A New Microgrid in Silicon Valley…AI+Virtual Power in California…Funding from Washington State

Aug. 27, 2018
Bloom Energy to supply Silicon Valley microgrid…Stem provides AI-based energy storage for community choice aggregator…Washington State offers $7.6M for clean energy projects
Bloom Energy to supply Silicon Valley microgrid

Fuel cell company Bloom Energy will provide primary power for a Silicon Valley microgrid that will serve a precision manufacturing company.

A subsidiary of materials supplier JSR Corporation, JSR Micro will use the microgrid to avert escalating energy costs and avoid power outages, according to a Bloom Energy news release.

The microgrid will serve as a primary source of power for the JSR Micro, since its manufacturing process is sensitive to even short power interruptions. The 1.1 MW microgrid is designed to provide 99.99 percent availability and allow JSR Micro to keep up its production of electronic materials for the semiconductor industry, even if the central grid fails.

The company expects the project to significantly reduce its electricity costs and its carbon footprint. Bloom Energy’s technology uses solid oxide fuel cell technology, which requires no combustion, so avoids smog-forming particulate emissions. The system also produces almost 60 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than U.S. power plants on average.

The Silicon Valley microgrid is scheduled to begin operating by the end of this year.

Other Bloom Energy customers include Equinix, AT&T, The Home Depot, The Wonderful Company, Caltech, Kaiser Permanente, and Delmarva Power.

Stem provides AI-based energy storage for community choice aggregator

Sonoma Clean Power, a community choice aggregator in two California counties — Sonoma and Mendocino — has selected Stem as a preferred vendor to supply energy storage that incorporates artificial intelligence.

Stem expects the two-year partnership to attract commercial and industrial customers who face high demand charges.

Stem’s platform, Athena, links customer-sited systems into virtual power plants that can optimize energy resources in real time. When customers are not using the energy storage, the virtual power plants provide services to the grid, such as energy relief during heat waves and wildfires.

In addition, Sonoma Clean Power can count the customer-sited systems towards fulfillment of California Assembly Bill 2514, which mandates state energy storage procurement.

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“Stem’s AI solution offers local, customer-based solutions that achieve our neighbors’ economic goals while assisting Sonoma County’s nation-leading climate goals,” said Nathan Kinsey, account executive with Sonoma Clean Power, which serves 223,000 accounts. “This puts climate and energy decisions back in the hands of our customers.”

Headquartered in Millbrae, California, Stem is funded by a consortium that includes Activate Capital, Angeleno Group, BNP Paribas, Constellation Technology Ventures, Iberdrola (Inversiones Financieras Perseo), GE Ventures, Magnesium Capital, Mithril Capital Management, Mitsui & Co. LTD., Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, RWE Supply & Trading, Temasek, and Total.

Washington State offers $7.6M for clean energy projects

Pre-bids are due August 31 for $7.6 million in research and development grants for clean energy projects through Washington’s state energy office.

Awards can range from $50,000 to $2.5 million. Applicants must match the grant money 1:1.

A wide range of clean energy technologies are eligible, among them renewables, demand response, fuel cells, hydrogen, energy monitoring and combined heat and power. The state seeks projects in Washington that can be completed within 36 months and have a lifespan of at least 13 years. The applicant must demonstrate how the project will benefit Washington state residents.

Full applications are due October 2. The state expects to announce winners November 15. The application is available from the state Department of Commerce.

Track news about California’s distributed energy scene…Silicon Valley microgrid projects, energy storage with AI, and other cutting edge projects.

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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