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AEP investing $5M in energy storage firm

American Electric Power Company Inc. is investing $5 million in a fast-rising energy storage firm.

The Columbus-based utility (NYSE:AEP) is the marquee investor for a $12.3 million Series C round of funding for Greensmith Energy Management Systems LLC. The deal give AEP access to Greensmith’s expertise and software, “helping the utility determine the best options for grid-scale energy storage deployment,” Greensmith said. The investment from a major utility like AEP “is a key component in solidifying Greensmith’s leadership position in the energy storage industry.”

AEP can give Greensmith insight as it scales up and develops new products, Greensmith CEO John Jung said in a press release.

AEP COO Bob Powers told Columbus Business First in July that the company has several large, energy-storing batteries installed across its system. The price of storage is coming down, he said, but is still very expensive.
“At this point there are a few niche applications where it looks pretty good, but in general it looks terribly expensive,” Powers said.

AEP CEO Nick Akins said in a statement that grid-scale energy storage gives the company “significant opportunities” to enhance the electric grid and better integrate renewables at on-site power generation.

“By investing in Greensmith, AEP will help advance energy storage technologies and development of innovative energy infrastructure solutions for the benefit of our customers,” he said.

Read full story at Columbus Business First