EsVolta Selects ION Energy’s Data Analytics Platform For Battery Storage Projects

By Chad Elmore19 August 2020

ION Energy, a provider of battery management solutions, said it has been selected by esVolta to improve the operational efficiency of its utility scale battery energy storage projects, in what it said is one of the largest such deals in the world.

Under the partnership, ION Energy’s battery analytics platform, Edison Analytics, will be deployed across esVolta’s entire portfolio of battery energy storage projects in North America, totaling to 581 MWh of energy storage.

esVolta is a developer of utility-scale battery energy storage projects in North America. The company’s projects participate in the capacity, energy arbitrage and ancillary services markets, acting as operating reserves that can quickly be dispatched to ensure sufficient generation to meet the load. esVolta currently has a contracted portfolio of 581 MWh of energy storage projects, in addition to a further pipeline in excess of 2000 MWh. For comparison, one MWh or 1000 kWh is roughly equivalent to the amount of electricity required to power 750 homes for 1 hour.

Battery analytics

Launched in September 2019, Edison Analytics is a battery analytics platform combining ION Energy’s expertise in batteries with that in data analytics and cloud computing. Edison is designed to improve operational efficiency of battery energy storage systems (BESS) by reducing battery degradation and maximizing energy trading revenues, said the company.

All batteries undergo ageing which reduces their capacity to supply energy to the grid, resulting in a decline in dispatch revenues for battery operators. Some ageing in batteries is cyclical and normal, however, abnormal ageing is detrimental to battery health and affects the profitability and reliability of the project.

Edison Analytics analyzes battery data and identifies the causes of abnormal degradation of the batteries, said the company. It simulates the batteries’ operational performance and suggests charging/discharging schedules that will result in minimum degradation of the batteries. Additionally, the platform plugs into the energy market managed by the local Independent System Operator (such as California ISO) and helps BESS operators optimize their bidding strategy.

By syncing between the optimum charging schedule and forecasting the best possible dispatches into the market, Edison Analytics is expected to help BESS operators take data-driven decisions on timing and number of daily cycles to run.

Pilot study

As part of a pilot study, Edison Analytics worked with the esVolta team on improving the efficiency of one of their sites, the Millikan BESS project – a 8 MWh battery system located in Irvine, Calif. Using the data from the site, it was able to simulate the number of cycles the batteries could safely undertake per day without excessive degradation.

Based on the pilot study, Edison Analytics estimates a savings of $450,000 annually for esVolta by reducing excess battery degradation through improved heating and discharge management; esVolta decided to deploy Edison Analytics across its entire portfolio of energy storage systems across 10 locations in North America.

“Edison Analytics helps us keep an eye on the operational and financial performance of our portfolio,” said Randolph Mann, president of esVolta. “While scaling up, we felt the need for a data analytics platform that was developed, keeping the needs of a BESS business in mind, and that’s where Edison fit in perfectly. “

“We initially didn’t see a need for complex analytics, but the business needs are changing,” said Lizette Moses, director of Asset Management, esVolta. “Not only is it important to optimize our bidding strategies, we need the ability to do so while protecting the health of our batteries. Edison helps us achieve this by simulating battery health under different dispatch conditions.”

This partnership with esVolta is a significant milestone for ION Energy, proving the value of data analytics to developers of BESS in the US and around the world. ION Energy said it has a software-first approach toward solving problems of battery life and performance.

“Battery storage is an emerging technology that is becoming an indispensable component in the energy market and will help generate renewable power on a much larger scale,” said Akhil Aryan, CEO and co-founder of ION Energy. “We are elated to have partnered with esVolta and demonstrate Edison’s capability to improve the profitability of BESS. This partnership has offered us immense potential to grow and deliver the best solution in all the markets we serve. It bolsters our core offering and defines our leadership in the battery analytics space.”

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