Stem First to Enter Real-Time California Energy Market

By September 8, 2015

By Ben Kearns | Vice President of Technology

On Thursday, August 27th Stem’s technology team stepped into our Millbrae office, grabbed coffee and started work. Seemingly this day was like any other. Amidst the normal office routine, at precisely 9am, six of Stem’s customer storage systems in the San Francisco bay area automatically starting using stored energy in response to an accepted bid to provide capacity in the California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO) real-time market. This marked the first time a behind-the-meter storage provider had aggregated its fleet into the real-time market and, like Stem’s customers, our team didn’t need to do a thing.

For the past year, our team at Stem has been aggregating excess stored energy from customers like Adobe and Intercontinental Hotels and bidding them into the CAISO day-ahead market. We have bid hundreds of times and successfully met accepted bids over 40 times. Using that data, we set the bar at a new level and automated the process.

This automation was a pivotal moment for Stem. As we move from hundreds of sites in markets like California and Hawaii to one day thousands of sites across many more states and countries, these sites will have opportunities to transact with energy markets and utilities while still meeting customer needs. The ability to automate the system is what enables us to mix and match our fleet of resources based on the market and deliver within seconds. And, maybe best of all, enjoy a cup of coffee while the systems run in the background, the same way they do for our customers.

Read Stem’s press release.

Read Utility Dive’s take on our accomplishment.