As the energy industry continues to evolve, it’s essential for joint action agencies and their members to stay informed about the latest trends and technologies that can help them maintain resilience and adequately serve their members’ energy needs. On April 13, Stem held a webinar with Hometown Connections, a management consultant serving municipal utilities founded by a consortium of joint-action agencies, to explore how battery storage can deliver value with clean energy projects. The event featured public utility expert Mike Mozingo, Marketing Director at Hometown Connections, as well as Stem’s energy experts Pete Henderson, Sr Vice President of Sales, Chris Bilby, Sr Technical Solutions Engineer, and Cody Guidry, Director of Sales.
Attendees learned about the latest trends driving energy and battery storage across the U.S. with front-of-the-meter (FTM) and behind-the-meter (BTM) use cases as well as incentives and policies available to public power, municipal utilities, joint action agencies, and their members. They also discovered key considerations when sizing and deploying battery storage on-site. In this blog post, we’ll summarize the highlights of this informative webinar.
Watch the webinar on-demand here.
Get more value buying batteries through Stem
If you’re looking to buy batteries for your energy storage project, you’ll want to make a smart investment that delivers long-term value. By partnering with Stem, you can take advantage of unmatched insights and expertise to ensure you get the most value from your battery purchase.
Stem’s annual evaluation of top-tier battery suppliers – including Tesla, Sungrow, Powin, and SYL – ensures you have access to the best and most reliable products on the market. You can trust that your batteries will be high-quality and long-lasting, providing you with the performance and reliability you need.
With Stem, you also have the advantage of secured capacity, regardless of supply chain shortages. This means you don’t have to worry about delays or disruptions that could impact your project timeline or budget.
Stem’s better warranty administration and management services make it easy to keep track of your warranties and ensure that you receive the full benefit of your investment. Additionally, Stem helps you minimize procurement and supply chain risks, so you can be confident that you’re making a smart investment.
Stem provides 24/7 and lifetime project support to help you avoid costly mistakes and ensure that your energy storage project is future-proofed. Whether you need support in design, shipping, or installation, Stem’s expert team is here to help.
Finally, we offer competitive hardware pricing, so you can be sure you’re getting the best value for your investment. With Stem, you can be confident that you’re making a smart investment in your energy storage project.
How to leverage new tax credits
Joint action agencies and their members are uniquely positioned to capture value from storage and take advantage of its financial benefits. Storage can help mitigate coincident peak (CP) charges and enable wholesale market participation, delivering significant cost savings to your customers.
In addition, storage plays a critical role in integrating an increasingly intermittent generation mix and preserving reliability. With storage, you can ensure that your members can access safe, reliable, and low-cost energy, even as the energy landscape evolves.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) creates a direct pay investment tax credit (ITC) for nonprofit and public entities, including joint action agencies and their members. While this is exciting news, it’s important to note that this content is preliminary and provided only for informational and planning purposes. It does not constitute legal, tax, regulatory, policy, or other advice or guidance. The provisions in legislative bill text require further clarification and guidance by executive branch, regulatory, and other agencies.
However, if you’re a first-time public power entity, you can monetize the ITC for eligible hardware costs, creating a pathway to self-develop, own, and operate storage and other clean energy assets. By leveraging new tax credits, you can make your energy storage project more financially feasible, enabling you to deliver even more value to your members.
Finding the right deal structure is key for long-term project success
Stem can provide support for both third-party-owned projects and public-power-owned projects. We have the expertise to evaluate the benefits of each ownership structure and can offer advice on which structure would be most suitable for a given project. With our comprehensive project support, you can have the confidence to make informed decisions and ensure long-term project success.
Third-party-owned projects have several pros and cons. On the positive side, utilities can work with developers or financiers that can support, own, and operate assets on their behalf, which reduces the risk to the utility and the day-to-day responsibility. Additionally, little upfront capital is required from the utility. On the other hand, the project’s value is split with the owner, which means the utility loses most of the control.
Public power-owned projects offer the potential for the greatest payoff, as the utility retains the most value and has more control over the asset. Additionally, public-power-owned projects can provide investment and job opportunities in the local community. However, taking on self-ownership also comes with more risk, as the utility is responsible for financing, development, construction, and operations. The direct pay ITC can provide a significant boost to the prospects of self-ownership, but it is important for utilities to carefully evaluate the risks and benefits of this approach before proceeding.
Stem’s Athena® platform is the ideal solution for customers looking for energy optimization software that is tried and proven. Unlike other software in the market, Athena has been operating for a considerable time and utilizes AI and machine learning for both BTM and FTM. Athena has been shown to generate more savings or revenue through advanced AI, as evidenced by our successful case studies. Athena uses weather data, solar forecasting, and customer data to optimize storage use for reduced bills, and fully integrates with market operators to identify the ideal time for wholesale energy market transactions. With new offerings frequently launched for energy markets as they open up, Athena is the premier platform for any customer looking to save money and generate revenue.
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