Stem to expand storage at California State University campus with 4.2 MWh battery

Dive Brief:

  • The Dominguez Hills campus of California State University (CSU) has tapped Stem to develop software-driven energy storage services to reduce the school's electricity costs, the company announced this week.
  • Stem said it is developing a 1 MW / 4.2 MWh system to be housed on campus in Carson, Calif., part of a larger company strategy in targeting academic institutions.
  • Combined with an existing Stem storage system on the campus, near Los Angeles, the project will total 2 MW / 6.2 MWh and will eventually be paired with solar generation.

Dive Insight:

In addition to helping the Dominguez Hills campus reach sustainability goals, Stem said the installation will be a part of a "virtual power plant" helping maintain reliability following the closure of the region's San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Stem already has significant resources in the area — in 2014 the company was awarded an 85 MW storage contract in the West Los Angeles Basin, which the company says is the largest for any behind-the-meter energy storage provider.

Stem has installed storage at other universities, including Soka University, Whittier University, and the College of Marin. The push into academia is intentional, said Karen Butterfield, the chief commercial officer, because universities often have sustainability goals and a desire to reduce power costs. 

Last month, Stem announced it was expanding into the New York energy storage market, saying it is discussions with more than 20 companies on installations that could total as much as 14 MWh across 80 locations.

The Dominguez Hills system wll eventually be paired with solar generation, said Stem, to continue minimizing the campus' footprint.

Stem established itself in the California market by providing commercial and industrial power customers with rate arbitrage opportunities through its integration of automated control software with behind-the-meter batteries. The storage facilities can also be tapped by utilities to offer capacity and grid services, like the 2014 L.A. Basin project.

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Top image credit: Stem