A distributed infrastructure subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the US’ biggest utilities, has formed a partnership with Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) to execute behind-the-meter distributed energy projects.  

Southern subsidiary PowerSecure provides energy services and technologies for commercial customers, including utilities. This includes energy efficiency products, such as LED lighting, along with a track record of developing microgrids and building heavy duty utility infrastructure. The company claims to have more than 1.5GW of assets under management.

Partnering with AMS, a company with a history of delivering energy storage for a range of customers mainly in the commercial space including 40MWh at Walmart stores, PowerSecure will contribute its project design and engineering expertise as well as innovative technologies, alongside AMS’ economic services: asset management through AMS’ Armada software platform as well as identifying specific revenue streams and business models that can work for each project. AMS will also identify the available opportunities to provide grid services in each instance.

The “strategic alliance” is a good example of two companies pooling their available skillsets – AMS can figure out how to obtain the best “revenue stack” for each project, while PowerSecure can presumably focus on the more physical project execution and management side of things.

“As Southern Company grows our distributed infrastructure business throughout the country it is important that we continually maximize the value from these assets. This strategic relationship between PowerSecure and Advanced Microgrid Solutions will uncover new ways for Southern Company to deliver value for energy consumers,” Thomas Fanning, Southern Company CEO, president and chairman said.

US$180,000 for reducing peak demand in Massachusetts

In other AMS news, the company has been awarded a modest grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DoER) for projects investigating ways to reduce peak demand in the state.

AMS and demand management software specialist eCurv have been awarded US$179,500 by the DoER to design and implement scalable solutions to reduce peak energy usage across Massachusetts. This will include the use of AMS’ capabilities to aggregate large numbers, or fleets, of interconnected behind-the-meter energy storage systems together to make larger capacities of grid and customer resources available than would otherwise be possible.

The award is part of a wider range of grants given by the Massachusetts administration led by Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, both Republicans, to foster energy efficiency measures. A total of nine grants were given.

“Massachusetts is proud to be a national leader in energy efficiency programs that reduce overall consumption and we are committed to continuing our work to improve energy costs disproportionately affected by times of peak demand,” Baker said, commenting on the AMS-eCurv grant.

“The demonstration projects funded through these grants will strengthen our innovation economy and provide the Commonwealth with a roadmap for reducing our most expensive energy loads and securing our energy future.”

Initially, ECurv and AMS will work with north-east utility Eversource to execute projects at Massachusetts branches of the department store Kohl’s.

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