Tesla batteries to star in hybrid-electric building initiative

October 13, 2015 //By Rich Pell
Tesla batteries to star in hybrid-electric building initiative
California-based real estate firm Irvine Company (Newport Beach, CA) has announced plans to create a portfolio of hybrid-electric buildings powered by industrial energy storage systems from Tesla.

According to the company, it is the first major real estate company in the world to plan such a portfolio-wide use of energy storage. With properties located throughout coastal California, Irvine Company will be working with energy storage solutions provider Advanced Microgrid Solutions (San Francisco, CA) to implement the initiative.

The installed energy storage systems - which will take up to the equivalent of about five parking spaces at each building - will be expected to reduce both peak-energy consumption and electricity costs, as well as ease the need for additional power plants and provide back-up power during grid outages. The battery systems will be charged during non-peak hours.

The first phase of the project will include up to 24 office buildings in Irvine. The company expects the program will reduce peak demand at those sites by 25% and provide the area's local utility - Southern California Edison (SCE) - with up to 10 MW of reserve energy, enough to power 10,000 homes.

The financing, installation, and operation and management of the Tesla Powerpack battery systems for the first part of the project will be handled by Advanced Microgrid Solutions along with renewable energy company SunEdison (Maryland Heights, MI). This will include seamlessly switching the buildings over to battery power whenever SCE indicates the power demand on the grid is too high.

"We are thrilled to be working with the Irvine Company on a transforming its properties into fleets of the most advanced, hybrid-electric buildings in the world," says Susan Kennedy, CEO of AMS. "This initiative creates value all the way around—for building owners, customers and utilities. SCE is tapping into the power of their own customers' building load to manage the grid. This revolutionary partnership between a utility and its customers represents the future of the electric grid."

The first energy storage units in Irvine are expected to be installed by the end of this year.

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