General Manager and Founder of the Energy Systems and Services Group (ESSG)
Sharp Electronics Corporation
With the energy storage industry just taking off, it’s a hot topic for energy professionals looking for new ways to be more energy efficient. It’s all over the news, but how do you know if it would be something for your building and what factors should you take into consideration? There are a number of moving parts to consider including the investment tax credit (ITC), declining battery costs, tariffs, increasing demand charges, integration with solar PV, utility rates and financing options. Commercial properties have two parts to their utility bills: demand charges and energy charges. The ‘demand’ is the highest spike of instantaneous electricity consumed in a month. Solar PV reliably offsets energy charges but not demand charges. In some cases, demand charges can represent more than 50 percent of a property’s monthly utility bill, so a PV system alone will not offset these charges. This is part of the confusion in the energy marketplace. With many solutions out there, each approaches the problem a little differently. Energy storage is a new technology that can address the expensive demand charge portion. There are a number of companies in the energy storage space from startups to companies with decades of history. With emerging technology comes the opportunity to define a bankable solution – one that customers can buy into and partners can get behind. Innovative financing offers, warranties and performance guarantees come to fruition, which can make understanding the whole package confusing for decision makers. One of Sharp’s announced projects with Baker Electric, has been in operation for nearly two years. The numbers show $20,000 in savings in estimated peak demand charges in its first year of deployment from its Sharp SmartStorage installation at Baker’s corporate headquarters. Energy storage solutions can empower building owners to take control of their expensive energy costs. While the full breadth of the economics of storage solutions is still playing out, Sharp has installations proving ROI and tools to illustrate ROI at specific properties, which take into account all the variables to consider. This presentation would be an opportunity for a facilitated discussion on energy storage, how it works, its applications, and the economics that make these solutions impressive options for better energy management.
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