Advanced Microgrid to Buy Tesla Batteries for Storage Projects

NEW YORK — Advanced Microgrid Solutions, a provider of energy-storage systems, agreed to buy as much as 500 megawatt-hours of battery capacity from Tesla Motors Inc.

About 40 percent of that order will be used in developing 50 megawatts of storage for Edison International’s Southern California Edison unit, an agreement reached in November, Advanced Microgrid Chief Executive Officer Susan Kennedy said Thursday in a telephone interview.

The deal shows that Tesla’s battery technology, initially designed for its electric vehicles, is also gaining traction for other applications. Advanced Microgrid evaluated numerous suppliers and “it was very clear from the beginning that Tesla’s was just a standout technology,” Kennedy said.

“We intend to use Tesla batteries on a huge number of our projects going forward, and our pipeline is a lot bigger than just the Edison project,” she said.

Advanced Microgrid’s systems will be installed at commercial and industrial buildings and connected to the local power grid. When power demand in an area is high, the buildings can draw electricity from the batteries, freeing up capacity that can be made available to other users.

Kennedy declined to say how much her company is paying for the batteries or compare the order to competitors’ bids. Advanced Micro also signed a deal with Black & Veatch Corp. for engineering and construction services.

The first Advanced Microgrid project will be 10 megawatts of capacity built next year in Irvine, California. The company may use other battery types later, depending on the type of project, Kennedy said.

“What I like about the Tesla batteries is that they’re so versatile,” she said. “But we’re technology agnostic. We can choose any type of technology.”

Copyright 2015 Bloomberg

Lead image: Hadrian. Credit: Shutterstock.

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