Any solar installers interested in moving into the commercial energy storage space may want to check this out: CivicSolar is now offering Sharp’s SmartStorage energy storage system through its vast distribution network.
Sharp’s intelligent energy storage solution paired with solar PV systems works to reduce energy usage for commercial properties. Sharp’s SmartStorage system is designed to pull power from the SmartStorage batteries rather than from the utility at the times of highest demand (which are the most expensive rates) and is particularly suited for properties in parts of California where commercial utility customers are paying up to 50 percent of their energy bills toward demand charges. Channel Lumber paid $172,385 in demand charges alone over a one year period.
Sharp’s SmartStorage system is available with a 10-year demand reduction performance guarantee and asset management service agreement.
Details on first project
120 kW, 160 kWh Sharp SmartStorage system at Channel Lumber in Oakland.
Sharp and CivicSolar’s first project will be with technology developer and systems integrator Forecast Energy. The project features a 120 kW/160 kWh SmartStorage system plus a 313.5 kW solar system and Forecast Energy’s proprietary forecasting platform that has been installed at Channel Lumber, one of the largest lumber companies in the Bay Area.
“It’s a privilege to have been selected by Forecast Energy for the Channel Lumber project and by CivicSolar as a distribution ally, which will see them promote our SmartStorage system to their network of 3,500 customers,” said Carl Mansfield, General Manager and Founder of Sharp’s U.S. based Energy Systems and Services Group. “CivicSolar will broaden our reach to their vast network of customers in the solar industry and will bring our SmartStorage solution to customers that are facing expensive peak demand charges. We anticipate teaming with both CivicSolar and Forecast Energy on future solar plus SmartStorage projects.”
A detailed analysis of Channel Lumber’s energy usage profile estimates that the solar plus SmartStorage system will bring $160,466 in energy and demand savings annually – an estimated 62 percent reduction in Channel Lumber’s total bill. Forecast Energy selected Sharp’s SmartStorage system and was the integrator and installer for the entire project.
“After evaluating a number of systems, we chose solar plus Sharp’s SmartStorage energy storage system because it provides our customer with better, cleaner power along with greater flexibility in their energy management and it integrates incredibly well with our solution stack,” said Paul O’ Sullivan, COO of Forecast Energy. “We are thankful for the team at CivicSolar for bringing us high quality and industry-leading energy products, and in this case a reliable, brand-name solution backed by a 10-year performance guarantee, giving us confidence in our selection.”
Solar+storage: What’s holding back solar systems with energy storage?
— Solar Builder magazine
HelioPower sent word that it has installed Sharp’s SmartStorage behind-the-meter energy storage solution at the Southern California manufacturing and distribution facility of Blisterpak, Inc., a manufacturer of thermoformed packaging and distributor of heat sealing machines. The 120-kW storage system is coupled with Blisterpak’s recently installed 135-kW solar PV installation and the PredictEnergy Commercial Energy Management System. The SmartStorage system is designed to help Blisterpak cut expensive demand charges on its utility bills, and the company expects about $42,000 per year in total estimated utility savings.
Peak demand charges are the fastest growing part of utility bills for many commercial and industrial customers and can represent up to 50 percent of a company’s monthly utility bill. The site is Blisterpak’s manufacturing and distribution facility located in Southern California Edison’s (SCE) utility territory, an area of the country suffering from peak demand charges as high as $35/kW. Solar PV offsets energy charges but not demand charges. By combining the SmartStorage system with solar PV, businesses save on both energy and demand.
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“We selected the Sharp system because of the company’s long-standing reputation for delivering safe, high-quality and reliable electronic products. Moreover, their system offered an incomparable assurance of long-term service and guaranteed performance with their 10-year asset management service and performance guarantee,” said Mo Rousso, President of HelioPower. “It’s a system that requires almost no oversight on Blisterpak’s part to deliver a high level of savings.”
The SmartStorage system employs sophisticated, predictive analytics and controls to manage the release of energy from the battery. As Blisterpak’s demand starts to spike, a rapid power discharge is triggered to mitigate spikes in demand usage. Blisterpak’s SmartStorage system installation is backed by Sharp’s innovative 10-year Asset Management Service Agreement, which provides routine and unscheduled maintenance, coupled with a 10-year demand reduction performance guarantee. If guaranteed demand reductions are not met, Sharp will compensate for the deficit in promised peak demand reductions.
“Our system would benefit many commercial and industrial buildings in the SCE territory,” said Carl Mansfield, General Manager and Founder of Sharp Electronics Corporation’s Energy Systems and Services Group. “HelioPower is helping its customers, like Blisterpak, take control of their expensive utility bills by installing the SmartStorage® system and we are pleased to provide them with a solution that reliably and safely delivers results.”
— Solar Builder magazine
Sharp Electronics Corporation’s Energy Systems and Services Group is now offering financing for commercial and industrial (C&I) solar PV systems coupled with its SmartStorage energy storage solution. The program is dedicated to $0 down financing for solar projects integrated with Sharp’s SmartStorage behind-the-meter energy storage system and is available to developers and integrators as well as end users. During its initial phase, program funding of $25 million is expected to support the deployment of more than 12 MW of hybrid systems within the next 12 months.
“Financing is a critical piece to the advancement of the energy storage industry,” said Carl Mansfield general manager and founder of Sharp’s Energy Systems and Services Group. “By offering this precedent-setting financing mechanism broadly to the industry and making it available to project development allies, we are able to equip developers with readily available financing for hybrid solar-storage systems.”
RELATED: What’s holding back solar systems with energy storage?
The distributed energy storage market is still nascent, but energy storage for solar systems is expected to reach $8 billion in 2026, according to Lux Research. Sharp recognizes that financing will play a critical role in the widespread adoption of energy storage and market expansion, similar to how the introduction of zero-down financing enabled the rapid expansion of the solar PV industry. Until now, developers have lacked access to readily available financing specifically for hybrid solar-energy storage systems.
“Sharp’s innovative 10-Year Asset Management Service Agreement and Demand Reduction Performance Guarantee were key elements in establishing system bankability, which enabled us to introduce this financing program of such breadth,” added Mansfield. “Together with our robust pipeline of solar plus storage projects, we expect this financing offer to accelerate the adoption of integrated SmartStorage solar hybrid solutions with the aim of lowering electricity costs for our customers without draining their budget.”
The SmartStorage system is designed to work synergistically with solar as part of an integrated hybrid energy solution. The solar component reduces facility energy usage while the SmartStorage component reliably reduces facility peak demand usage, both resulting in savings on monthly utility bills. Reducing peak demand usage is becoming increasingly important since demand charges are the fastest growing part of many utility bills for C&I customers and can represent up to 50 percent of a company’s monthly bill.
— Solar Builder magazine
A Roadrunner Food Bank became the first commercial solar-plus-storage project in New Mexico, thanks to Sharp Electronics Corporation’s Energy Systems and Services Group (Sharp) and Albuquerque-based Affordable Solar Installation Inc. (ASI). The project features two Sharp 30-kW SmartStorage systems, paired with the site’s existing 366-kW solar rooftop array. Sharp’s SmartStorage system reduces the property’s peak demand usage.
Peak demand charges are the fastest growing part of utility bills for commercial and industrial customers and can represent up to 50 percent of a company’s monthly utility bill. For charities like Roadrunner Food Bank, every dollar saved allows them to use the savings and redirect it to solving hunger. Currently, the food bank pays on average $180,000 a year in utility bills, with an estimated 30 percent going toward demand charges. The solar plus storage system is expected to save the food bank approximately $30,000/year in utility charges. The annual savings equates to approximately 150,000 meals in food distributed every year.
RELATED: Solar+storage: What’s holding back solar systems with energy storage?
“While California has been the hot bed for energy storage, there are other markets like New Mexico that are increasingly viable for energy storage applications for peak demand reduction,” said Carl Mansfield, General Manager and Founder of Sharp’s Energy Systems and Services Group. “Affordable Solar has a strong track record in New Mexico. Their solar PV products along with our SmartStorage system is a powerful solution for building owners wanting to lower peak demand usage without disrupting day-to-day operations.”
ASI opted for Sharp’s 10-Year Asset Management Service Agreement and Demand Reduction Guarantee, meaning all routine and unscheduled maintenance is included, and if guaranteed demand reductions are not met, Sharp will compensate for the deficit in promised peak demand reductions.
“This installation is one of the largest rooftop arrays in the state of New Mexico, but is arguably one of the most important. The additional power savings provided from the array combined with the new Sharp SmartStorage system will have long-term ramifications for hungry New Mexicans across the state, with every dollar saved equating to five meals. Renewable energy systems like Sharp’s SmartStorage can have a tremendous impact on non-profits by decreasing utility costs and maximizing the positive impact charitable dollars have on the community,” commented Teresa Johansen, Chief Operating Officer of Roadrunner Food Bank.
— Solar Builder magazine