Duke Energy gets cosy with storage player Green Charge

Duke Energy Renewables has formed an “alliance” with energy storage specialist Green Charge Networks, with the aim of incorporating more batteries with the PV systems its subsidiary REC Solar builds for commercial and industrial (C&I) clients.

Earlier this year, Duke Energy Renewables acquired REC Solar, a leader in the increasingly important C&I solar market in the US. REC Solar builds PV systems for customers like manufacturers and hotels, with Duke owning the long-term solar leases and PPAs.

In October, Duke’s strategy for the C&I solar space took another step forward when it acquired Phoenix Energy Technologies, which provides energy management systems and services for C&I customers.

Meanwhile, privately owned Green Charge Networks claims to be the largest US provider of battery-based storage systems to C&I customers, helping businesses avoid so-called demand charges by smoothing out their power use over the course of a day.

Green Charge “will work closely with” REC Solar to market storage at its PV projects, with an initial focus on the solar markets in southern California and Hawaii.

REC Solar, Green Charge, and Phoenix Energy are all based in California.

“Our goal is to make it easier for customers to combine solar and storage, so they can benefit from high quality, consistent and economical power 24/7,” says Greg Wolf, president of Duke Energy’s Commercial Portfolio, which includes Duke Energy Renewables.

Duke Energy Renewables is part of North Carolina-based Duke Energy, the largest US electric utility.

This summer Green Charge announced a “strategic partnership” with SunEdison, starting by building a solar-plus-storage system for the utility Silicon Valley Power. Since then, however, SunEdison has fallen on tough times, and has reportedly laid off some of its employees working on storage.