SunEdison buys battery maker Solar Grid Storage

International » Solar

Solar and wind developer SunEdison now has a place to store that intermittent energy.

The Maryland Heights-based company announced Thursday it had acquired the assets of Philadelphia battery systems maker Solar Grid Storage. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Batteries are seen as the technology that would make renewable energy reliable generators on the grid. The 5,000 megawatts of solar and wind resources managed by SunEdison don’t always make electricity, but what they do make isn’t always needed immediately.

The addition of solar Grid Storage’s technology and team follows a similar move by SolarCity, which plans to offer battery backup storage to its solar array customers through electric car and battery maker Tesla within 10 years.

Solar companies will be at a disadvantage if they do not have a battery offering to pair with their product, said Tim Derrick, SunEdison’s general manager of advanced solutions.

“We see storage not as a separate asset class or a product onto itself, but really an enabler that will allow us to offer more value to our solar and wind customers,” he said.

Solar Grid is a young company, with just a handful of projects that serve mainly larger, industrial customers, said Tom Leyden, the former CEO of Solar Grid Storage. Now a SunEdison vice president in charge of energy storage, Leyden said the Solar Grid assets provided a platform to grow into residential offerings, expected to begin thriving as the technology develops over the next several years.

“We definitely want to be player (in residential) at the appropriate time,” he said.

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