- Stem Inc. last week successfully bid aggregated customer storage systems into the California ISO (CAISO) real-time market as a demand response resource, a first in the state's energy markets, according to the company.
- Stem's transaction came under Pacific Gas & Electric’s Supply-Side Pilot, using a technology platform designed by the firm Olivine. The pilot project's aim is to foster the further use of demand response in CAISO wholesale markets.
- Officials say the successful real-time market award shows demand-side resources can provide services in both day-ahead and real-time markets, helping enhance flexibility and resiliency of the grid.
Stem's announcement that it had successfully bid aggregated storage into the CAISO market is significant as the state pushes more battery options and continues to overhaul the utility system to meet Gov. Jerry Brown's goal of 50% renewables by 2030. The transaction marks the first time a storage provider participated in real-time energy markets while earning revenue in California.
“Wholesale electricity market participation is a new and compelling revenue stream that enables businesses to transform energy from a cost center into a profit center,” John Carrington, CEO of Stem, said in a statement. “The ability to leverage customer-sited storage for multiple applications is the foundation for unlocking the full potential of energy storage for both customers and the grid."
"Once in place, these capabilities are highly replicable across other markets in the U.S. and around the world," Carrington said.
Stem said it collected data during successful day-ahead bidding at six customer sites for more than a year to enhance forecasting and refine automation, because forecasting customer energy use is critical to ensure systems can be used both for decreasing energy costs at the customer site as well as participating in energy markets.
“Stem’s successful real-time market award in PG&E’s SSP demonstrates the ability for demand side resources to provide services in both day-ahead and real-time markets,” said Olivine CEO Beth Reid. Olivine's technology platform was used to execute the transaction.
“This is a big step toward future opportunities for distributed, behind-the-meter resources to provide a variety of grid services and supports achievement of our sustainable energy goals. We are delighted to be working with Stem on this project," Reid said.
Olivine, in addition to managing the PG&E pilot, is a scheduling coordinator and demand response provider. On its web site, the company said its platform allows participants to bid into the real time market and receive dispatches with 5 minutes notification periods.
"The participation of behind-the-meter resources in the market as demand response illustrates the variety of capabilities and services demand side resources can provide to the grid," the company said.