Wind and solar developer SunEdison announced last Thursday its acquisition of Pennsylvania-based energy storage firm Solar Grid Storage (SGS) for an undisclosed sum.
SGS is a startup specializing in integrated solar installations with lithium-ion battery systems. The company, whose products currently support systems ranging from 10kW to 10MW, has four projects in operation and at least three more in the pipeline for this year. The firm is concentrated primarily on the east coast, where it has a contract with grid operator PJM to establish and operate battery storage to help balance the grid.
Tim Derrick, general manager of SunEdison Advanced Solutions, believes the acquisition will enable SunEdison to better leverage its renewable energy products with advanced battery technology. “With this acquisition, we have added the capability to pair energy storage with solar and wind projects, thereby creating more valuable projects and positioning ourselves as a leader in the rapidly growing energy-storage market,” said Mr. Derrick.
SunEdison has experienced rapid expansion over the last year. In addition to the purchase of SGS, SunEdison and TerraForm agreed to a $2.4 billion acquisition of First Wind and its 1.3 GW portfolio. It also announced plans for a possible $2 billion polysilicon plant in China, a $30 million module plant in Brazil, and a $4 billion module plant in India. As part of its broader strategy of diversifying into other renewable technologies, SunEdison intends to complete solar and wind projects with a cumulative capacity of 2.1 to 2.3GW.
The energy storage business has been widely viewed as a lucrative industry, with some forecasts predicting growth as high as 250 percent in 2015. The combined solar and battery storage industry is set to reach $1 billion by as early as 2018. Several large companies – perhaps most notably Tesla, which made news recently for its plans to develop a new in-home battery pack – have expressed interest in capturing a large share of the up-and-coming energy storage market.
© 2015 Solar Choice Pty Ltd