The roster of energy storage startups is getting larger and more diversified by the month.
GTM's Julian Spector just published a pretty comprehensive list of the companies that launched their first U.S. energy storage product in 2016. And as long as we're listing energy storage companies, here's a glimpse of the startup speed pitch session at the recent Energy Storage Summit.
Orison's sleek hardware
Orison is appealing to the apartment dweller and small-flat owner with a sleek, 40-pound, wall-mounted energy storage device meant to "bridge the gap between ratepayers and the utilities." Each 40-pound modular unit is rated for 2.2 kilowatt-hours of storage.
CEO Eric Clifton said, "The most compelling thing about Orison is that we've gotten rid of all of the soft costs -- no permits, no interconnect agreement, and no electrician. We ship it to your door, you place it in your home and you plug it in."
The CEO said the firm was working with a number of utilities and had "orders in the magnitude of millions" with plans for full production at the end of this quarter.
The San Diego startup won $350,000 through a Kickstarter campaign in 2016.
Kisensum's integration software
Kisensum "does software for energy storage integration to the grid. We're a pure software company," according to CEO Clay Collier.
Kisensum's background is in developing automated demand response (OpenADR). "So we were very familiar with the entire process of load control, load shifting, and demand reduction integrated to head-end software at utilities. That's where we came from. We sold that company to Honeywell." Later the firm was called in to provide software to integrate a fleet of electric vehicles into the Cal ISO frequency-up, frequency-down market. "That's how we got started."
Kisensum just won an award "for a suite of software, a microcontroller, that integrates a photovoltaic canopy, static storage and DC fast charging at the UC San Diego campus." With San Diego having some of "the highest demand tariffs of any [investor-owned utility] in the U.S.," the firm's software can orchestrate the DERs to minimize the demand charge.
Kisensum's Department of Defense project entailed managing what the CEO called "the largest vehicle-to-grid fleet in the world."
The fleet of about 40 electric vehicles can engage in bidirectional simultaneous charge and discharge to participate in the California ISO 4-second market. The CEO noted that the Cal ISO "is fairly stringent about what it takes to participate in the 4-second market. You have to be able to move 500 kilowatts for an hour in one direction. You're squeezing together as much energy as you can get out of these cars to qualify. Then we can bid in chunks of 100 kilowatts."
He added, "I'm following a 4-second signal very quickly" while "creating a market trading opportunity" and optimizing the EV charging schedule.
Simon Daniel, the CEO of Moixa, discussed the European opportunity for residential energy storage. As we've reported, Moixa is aggregating behind-the-meter storage to provide grid ancillary services and then sharing some of the profits with its residential customer base.
The company builds a "smart battery" for the mass market and aims to aggregate batteries for grid services. In the U.K., Moixa is looking to sell a $6,240 2-kilowatt-hour smart battery system and 2-kilowatt solar system to housing associations and landlords, as well as homeowners. The company provides hardware and can pay about $100 annually for making its battery capacity available through Moixa’s GridShare aggregation platform.
The U.K. has 800,000 solar homes, and the CEO sees many of these homes as potential energy storage customers. Moixa has deployed about 650 batteries and is currently raising capital.
"We think the U.K. is a very interesting combination market," said the CEO, adding, "Given the right environment of grid services liquidity, a managed platform such as our Moixa GridShare, and asset financing -- these things are coming together to create an interesting perfect storm for storage" in the U.K.
We covered speed pitches from FreeWire, UtilityAPI and Axiom Exergy in Part 1.