US developer takes offices hybrid with Tesla batteries

California based property developer Irvine Company is equipping 24 of its office buildings with Tesla batteries this year in a programme aimed at taking its portfolio hybrid.

The programme will see it install Tesla energy storage systems across is portfolio of coastal buildings. Large battery systems at each building, which take up the equivalent of about five parking spaces, will be charged during off-peak hours and used, when needed, for peak daytime use or in the event of a power failure. The first phase of 24 buildings is expected to reduce peak demand in those buildings by 25% and provide area energy supplier Southern California Edison (SCE) with up to 10MW of reserve capacity, enough to supply power to 10,000 homes.

The move marks the arrival of Tesla energy storage systems in the commercial building sector. Although more associated with cars, the company is targeting the built environment sector, with its Powerpack and Powerwall products.

Rich Bluth, Irvine Company’s vice president of energy management, said, “Energy storage is a game-changer. It will allow building owners to participate in grid support and reduce costs while causing no disruption or discomfort to our customers, residents or guests.”

The company has signed an agreement with San Francisco-based Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) to deliver the programme. For the initial part of the project, AMS will work with renewable energy company SunEdison to finance, install and operate Powerpack commercial battery systems, including switching the buildings to battery power whenever SCE signals that demand on the grid is too high.

Susan Kennedy, chief executive officer of AMS, said, “This initiative creates value all the way around for building owners, customers and utilities.

“SCE is tapping into the power of their own customers’ building load to manage the grid. This revolutionary partnership between a utility and its customers represents the future of the electric grid.”

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