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Stem and CPower to Combine Behind-the-Meter Batteries and Demand Response

Behind-the-meter batteries and demand response can add up to more than the sum of their parts, according to CPower and Stem.

On Tuesday, the demand response provider and the behind-the-meter battery startup announced they’re combining their technologies into an “integrated solution for managing electricity demand” for commercial, industrial and institutional customers, starting in California.

The new partnership is based on a simple set of premises. Batteries are fast and reliable energy resources for buildings looking to reduce demand charges or offer grid services, but expensive compared to the technology to control building HVAC systems, refrigerators, factory production equipment, and other energy-intensive loads. But these load control systems, while relatively cheap, are less flexible and fast-reacting than batteries, and limited by the fact that sometimes they simply can’t be turned off.

Combining the two in an integrated package, however, can harness the better qualities of each resource, and allow customers to tap a broader range of cost-reduction and revenue-generating capabilities, according to Jason Babik, CPower’s senior VP of business strategy and development.

“If you’re solving it all with a battery, it’s going to be an expensive solution. If you’re doing it all with curtailment, it’s going to be a potentially disruptive solution,” he said in an interview. But combining the two “can be really a ‘one plus one equals three’ type play, because you have a more dynamic resilient response to an event or a need.”

“We’re in the early days of the partnership, but our vision is that you can be switching between curtailment and batteries in a way that’s transparent to the customers — they’re not noticing that both are happening in an automated fashion,” he said.

More here.


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