Storage Wars: ‘A’ List

ABB and Amazon are all over the grid

ABB just keeps making waves. The Swiss-based company, which officially absorbed Baldor in name to begin the month, has now released a new energy storage solution for residential “prosumers” that offers modular capacity increases, a high-voltage battery for greater efficiency, and flexibility in how the system is installed. With its modular design, the new solar inverter with energy storage capability, which is called “REACT 2”, provides a capacity of up to 12 kWh. ABB says it will increase electric self-sufficiency of homes. Residential storage is on the rise—especially since a recent FERC ruling—with multiple companies developing systems. “While residential storage has most traditionally been in the form of off-grid system, GTM Research says grid-tied system installations outpaced off-grid for the first time last year,” wrote UtilityDive’s Robert Walton March 26. The inverter and energy storage solution includes a high-voltage lithium-ion battery with a long life and a storage capacity of up to 12 kWh. The modular solution is said to “grow with the needs of any household” from 4 kWh to 12 kWh and reduce electricity charges due to an achievable energy self-reliance of up to 90 percent. The inclusion of a high-voltage battery (200 V) is expected to deliver more reliability and up to 10 percent more system efficiency compared to lower voltage alternatives (48 V).

Meanwhile, the behemoth that is Amazon may be experiencing some resistance, but that hasn’t stopped it from permeating all crevices of the living and industrial world. Back in 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) began offering IT infrastructure services to businesses in the form of web services—now commonly known as cloud computing. The AWS cloud computing platform touts its flexibility to launch your application regardless of industry. With the inclusion of the Internet of Things into its AWS portfolio, the company has added power and utilities solutions to its lineup, with energy storage in mind. This branch was designed to integrate renewable energy sources, digitization, energy storage, and other tools for power and utilities companies. AWS Power and Utilities claims to help “navigate new business models, deliver energy more reliably, and implement a smarter, more distributed grid.”

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