- Artificial intelligence-backed energy storage company Stem will enter a co-marketing agreement with ENGIE North America to apply Stem's storage management software to ENGIE's eMobility platform, the companies announced Wednesday.
- Through the partnership, clients will be able to use Stem's Athena software platform as an all-in-one tool to manage renewable energy production, energy storage and charging for electric vehicles (EVs). Tad Glauthier, vice president of market development for Stem, said the software will help clients maximize their energy resources and balance various EV incentives and grants.
- Separately, Korea Zinc subsidiary Sun Metals announced on Wednesday that it will use Energy Vault's storage and energy software to manage its renewable power supply and optimize its refining infrastructure as part of a partnership with the Swiss storage firm. Under the deal, Energy Vault may also re-use tailings and other waste materials from Sun Metals for its gravity-based storage technology.
Glauthier said Stem's partnership with ENGIE reflects the growing interest from commercial and industrial customers to not just install solar generation and energy storage, but also integrate EV fleet charging. In December, Stem acquired solar management platform AlsoEnergy to bolster its solar operations, and now, with the ENGIE partnership, adds EV charging to the mix. Customers ranging from college campuses to building managers, Glauthier said, are increasingly planning a variety of electrification or storage features, which run the risk of competing for electricity or failing to maximize the most cost-efficient electricity market arbitrage opportunities if they are not managed properly.
"Putting multiple systems behind the same meter … you can end up with systems that are in control loops where they are chasing each other," Glauthier said. "Invariably, that will create inefficiencies at best and a system that simply stops working at worst. Fundamentally, a customer wants to have a single point of control for power flows and all the assets behind the meter."
It marks the storage company's latest venture into EV charging. In April 2021, the company partnered with truck leasing company Penske on its electric truck charging effort, including the installation of a 350 kW/800 kWh battery system at Penske's charging center in Ontario, California.
A 2021 Guidehouse Insights analysis predicts that more than 170 million EV charge points will be deployed by 2030, including 4.4 million at fleet properties. A separate Guidehouse Insights report found that almost 10% of commercial properties would have to add fleet charging infrastructure in the next decade, requiring upgrades to building energy management systems. That presents an opportunity to use the vehicles as independent storage assets when connected to the grid, but also creates a need for storage to charge vehicles and reduce the overall impact on the grid.
Separately, the deal between Energy Vault and Australia-based Sun Metals will help bolster the refinery's goal to shift to 80% renewable power by 2030 and 100% renewable power by 2040. The company is currently the second-largest electricity consumer in Queensland, Australia. The partnership, which is set to begin project deployment in mid-2022, doesn't just represent a commercial use case for Energy Vault's storage technology and renewable management, but could also allow the storage firm to take advantage of waste materials for its composite blocks, which store energy through gravity.
As the energy storage market is poised to boom in coming years as part of the grid's transition to renewable energy, Glauthier said Stem and other storage managers have a broader role to play in helping various players reduce their carbon footprint.
"Stem sees itself as a provider not just of energy storage, but energy management services that span all of the energy assets that exist behind the meter, out of sight," he said. "Athena was historically built to work on the utility bill … but we have more to bring to the table with EV charging."