(Bloomberg) — SunEdison Inc., a U.S. solar panel maker and
power plant developer, bought Solar Grid Storage LLC for an
undisclosed sum to combine battery technology with its projects
that generate renewable energy.
Solar Grid has four projects in operation and is
developing at least three more this year, said Tom Leyden, the
company’s chief executive officer who will become SunEdison’s
vice president of energy-storage deployment. The company uses
lithium-ion batteries in its systems, which can support projects
as large as 10 megawatts.
SunEdison, which is buying First Wind Holdings Inc. to
expand into other renewable-energy technologies, intends to
complete solar and wind projects with 2,100 to 2,300 megawatts
of capacity this year. Storing electricity from such
intermittent sources allows utilities to blend more clean energy
into their supply and better manage grids.
“They’re looking for ways to accelerate their movement
into storage,” Leyden said of SunEdison in a telephone
interview Wednesday. “We were one of the companies that was
actually able to get some projects on the ground based on a
business model, not necessarily one-time pilot projects or grant
Maryland Heights, Missouri-based SunEdison expects project
installations to jump to 2,800 megawatts to 3,800 megawatts in
2016, increasing to 3,800 megawatts to 4,000 megawatts in 2017.
“Our focus has been solar plus storage, but the bigger
picture for the company is that we’re going to be looking at
renewables plus storage — and even storage only when it makes
sense,” Leyden said.
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Carlos Caminada, Will Wade