Need help combatting rising energy costs and grid outages? See why companies are turning to these smart energy storage systems

by Brianna Crandall — July 15, 2019 — More than a dozen businesses in California and New Mexico are poised to save a combined $3.6 million on their energy bills over the next ten years with systems from international energy storage provider NantEnergy. These companies, which all have selected the company’s SmartStorage systems in the first six months of the year, will use the unique zinc-air systems to replace utility-provided power with emissions-free renewable energy at times of peak demand. The systems, installed in nine different countries in the last six years, also will provide the new customers with a reliable source of backup power in an era of increasing — and increasingly lengthy — power outages.

NantEnergy zinc-air SmartStorage energy storage systems

NantEnergy’s unique zinc-air SmartStorage energy storage systems provide emissions-free renewable energy during peak demand times, as well as reliable backup power. Image courtesy NantEnergy

Paired with solar panels, NantEnergy’s storage systems and advanced battery technology give commercial and industrial (C&I) customers a reliable, independent source of clean energy — whether at peak demand times when utility prices are highest or as backup power during grid outages. In many cases, the reduction in peak demand usage is sufficient to allow customers to qualify for a lower rate structure from the utility, saving even more, notes the company.

NantEnergy Chairman Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong remarked:

NantEnergy is committed to providing energy management solutions that help businesses meet their corporate sustainability goals and in turn make a significant contribution toward local and state clean energy goals. Every hour that C&I customers enjoy substantial energy cost savings in this era of skyrocketing rates, they also will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that threaten the environment and the global economy.

Increasing demand charge burden

Demand charges in California have increased by as much as 64% since 2014, and these charges can represent more than 50% of a company’s monthly energy bill, according to Energy Toolbase rate data cited by NantEnergy. What’s more, California experienced more outages in 2017 than any other state (430+), with outages lasting an average of 117 minutes, according to the 2018 Eaton Blackout Tracker.

As these charges have increased, however, so too have grid outages, in both frequency and duration; these downtimes cost US businesses billions each year. Much of the increase is due to the higher frequency of damaging severe weather events driven by climate change, making backup power vital for business customers.

Carl Mansfield, NantEnergy VP of System Solutions, stated:

Our SmartStorage systems address both rising energy costs and increasingly frequent grid disruptions. With our systems, companies can manage demand charges, shift solar energy to more valuable times of day, and gain reliable backup power fueled by renewable sources.

Highlights from customers who have recently deployed NantEnergy SmartStorage systems:

  • Vitality Works, a large developer of herbal supplements based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, estimates it will lower its utility bill by 27% and save over $50,000 during its first year using a 120kW/162kWh SmartStorage system and a 264kW solar PV (photovoltaic) system. The new solar-plus-storage system is part of the company’s overall commitment to operate in an environmentally sustainable way.
  • Hokto Kinoko, one of the largest specialty mushroom growers in the world, worked with Irvine, California-based Revel Energy to install a 1.04MW rooftop solar PV system coupled with a 300kW/405kWh NantEnergy SmartStorage system at its San Marcos, California processing facility. The Tokyo-based company estimates it will save over $200,000 annually on energy bills.
  • The City of Del Mar, California installed a 30kW / 121.5kWh system with the primary purpose of offering resiliency support in the event of grid outages. Installed at the newly constructed City Hall and coupled with a PV system from Baker Electric, the energy storage system is expected to not only provide backup power but also substantial reductions in electric utility demand charges.

NantEnergy’s SmartStorage Solution for C&I (commercial and industrial) customers predicts demand peaks and cuts expensive demand charges by rapidly dispatching power from the energy storage system. When a company’s energy demands increase, the system’s intelligent, predictive controls trigger a rapid power discharge to offset the increase, essentially flattening the peaks and reducing — or even eliminating — the demand charges.

With the NantEnergy advanced energy management software, businesses can also save through automatic solar energy arbitrage. This software charges the battery as needed with the least-expensive, off-peak power, and stores it for use at peak times. By automatically selecting the right power source at the right time, the NantEnergy software enables businesses to maximize solar consumption and minimize overall energy usage during peak periods, reducing electricity charges — and in some cases, qualifying for a lower rate structure.

In addition, NantEnergy provides customers a 10-year service plan to manage storage assets and maintenance, and offers warranties and performance guarantees.

NantEnergy’s innovative energy storage solutions are said to be fundamentally changing the way people, businesses, and utilities generate, store, and use electricity. Based on proprietary zinc-air rechargeable battery technology, NantEnergy solutions reportedly cost less, last longer, and are far more environmentally friendly than lead-acid batteries and diesel generators. NantEnergy systems are the backbone for C&I energy management, remote microgrids, and reliable backup power to critical telecom infrastructure.

Coupled with renewable energy generation, such as solar panels, NantEnergy’s technology is the sole source of power for more than 200,000 people in villages across rural Indonesia and Africa, providing many with access to electricity for the first time. The company has replaced one million lead-acid batteries and eliminated the consumption of four million liters of diesel fuel. This same technology gives NantEnergy’s C&I customers significant reductions in their electricity costs — in many cases, eliminating demand charges.

Find out more on the NantEnergy website.