Stem’s webinar on how to capitalize on the Connecticut Energy Storage Solutions Program was hosted by Stem product marketing and sales experts Zach Einterz, Divya Brinley, and Susie Vecchio. The speakers focused on commercial & industrial (C&I) behind-the-meter solutions in the Connecticut and Northeast markets.
Here’s an overview of the webinar:
- About Stem
- Energy Storage Solutions Program
- Partnering for success in Connecticut
Stem is a global leader in AI-driven energy storage services and software. We provide hardware from top-tier manufacturers, and then we manage and optimize those systems throughout their entire lifecycle.
Stem was founded in 2009 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In February, we completed the acquisition of AlsoEnergy, a leading solar asset management company. Combined, we have over 700 employees and over 32 GW of solar and storage under management in more than 50 countries.
Stem works with our channel partners through the entire process: from design to deployment to operation. We help with project design, engineering, simulation, battery hardware procurement, and economic analysis. Once the system is operating, our Athena® software platform optimizes the system for economic, environmental, and resilience benefits. Stem has a 24/7 Network Operations Center (NOC) that monitors the systems and administers preventive maintenance and warranty repairs.
Energy Storage Solution Program in Connecticut for C&I
Connecticut launched the Energy Storage Solutions Program in January 2022. This is a 10-year program that offers an upfront deployment incentive and an ongoing performance incentive to energy storage system (ESS) projects. There is a total of 290 MW available for C&I projects, of which there is a 50 MW cap that is available in the first three-year cycle. The incentives defined in the program are tied to this 50 MW block and are available to batteries as standalone systems or paired with solar.
To ensure success in this Program, there are a few key requirements to keep in mind:
- C&I customers should be served by investor-owned utilities Eversource or United Illuminating
- ESS projects must provide backup power to the end customer
- Export capability to the grid is encouraged
- There is a minimum performance commitment to retain the upfront incentive
The following chart shows the Upfront and Performance Incentives:
System Dispatch Events in the Summer
There are two types of dispatch requirements for the Connecticut Energy Storage Solutions Program: Passive and Active.
Passive Dispatch events
Passive Dispatch events are intended to help utilities mitigate base-level demand and occur on a daily, non-holiday dispatch in the months of June, July, and August. The expectation is that a battery will dispatch at least 80% of its capacity to cover base-level peaks that happen and leave 20% for on-site loads.
Active Dispatch events
In addition to Passive Dispatches, there are also Active Dispatches. This is when the utility will call a more dynamic dispatch, 24 hours in advance. This will happen within a shorter window of one to three hours and the exact timing could vary by event. An Active Dispatch will cancel out the Passive Dispatch for that day.
Program Status Update
The program is proving to be quite popular and already the Connecticut Greenbank has received over 52 MW of applications – several of which are over-sized projects. As a result, there is a hearing scheduled in April to determine if over-sized projects are eligible and if additional capacity will be made available.
Currently, no funds have been reserved; there’s a lengthy process to lock up the incentive funds. The Program is still accepting applications at this time. Stem encourages Connecticut customers to apply as quickly as possible so that you are in the best position to receive funds as they are made available.
Value Streams for a 10-year Storage Project in Connecticut
The following chart is a representative value stack for a 10-year BTM storage project in Connecticut. The value stack includes the Program’s incentives, Utility Bill Optimization (UBO), Installed Capacity Management (ICAP), and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). As shown in the value stack, the Upfront and Performance incentives are the primary value drivers in this market.
Utility Bill Optimization
Based on the program design, the ESS will respond to the utilities’ Passive and Active dispatches throughout the summer; but for the remainder of the year, the ESS can deliver UBO savings. C&I customers in Connecticut tend to have high demand charges around $20/kWh per month. The ESS can be used to mitigate these charges by discharging when the customer’s load is high.
Installed Capacity Management
ICAP refers to the capacity charge that some of C&I customers pay based on their contribution to the ISO-NE coincident peaks. Discharging the ESS during the ISO-NE coincident peak will lower the customer’s contribution to the peak load and, therefore, lower their ICAP charges.
Federal Standalone Storage Investment Tax Credit
The Federal Storage ITC helps reduce the effective costs of solar projects. Storage must charge from solar to qualify for ITC.
Stem recommends that Connecticut C&I customers do the following to benefit the most from the Connecticut Energy Storage Solutions Program:
- Pair storage with solar to take advantage of the Federal Solar ITC and capture the best economics.
- Consider customers with a post-solar load of at least 150 kW in the afternoon, including
- Large retail centers
- Universities, Colleges & High Schools
- Target storage system size 1MWh+
- Focus on customers with pass-through ICAP charges
Partnering for Success in Connecticut
Stem’s blueprint for success shows how we can best support your efforts as you move into this new market. Stem can provide you the confidence to execute, install, and operate energy storage projects in two ways: the first is our experience and the second is our on-going services and support.
In terms of experience, Stem is the market leader in the energy storage space. Our Athena software is the most experienced operating system at both a national- and regional-level. We have 22+ million runtime hours, over 1.4+ GWh across 950+ sites operating or contracted in 75+ jurisdictions. Stem was the first to serve C&I customers with BTM projects in the Northeast. While the Connecticut program may be new, Stem has the historical success of operating hundreds of projects in markets that are similar to Connecticut.
Services and On-going Support
Stem provides a multitude of services and support for our customers. The first is on the pre-sales support side where partners engage with our engineering teams and sales analysts. At this stage, we make sure the system is designed properly and is optimally sized. From there, the project goes to our sales analysts who provide pricing and a complete financial analysis.
On the supply chain side, Stem partners can secure competitive pricing as well as the hardware delivery dates.
During the construction and deployment phase, Stem partners will engage with our deployment team and your assigned project manager to guide you through the permitting and interconnection requirements. We help advise you and provide the data for a smooth construction phase.
After installation, Stem works with you on the system’s long-term operation. Stem will charge and discharge the system automatically, and monitor it from our NOC 24/7, providing peace of mind that the system will always be optimized in real time.
Overall, Stem is a true partner, from start to finish, and a great resource to lean on for expertise and information as you move into the Connecticut market.
Stem Addresses Customer Backup Power Needs
Stem is able to provide a wide range of offerings for backup power solutions – from protection against basic voltage disturbances to complex applications like microgrids where the energy storage is going to be operating in conjunction with other energy generating sources.
For details on the enrollment process and all the steps that Stem will help you with, watch the full webinar, including Q&A. To learn more, fill out the Let’s Talk form below.
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