Recent industry headlines tell the story: vendors in markets from energy storage to data analytics are partnering to develop new technologies and gain access to new markets. In April, Oracle and Opower teamed up to combine operational and customer data insights for utilities. Sony’s joint venture with Hydro Quebec, on the verge of launching a utility-scale storage prototype, showcases the potential of collaboration between utilities and vendors. And the ink isn’t yet dry on the recent agreement between NRG and Lucid opening an expansive channel for the energy management software vendor.

In a new report, The Grid Edge 100: Partnerships at the Grid Edge, GTM Research identifies the importance of such collaboration and technology integration among the 117 companies that are driving the transition toward a decentralized energy system.

“Partnerships are practically a prerequisite to servicing the electric power industry,” said report author and grid analyst Andrew Mulherkar. “Industry growth is dependent on the interoperability of a wide variety of enterprise and distributed systems. These systems have to coordinate centralized power supply with increasingly interactive demand and distributed energy resources. Partnerships are instrumental to the development of solutions to address these and other emerging industry challenges.”

The 117 grid-edge vendors provide advanced metering infrastructure, network communications, energy storage, home energy management, power electronic, utility software, and solar photovoltaic solutions.  The report highlights leading vendors in each category.

FIGURE: The Grid Edge 100 Taxonomy

Source: GTM Research Grid Edge 100: Partnerships at the Grid Edge
(Note: The Taxonomy does not show cross-market players (ABB, Alstom, Eaton, GE, Schneider Electric, Siemens and Toshiba) nor professional services firms. The complete Grid Edge 100 list can be found in the report)


One dynamic set of grid-edge partnerships that GTM Research is tracking can be found in the solar-plus-storage space. The report notes that solar-plus-storage systems have quickly moved out of the joint-development and pilot phases and into commercial offerings. In fact, more solar-plus-storage partnerships were announced in the first four months of 2015 than during all of 2014.

FIGURE: Solar-Plus-Storage Partnership Timeline

Source: GTM Research Grid Edge 100: Partnerships at the Grid Edge

“As solar and storage vendors continue to pair off, it’s become clear that integrated solar-plus-storage offerings will give a competitive edge to consumers and businesses alike,” noted Mulherkar.

The new report is the second in a three-part series examining the trends and companies shaping the global grid-edge transition. The first report examines grid-edge mergers, acquisitions and venture capital, and the third report will focus on emerging opportunities at the grid edge.

For more information, visit the report page.


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