‘Energy storage-as-a-service’ launched in Mexico by Fotowatio Renewable Ventures and partners

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Energy storage can improve power quality and reduce electricity costs for industrial entities in Mexico, and a new international partnership is offering the technology to customers in a shared savings model.

The ‘energy storage-as-a-service’ offering is being rolled out through a collaboration by international renewable energy company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), US-based energy analytics and software company Energy Toolbase and local developer Ecopulse.

With Mexico hosting a large base of industrial facilities that are reliant on good quality power supply that they cannot always guarantee from the grid, battery energy storage systems (BESS) can help them secure that power quality.

Electricity tariffs based on time-of-use during the day, as well as demand charges which incur higher costs for use of power from the grid during peak times, also offer a route for batteries to reduce energy costs for commercial and industrial (C&I) electricity customers.

FRV said yesterday that customers adopting the behind-the-meter energy storage service will not have to pay upfront capital investment costs or fixed fees for the battery installations, which will be fully funded by the renewable energy company. 

Customers will instead share their electricity savings with the project partners, in a similar model to how companies like Stem Inc and Enel X have offered C&I customers with access to savings via battery storage in the US and Canada. 

The first system deployed through the model will by a 480kW two-hour duration system in Mexican industrial region of Iztapalapa. Integrated by Ecopulse, it will use lithium-ion battery technology and will be optimised using Energy Toolbase’s Acumen energy management system (Acumen EMS). 

FRV said the initial deployment can be used as a replicable model for more projects across Mexico.

The systems will not only save customers money and improve power quality but will also relieve the strain on the grid that their heavy consumption of electricity can cause, especially at peak times, while they can also increase the ability of both the service’s customers and the local networks to add and integrate energy from variable renewable sources.

The Acumen EMS software uses artificial intelligence-driven algorithms to optimise BESS operation and interaction with markets and tariff structures, while the full BESS hardware solution was developed by FRV’s technology incubator division, FRV-X.

Another locally-headquartered partner, Operati, will provide real-time customer service.

FRV, owned by Saudi Arabian energy company Abdul Lateef Jamil Energy, has close to 1GW of renewable assets in operation in Mexico and FRV-X director for business development in Latin America Miguel Sepulveda said that the storage-as-a-service project and offering will help actively consolidating a sustainable energy system in Mexico.

“This project undoubtedly represents a revolution in the field of energy consumption for the Mexican industrial sector, offering users a flexible and efficient option that will bring them immediate results and benefits,” Sepulveda said.

FRV has been active in renewables internationally since 2006 and delivered its first battery storage project in 2020, in the UK, quickly followed by more in that market and a solar-plus-storage project in Australia which began construction in mid-2021.

Energy-Storage.news heard last year from ON Energy Storage, another company active in the Latin American market for C&I energy storage that it is much easier to do behind-the-meter energy storage for C&I customers in Mexico than front-of-the-meter (FTM) projects for utilities or the grid.

This is due to the fact that BTM batteries do not need interconnection agreements or generation licensing, David Fernandes, ON Energy Storage’s Mexico country manager said in an interview.

“You can do capacity, peak shaving, basically, you can do some energy arbitrage. You can do backup power, as long as you’re never injecting into the grid or passing any technical limit that the load point might have on its connection agreement,” Fernandes said.

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