SunEdison Ventures into Innovative Energy Storage

SunEdison, the solar PV giant, has recently announced that it is moving into solar power storage. The company has recently acquired the energy storage project origination team, project pipeline and four operating storage projects from Solar Grid Storage. The last project, though, is still subject to customary consents and assignments.

SunEdison bought this energy storage developer to expand its reach into an emerging market that is projected to depend partly on the growth of wind and solar energy generation.

SunEdison finalized the deal to buy this energy storage company in January by paying an undisclosed amount. This particular sale of Solar Grid reveals the difficulties of raising money and attracting investments to develop and build energy storage projects

Solar Grid Storage Energy Storage

Solar Grid Storage is a company that focuses on projects ranging from 150kW to 10MW. The inverter in its flagship product, PowerFactor, functions as a standard solar inverter supplying AC power to a building or structure, but is also shared with the PowerFactor battery.

“As a small company and a pioneer in what we are doing, it was difficult to attract the financing we needed,” says Tom Leyden, Chief Executive Officer of Solar Grid Storage. “We now have a much stronger platform to do what we want to do,” he adds.

Electricity is made available to the grid operator who can set up PowerFactor to temporarily charge or discharge the battery. This enables the grid operator to balance the amount of power on the grid.

“Storage is a perfect complement to our business model and to our wind and solar expertise,” says Tim Derrick, General Manager of SunEdison Advanced Solutions.

First Wind Acquisition

Last November, SunEdison and TerraForm Power, Inc. (Nasdaq: TERP) announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire First Wind. The final acquisition was completed in January.

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With this acquisition, SunEdison became the largest renewable energy developer in the world. And with First Wind and Solar Grid Storage under its wings, SunEdison not only has 5 gigawatts of solar and wind assets under its control across the planet; it also has the capability now to start integrating solar power storage into its global finance, project development, and asset ownership platform.

“Becoming a part of SunEdison, a renewable energy market leader with a strong pipeline of customers and development projects, positions us incredibly well to accelerate our growth and integrate energy storage with renewables to help create the electricity grid of the future,” says Tom Leyden.

In a related development, SunEdison announced that it has installed a 100 kilowatt solar panel system on the grounds of the Ramakrishna Mission Students’ Home in the Indian state of Tamilnadu.

SunEdison undertook this project as part of its Social Innovations goal to supply clean electricity to 20 million people by 2020. There were 345 high performance SunEdison solar panels installed in the area.

Aside from providing electricity to the 700 students and staff of the Mission, the solar facility will also generate revenue through the trading of its excess electricity.

Photo courtesy of Grid Alternatives via Flickr.

The Author

Motivated and dynamic journalist with a strong interest in sustainable solar powered technology. My work in journalism and new media has provided me with a medium to produce content concerning emerging renewable energy.

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