Renewables Integration

renewables integration

HelioPower recently completed construction on two different projects.  Reflecting on these projects provided the idea for this blog on renewables integration.

The first project was for Blisterpak, a manufacturer of plastic containers.  HelioPower installed both solar PV and a smart energy storage system to control their energy costs.  The PV system is to generate electricity to offset their energy (kWh) costs and the storage system is to store that electricity to help offset their demand (kW) costs.  In addition, we installed our PredictEnergy™ commercial energy management system to monitor their energy production and consumption and to provide insight as to how best to use resources for maximum energy cost reduction within the context of their plant production.  It can also provide data to help triage the lowest cost source of energy for any particular time of day and tariff.  In this case, the sources of energy include SCE, PV, and storage.

The second project that we completed was a Level 3 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station at a national chain superstore.  The chargers allow customers to park in preferred parking and pay a fee to charge their EV.

Thinking about these two projects led me to create the graphic above. Each circle represents one of the systems installed at Blisterpak. The areas where the circles overlap represent the benefits derived from taking a synergistic approach to energy cost management and include:

  1. Having distributed systems for storage and PV provide a high degree of energy autonomy.
  2. Having storage and PredictEnergy™ provides the ability to aggressively manage loads to enable demand response or load shifting.
  3. Having Solar PV and PredictEnergy™ provides a high degree of energy security, knowing that the health of your distributed generation system, your expensive asset, is being actively monitored and analyzed for system health and performance.

The sweet spot where they all come together, which I call “Services,” is shorthand for Customer Acquisition Services.  This is where I would put EV Chargers since this store installed EV chargers because they thought a segment of their customer base would appreciate the charging stations and stay and shop longer.  Alternatively, they could attract customers who otherwise might shop elsewhere.

In the future, utility programs such as ancillary services could also reside in this sweet spot.  If you think about it, EV charging represents a unique challenge that taxes both energy and demand costs because it can be highly variable and inconsistent.  However, with the right mix of tools, EV charging costs can also be tightly managed.

The box bounding all of these circles represents the ability to take control in actively managing a business' energy costs, as well as the ability to implement an eCOGS program.  For a refresher on eCOGS, click HERE.

To conclude, I’ll quote what I wrote about using both storage and PV to the columnist for this article,, “We believe that this is a growing trend since both technologies are highly complementary and distributed,” wrote Mo Rousso, the Founder and President of HelioPower to Energy Manager Today in response to an email from Energy Manager Today. “It allows behind the meter rate payers to control both aspects, energy and demand, of their bill and more naturally conforms to their load profile.  This is especially true as utilities shift their tariffs to higher demand charges.”