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Round-Up: Johnson Controls could buy Enersys, SolarCity’s 6MW project, Vattenfall exec to Youn

Image: SolarCity.
Johnson Controls in talks to buy EnerSys

6 October 2015: Milwaukee-based automotive battery maker Johnson Controls is in discussions over buying industrial battery maker EnerSys, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The talks are in early stages and no further details of the proposed deal have been disclosed.

Johnson Controls, which claims to supply more than one-third of the automotive industry’s batteries to automakers and aftermarket retailers each year, is attempting to increase its profits by focusing on its automotive battery and building efficiency operations and leaving behind the automotive seating and interiors arms of its business.

EnerSys had a market value of around US$2.73 billion at end of 5 October and the Wall Street Journal estimated that a sale of EnerSys could value the company at well over US$3 billion.

Meanwhile Johnson controls has an estimated market value of around US$28 billion.

SolarCity to install 6MW solar-plus-storage project in California schools

7 October 2015: US-based PV firm SolarCity is installing a 6MW solar-plus-storage project across 19 schools and the administration office of the Temecula Valley Unified School District in Riverside County, California.

SolarCity will install 18 solar carports and two ground-mount solar arrays across the district, while the company’s DemandLogic smart energy storage systems will be deployed at five of the project sites, with a combined capacity of 2,600kWh.

By using the solar installations with energy storage systems, the project will be able to provide electricity at a lower price than utilities. As a result, it is expected to save the district more than US$520,000 in the first year and a total of US$35 million over a period of 25 years.

The district will also reduce its energy costs by storing energy to be used at peak times.

The carports use SolarCity’s ZS Beam technology, a product which was launched in an attempt to make the installation of solar carport systems easier, cheaper, and safer.

Janet Dixon, director of facilities development at Temecula Valley Unified School District, said: “Like many schools districts across the county, Temecula Valley has faced increasing budget cuts and rising operational expenses. With SolarCity, we found a creative way to cut our electricity bills. This money will free up funds for the district to invest in student programs and curriculum.”

Younicos snaps up Vattenfall exec

8 October 2015: The former executive of Swedish state owned power company Vattenfall has joined grid-scale storage system software and consultancy group Younicos.

Younicos has built a platform of viewing “energy storage as a service”, including work on Germany’s first commercial battery park in the frequency regulation market. The company has made a number of operational expansions along the way, including the opening of US offices and a the launch of a consultancy arm, and latterly its own storage hardware products.

Vattenfall generates power in more than six European countries and has been involved in various energy storage initiatives, including the repurposing of “second life” BMW EV batteries for grid-scale storage. Former executive Mats Fagerlund will now head up Younicos’ advisory board. Since leaving Vattenfall in 2010, Fagerlund has served as an advisor to investors in infrastructure and energy.

Younicos has also appointed US tech veteran King R Lee, formerly of Good Technology, as an independent director. Good Technology develops secure mobile platforms for businesses.

Speaking of his appointment, Fagerlund said “intelligent storage solutions” are an “important grid asset”.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to play an active role in shaping a successful energy transition - not only in Germany, but globally. The intelligent storage solutions pioneered by Younicos are an important asset to any modern power grid and should be adopted quickly as a cost-effective solution by TSOs and DSOs globally. They will also play a crucial role in enabling ever-cheaper wind and solar power to supplant parts of base-load generation. As the global market for energy storage is set to explode, I look forward to supporting Younicos in rolling out its transformative solutions,” Fagerlund said.

Younicos story by Andy Colthorpe.

The new Younicos board members join founder and "chief visionary officer" Clemens Triebel. Image: Younicos.

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