Sonnen and AutoGrid Systems have formed a partnership to combine their energy storage and grid integration software capabilities, Greentech Media reports.
The partnership aims to help project developers, utilities and other energy service providers expand the range of services they can offer from sonnenBatterie systems and other distributed energy resources.
The partners said the combination of energy storage with grid-integrating software will enable the battery systems to act in aggregate as a virtual power plant.
The use case for behind-the-meter energy storage may not be economic yet except in places with high residential electricity rates, but there are economic opportunities on the other side of the meter under the right circumstances.
Germany’s Sonnen is trying to create those circumstance in the U.S. In its home market, Sonnen last year launched sonnenCommunity, a network of homes with rooftop solar and storage devices that can buy and sell power among themselves. In aggregate, they can also sell power to the grid.
At the beginning of the year, Sonnen entered the U.S. market with the aim of replicating that business model.
This past winter, the company has formed partnerships with SolarWorld, a crystalline-silicon solar manufacturer, and with PetersenDean, a residential roofing company, to tap into the U.S. market for energy storage. In July, Sonnen teamed up with Enbala Power Networks which is supplying the company with its distributed energy aggregation and control platform.
Sonnen says that by integrating its storage technology with AutoGrid’s Flex application, the company will be able to unlock “new revenue streams for utilities, energy project developers and energy managers.”
"In Germany we have seen the value the virtual power plant model provides in balancing energy supply and demand by aggregating our sonnenBatterie systems,” Christoph Ostermann, Sonnen’s CEO, said in a statement.