Adobe earns money from California grid-balancing in aggregated storage pilot
Adobe is among the participants earning revenues from what is claimed to be an energy storage industry first – a trial rewarding California storage system users for conferring benefits to the grid.
Since August, California ISO (CAISO), the state’s independent grid operator has enabled Supply-Side Pilot (SSP), a load management trial programme proposed by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG &E), one of California’s three investor owned utilities (IoUs). Through SSP, behind-the-meter resources including residential, commercial and industrial energy storage systems can provide demand response, participating in CAISO’s wholesale electricity markets.
Adobe – the software company behind Photoshop and PDF reader Acrobat – has installed an energy storage system manufactured by Stem Inc. While Stem’s main business model is providing commercial storage systems for peak shaving, reducing business electricity bills, the system installed at Adobe is among a number of aggregated storage systems the California-headquartered commercial storage provider has entered into SSP.
According to Stem, the company has now successfully bid into CAISO’s real-time electricity market, one of three wholesale markets operated by the ISO (independent system operator), with the other two being day-ahead and hour-ahead markets. CAISO describes the real-time market as a “spot market to procure energy (including reserves) and manage congestion in the real-time after all the other processes have run”. The real-time market runs from 1pm on the day prior to trading taking place, closing 75 minutes before the trading hour begins. The market’s transactions are used to correct supply and demand imbalances on the grid, including the integration of variable renewable energy sources.
Stem’s systems used a platform created for SSP by Olivine, a grid services company which is administering the pilot programme for PG&E. Olivine specialises in enabling access to markets for grid services.