In the past, the German company, Sonnen, has specialized in behind-the-meter batteries, which primarily provide emergency back-up power for solar equipped homes. Now, partnering with AutoGrid, developers of a data analytics platform that manages distributed energy resources, Sonnen will aggregate smaller batteries to provide services at grid scale. Sonnen is already doing this kind of grid aggregation in Germany. It launched its U.S. residential energy storage offering last year, and now has more than 100 installation partners in 40 states.
Besides allowing solar customers to share and sell power back to the grid, energy service providers, such as utility companies, are expected to see an increased return on investment (ROI). Examples of the methods to increase profitability include:
- optimizing power usage in peak demand charges and time-varying prices,
- greater efficiency in energy demand response and resource adequacy programs, and
- creating a virtual power plant to participate in various energy markets.
The companies plan to approach Sonnen battery system customers to give them more options for managing their solar-generated power and seek energy providers who could benefit from the grid aggregation and greater ROI.