ROUNDUP: SEPA’s utility top 10, NEC ES’ new CEO, Maxwell’s Nesscap takeover

SEPA's Top 10 utilities to deploy energy storage (by megawatts). Image: SEPA

Imperial Irrigation District SEPA’s top-ranked utility for storage MW

Southern Californian utility Imperial Irrigation District was the leading US utility for energy storage in 2016, deploying 30MW, according to the first ever rankings from the Smart Electric Power Association (SEPA).

SEPA, formerly known as the Solar Electric Power Association, publishes annual lists of the top 10 utilities that put the most solar on the grid. This year, in its 10th edition, SEPA added categories for the utilities that added the most megawatts of energy storage, and for the most watts of energy storage per customer.

Alongside Imperial Irrigation District, Massachusetts municipal utility Sterling Municipal Light Department took the other top spot, with 533W deployed per customer. The figures are taken from data provided by more than 400 utilities.

As might be expected, California’s three main investor owned utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric, Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison feature prominently in the top 10 storage megawatts, along with utilities in states including Arizona, Vermont, Indianapolis and Ohio.

NEC ES appoints new CEO

In aiming for greater integration with parent company NEC Corporation, NEC Energy Solutions (NEC ES) has appointed a new CEO, Michihiro ‘Hiro’ Ezawa.

NEC said it had enjoyed increasing demand for its energy storage systems and services and needed to more closely align the objectives of the subsidiary and parent company. NEC ES claims that since the start of this year, it has already tied down contracts for over 100MW of energy storage projects in four countries and three continents.

Ezawa has been at NEC Corporation since 2015 and NEC ES since 2016 and will combine the roles of chairman and CEO. His previous roles have included stints at GE’s energy storage business as commercial and sales director. NEC ES thanked outgoing CEO Bud Collins for his contribution in taking the company “from a start-up into a recognised global leader”.  

NEC Energy Solutions' new CEO and chairman, Michihiro Ezawa. Image: NEC ES.

Maxwell Technologies acquires Nesscap Energy

Maxwell Technologies expects to benefit from improved access to wind, industrial and automotive markets, following its successful acquisition of ultracapacitor maker Nesscap Energy.

Maxwell, a maker of capacitor-based energy storage and power delivery solutions, announced last week that it had taken over Nesscap, completing a process that began in February. Maxwell president and CEO Franz Fink said that Nesscap’s small and medium cell ultracapacitor technology would complement Maxwell’s production of larger devices.

“With our combined development pipeline, we will be able to deliver more products and technologies faster to our global customer base,” Fink said.

“The completion of this acquisition marks an important step for Maxwell in its plan to achieve growth and profitability, as it puts our ultracapacitor product line on a solid foundation and provides needed scale as we move towards our inflection point in late 2018.”

Maxwell issued over 4 million shares ahead of the takeover.  Nesscap has business divisions that include research and development as well as the manufacture of energy storage and power delivery solutions. The company has operations in Korea, Germany and China.

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