Behind-the-Meter Energy Storage Goes Wholesale
To date, the short history of behind-the-meter energy storage systems for commercial buildings has been one of brand names and wraparound services. Startups like Stem, Green Charge Networks and Coda Energy, and of course, Tesla and sister company SolarCity have put together battery and power electronics packages, control hardware and software, financing and performance guarantees, and other aspects of the business under one roof — and there’s no real way for customers to mix and match different pieces of those offerings from different vendors.
That’s a logical way to bring a novel energy technology to market. But eventually, one could imagine behind-the-meter battery systems becoming just another piece of a broader building product portfolio — albeit one that requires plenty of behind-the-scenes support for the contractors or energy services companies installing and maintaining them for their customers.
Last week, U.S. electrical equipment distributor Gexpro launched a new integrated battery product aimed at taking on this role. It’s a first-of-its-kind approach to bundling batteries, power converters and software for wholesale distribution — and it’s a potentially important breakout deal for Growing Energy Labs Inc. (Geli), the San Francisco-based startup that’s providing the software to make it all run.