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Arizona Public Service to install Sunverge solar, storage platform in Phoenix

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Essential Energy Insights - September 17, 2020

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Arizona Public Service to install Sunverge solar, storage platform in Phoenix

The Arizona Public Service Co. signed a deal to deploy Sunverge Energy, Inc.'s solar-plus-storage technology in the Phoenix area this December. Arizona Public Service, or APS, a subsidiary of Phoenix-based Pinnacle West Capital Corp., agreed to deploy Sunverge's One energy storage system, which integrates energy storage with a home energy management system, Sunverge said in a Nov. 28 press release. The system stores solar power and also tracks customer use to help lower peak power demand.

The deployment is part of a solar innovation study on how the platform can optimize a network of distributed energy resources, the company said. APS in July was directed by state regulators at the Arizona Corporation Commission to come up with a residential energy storage strategy. Commissioner Andy Tobin, one of five commissioners, led the push for customer-sited energy storage to be part of APS' 2016 demand side management plan, which the commission approved in June of this year. In July, commissioners also approved the storage program to continue as part of APS' 2017 demand side management plan.

APS in July indicated that it had a residential solar combined with storage pilot underway but that it was unable to get proper safety rating approvals, which slowed the implementation of the pilot.

Florida-based Lakeland Electric, which serves the city of Lakeland, located about 35 miles east of Tampa, has also used Sunverge's One technology to shave peak energy use at a commercial site, according to the release. The system has also been deployed by Green Mountain Power Corp., which supplies power to 265,000 customers in Vermont, at a rural summer camp site to study how it provides back-up power during an outage.

Sunverge's system has a virtual power plant platform that allows energy service providers to virtually connect the output across homes that share the same technology. This allows the aggregated supply to power a neighborhood or community in times of need and avoid pulling power from the grid.

The U.S. Energy Storage Association in November released a study that found that the U.S. can add another 35,000 MW of advanced storage technologies by 2025. The growth is expected to come from a mix of storage technologies connected to the transmission and distribution systems. Storage installations can serve as an alternative source of power if there is a disruption to the broader grid, according to the association's white paper. They can also help stabilize supply and demand fluctuations as more renewables like solar and wind, which change output throughout the day, get connected to the grid.

The U.S. is expected to be one of eight countries leading in the amount of storage capacity by 2030, according to a forecast from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. It forecasts that global energy storage capacity will reach about 125,000 MW by 2030, about 45 times the level at the end of 2016 excluding pumped hydropower.