Itron, Sonnen Team Up to Integrate, Deploy Demand Response-Smart Battery Storage Management Solution
Market leaders in their respective fields of smart metering/automated metering infrastructure and intelligent battery energy storage, Itron and Sonnen have teamed up to integrate sonnenBatterie eco with Itron's IntelliSOURCE Enterprise demand response management system (DRMS). The two companies intend to apply the resulting system on a pilot scale for a California utility.
Itron is already working on the project, the aim of which is to manage load shapes and profiles that result from growing distributed energy resources (DERs). Integrating sonnenBatterie eco with Itron's IntelliSOURCE is expected to maximize grid benefits by more efficiently and precisely balancing energy flows between connected, “behind the meter” electrical and electronic devices (demand side resources), power generation assets and net loads across the grid.
Harnessing DERs, DR for grid-wide benefits
"Our collaboration with sonnen will help Itron deliver positive outcomes for utilities looking to take advantage of the capabilities for using distributed energy resources (DERs)," Steve Hambric, Itron's vice president of distributed energy management, was quoted in a news release.
"We plan to partner with several other similar DER vendors so that utilities can access a broad portfolio of DER to optimize the grid and provide the customer with new choices and value. Integration of this technology is critical to helping both utilities and consumers thrive in an industry where distributed energy resources are becoming more abundant."
The pilot, utility energy storage-DRMS project will provide the utility, energy services companies it works with and customers ways to monitor and understand the impact of DERs, as well as optimize them to optimize benefits both behind the meter and grid-wide, Itron says.
Collaboration between two industry leaders
A pioneer in the development and deployment of smart meters, AMI and smart grid technology more broadly, Itron now employs nearly 8,000 people in more than 100 countries. In addition to smart electrical grid technology and systems, the company has corresponding water resources tech and business lines.
Germany-based sonnen has emerged as a leader in the development and deployment of digital, decentralized battery-based energy storage systems in tandem with distributed, renewable energy resources.
Sonnen has installed 30,000 of its lithium-ion battery energy storage systems worldwide. That includes two sonnenCommunity systems in Europe and Australia that rely on the combination of solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation and Li-ion battery storage, as well as grid connections, to provide the electricity they need.
"The team at sonnen believes in providing a clean and reliable energy future for all. By adding smart energy storage technology to solar homes, we are able to impact the way power is used both at the individual home level as well as at the utility-scale," said Michelle Mapel, sonnen senior director of sales and marketing.
"The integration of our storage solution with Itron's DRMS allows utilities to control and manage stored energy resources using a proven and popular platform, which enables broader customer participation in the expansion of renewables and economic benefits on both sides of the meter."
Responding to the destruction in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria this past September, Sonnen's US subsdiary launched a humanitarian relief effort, teaming up with Puerto Rico solar energy pioneer Pura Energia to deploy 15 off-grid, community solar-storage microgrids in affected parts of the island territory. The two project partners are now at the tail end of the initiative, relying entirely on donated equipment, manpower and services.
Sonnen USA and Pura Energia recently commissioned an off-grid, solar-storage microgrid (with back-up diesel power generation), at S.U. Matrullas, a K-9 public school in the remote, Puerto Rican mountain town of Orocovis. The installation marked the partners' tenth microgrid deployment since Hurricane Maria devastated the US island territory.