Advanced Microgrid Solutions has raised $8.8 million of an $18 million funding round, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The San Francisco-based startup emerged from stealth mode last fall with a 50-megawatt contract from Southern California Edison to provide behind-the-meter battery storage in the Western Los Angeles Basin area.

Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) describes its offering as a hybrid-electric building project, which will provide grid support to utilities and is technology-agnostic. The buildings, each equipped with battery technology and advanced energy management systems, will be aggregated as a fleet and then used to shift load during peak times or provide ancillary services on the grid.

The contract was part of SCE’s 2,200-megawatt procurement of long-term capacity contracts, including more than 500 megawatts of preferred resources including distributed solar, behind-the-meter batteries, automated demand response and energy-efficiency projects to meet the needs of the strained grid in the West Los Angeles service area.

The batteries will be stacked in 200-, 400- and 600-kilowatt increments in class A office space and other industrial, urban locations, Susan Kennedy, CEO and co-founder of AMS, told Greentech Media’s Jeff St. John last November. Unlike many cleantech startups, the executive team of AMS is stacked with women, including co-founder Jackie Pfannenstiel, former assistant secretary of the Navy for energy installations and environment for President Obama.

“Equipping a building with the technology to store and manage its own electricity turns that building into a standalone storage unit,” Kennedy said in a statement. “Combine a dozen buildings into a fleet and you have the utility equivalent of a peaker plant.”

Unlike some other behind-the-meter energy storage players that are selling to companies looking to reduce demand charges and play in the ancillary services market, each installation that AMS is doing is controlled by the utility, whether for load-shifting or grid regulation. AMS will own and operate the storage on behalf of the utilities, but building owners benefit from lower demand charges and a cost-free upgrade to its energy profile.

The first 10-megawatt hybrid-electric building project will be in Irvine, Calif. and is expected to be completed late in 2016.


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