,000 equity investment in Moixa Energy, and its €3 million ($3.5 million) investment in blockchain-based peer-to-peer energy trading startup Conjoule



from GTM Solar https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/tokyo-tepco-test-stem-sunverge-behind-the-meter-batteries-as-virtual-power