The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Sharp Lightens Solar Business, Shifts Focus to Energy Storage Systems

Sharp Lightens Solar Business, Shifts Focus to Energy Storage Systems

Sharp Corp., the Japanese company that stopped making solar panels in the U.S. and the U.K., is betting power users in the U.S. will benefit from a device to store energy and control demand when it’s needed the most.

The Osaka-based company introduced an energy management system for industrial and commercial buildings last month in California where electricity bills are calculated based on peak usage and the amount of electricity actually consumed, according to Takashi Fukushima, who heads the New Business Development Center at Sharp.

The product, called SmartStorage, can cut the amount of electricity billed at the highest capacity required because it forecasts power usage patterns in order to manage so-called peak demand, Fukushima said in an interview in Tokyo last week.

SmartStorage, which uses lithium ion batteries, can be used on its own or combined with solar panels and will be rolled out in other states later this year, according to a Sharp statement.

“Demand charges are the fastest growing part of utility bills for commercial customers and in some cases can reach half of a company’s monthly utility bill,” Ideal Power Inc. said in a statement July 30. The Austin, Texas-based company has signed an agreement to supply battery converters, which function as a battery charger and inverter for SmartStorage, according to the statement.

Sharp has been overhauling its solar business, placing more emphasis on developing solar power stations and making better use of energy storage systems. Other panel makers such as Kyocera Corp. and SunPower Corp. are making similar moves.

“We want to build on what we have achieved and expand that globally,” said Fukushima.

The electronics maker is pulling out of its Italian solar venture, its last overseas panel manufacturing plant. The company ended panel production at plants in the U.S. and the U.K. earlier this year.

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg

Lead image: Road signs via Shutterstock

RELATED ARTICLES

Students and solar powered cars with energy storage

Rain or Shine, Students Keep Their Solar Race Cars Going with Energy Storage

Wayne Hicks, NREL Teegan and Kira Cordova love the original Star Trek TV series. That much is obvious. The eighth-grade twins from Ken Caryl Middle School in Littleton are wearing the uniform tunics from the 1960s show — Teegan's in red and...
MIT Clean Energy Prize

MIT Clean Energy Prize Awards $400,000 to Energy Efficiency, Renewable Ventures

Eric Kirchblum, MIT Earlier this month, the MIT Clean Energy Prize (CEP) announced the winners of the 2015 competition at the Eversource MIT Clean Energy Prize Showcase & Grand Prize Awards Ceremony, where it awarded over $400,000, includ...

The Big Question: What Is the Most Frustrating Part about Working in Renewable Energy?

Renewable Energy World Editors

Every industry has its challenges and misunderstandings. Sometimes the obstacles we face in simply trying to do our jobs can be very frustrating.

ViZn Flow Batteries

ViZn Turns to Jabil to Meet Growing Demand for Flow Batteries

Andrew Burger, Correspondent Energy storage startup ViZn, developer of advanced zinc-iron flow battery technology, is scaling up the size and scope of its operations as it works to meet growing demand from a variety of customers both in the U.S. and a...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 3
1505REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

PV-301: Advanced PV Design & Installation

This highly desirable and advanced course is intended for the profession...

PV-401: Advanced Field Training

Real world on the job solar installation, training, and experience is th...

PV-201: Introduction to PV Design & Installation

PV 201 Introduction to PV Design & Installation is simply the best i...

COMPANY BLOGS

Up to Bat – Why More Solar Companies Are Thinking Seriously About A...

Given the growth of the solar industry in the U.S., with 2014 year-...

How to Reduce Soft Costs With a Critical Path Map

For solar installers, soft costs are a fact of life. However, they don&r...

Community Solar Solutions Appeal to Eco-Conscious Millennials

Tech savvy and convenience oriented, the millennial generation is the mo...

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS