Defying the Economic Downturn of 2020, Stem Expands GloballyBy Stem CEO, John Carrington | July 29, 2020
What a difference six months makes. When I last reported on Stem’s progress, in January, I don’t think any of us anticipated a global pandemic or the impact it could have on our daily lives. So I will begin by reiterating Stem’s support for our customers and business partners, and our very best wishes for the continued health, safety, and prosperity of all.
Despite challenging circumstances, Stem has continued to drive record results. In the first half of this year, we secured the broadest mix of deal types, at the highest volumes, of any time in Stem’s history – all while working from home in the middle of a pandemic. We view this as a ratification of Stem’s core mission and the value proposition for intelligent energy storage, as well as evidence of the capabilities of our expert team and the reputation we enjoy in the marketplace.
We have continued to expand Stem’s presence in new and existing markets. Today, we announced Stem’s entry into South America with a new partner, Copec, a leading energy company in Central and South America. Beginning in Chile and Columbia – whose combined energy storage opportunity nears 1 gigawatt-hour (GWh) over the next decade – Copec will deploy Stem’s intelligent storage solutions, with possible expansion elsewhere in South America.
We also announced a dramatic expansion of our California operations, with Stem having been chosen to manage a Los Angeles-area behind-the-meter (BTM) storage portfolio totaling 345 megawatt-hours (MWh), doubling our assets under management. These systems will benefit 25 commercial and municipal customers while providing local controllable capacity to the utility, Southern California Edison. Finally, we announced that our front-of-meter (FTM) project in Blandford, Mass. had come online, representing roughly the first one-third of a 28 MWh partnership in a state whose recently expanded incentives should greatly benefit both FTM and BTM solar + storage projects.
These three projects, all announced in the last two months, transcend geographies, operating regimes, and storage use cases, illustrating not only the breadth and appeal of energy storage as a transformative resource for our electricity grid but also Stem’s continued ability to deliver successful projects across the storage value chain in the U.S. and abroad.
Earlier this year, we officially launched the Stem Partner Program in recognition of the increasingly important role that solar developers and engineering, procurement, and construction firms (EPCs) play in our business. Already this program numbers more than 160 partners who deploy Stem solutions in BTM and FTM projects. Our Stem University online portal, published in March, continues to educate and engage Stem partners and equip them to attach storage to solar projects. This is a deeply beneficial mutual relationship: based on real-world deployments, Stem has found that developers can increase their revenue by 50% and improve gross profit by up to 2x with the addition of storage.
Naturally, all metrics associated with Stem’s operational footprint continue to expand. As of this writing, Stem’s storage assets under management total more than 790 MWh at over 1,000 sites operating or contracted across 9 states and 3 countries. Stem’s well-known market leadership in California was recently affirmed by the California Solar & Storage Association (CALSSA), which found that Stem’s 2019 C&I installations, totaling roughly 27 MW across the state, were roughly three times larger than our nearest competitor’s.
I am extremely proud of our team for having achieved these excellent results under the specter of COVID-19, all the while holding true to our values as a company. Looking ahead, we are excited to continue working with our solar partners to realize successful FTM and BTM projects as storage markets continue expanding; to help more and more companies in vital industries cut costs amid uncertainty; and to leverage our market leadership and expertise to continue building Stem, the broader clean energy industry, and a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable energy system for all.