Stem enters the front of meter energy storage market with a solar energy storage partnership in Massachusetts

By | July 9, 2019

Today Stem, Inc., announced a new partnership with Syncarpha Capital, LLC, a New York based private equity firm that develops, owns and operates distributed photovoltaic solar energy systems as well as energy storage systems, to build 28.2 megawatt-hours of front of meter storage projects co-sited with solar in Massachusetts. 

Incorporating storage into renewable energy projects is critical for getting the most value out of any solar project, as it breaks out of the convention that solar power can only be used when the sun is shining. In addition, Stem’s Athena AI software enables solar and storage assets to participate in the New England ISO wholesale energy market, driving additional project revenues. 

Stem will provide AI-driven storage solutions at five grid-scale sites across Massachusetts that will be developed and owned by Syncarpha Capital. The program will receive partial support from the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program, a state initiative that promotes cost-effective solar development with customer-facing and grid service benefits. 

This partnership marks Stem’s entrance into the front of meter energy storage market. Known as the leader in commercial energy storage, Stem now brings its wealth of expertise in storage software, storage financing, and project development to the front of meter market in Massachusetts, a state with one of the nation’s most aggressive renewable energy targets. 

AI makes solar energy storage participation in wholesale markets possible

Stem’s Athena software is a primary driver of value for the Syncarpha solar energy storage portfolio in Massachusetts. Athena co-optimizes multiple value streams in real time, critical for the quickly changing conditions in energy markets. When determining which applications will deliver the most value in front of meter projects, Athena consider a multitude of factors from tariff options, to incentive requirements, to wholesale market participation opportunities. Through wholesale markets, solar energy storage systems can deliver grid services such as forward capacity, forward reserves, or frequency regulation. 

Out of Stem’s installed base of nearly 1,000 systems, Athena operates around 350 systems to participate in real-time and day-ahead markets in California. Athena also performs market forecasting in Ontario, and manages an existing footprint in Massachusetts that responds to ISO-NE pricing signals. 

As AI makes solar energy storage participation in wholesale markets possible, other regions across the US will likely study the model that Massachusetts is setting as they look to reduce the need for traditional gas-fired peaker plants and bring more clean energy to their communities.