Batteries Will Power Office Buildings in Orange County

Orange County’s biggest landlord is having energy systems that are battery powered at over a dozen different office buildings as part of California’s initiative to fight against global warming and to rebuild capacity lost when the nuclear plant San Onofre was shut down.

Irvine Co. is planning to install these systems, which use batteries purchased from Tesla owned by Elon Musk, to provide the electricity during periods of the area’s peak demand, typically summer days that are hot when tenants increase the power of their air conditioners.

The systems, which during periods of low use, are charged and use electricity only when the rates are cheaper or more abundant.

The buildings were the systems will be installed are in both Irvine as well as Newport Beach.

That would provide Southern California Edison with close to 10 megawatts of reserve capacity, which is enough to power more than 10,000 homes

The project comes from a two-year-old target by the California Publics Utilities to have utilities bring megawatts of 1,375 by the year 2024.

Irvine Co is having the systems installed as part of its bigger joint development agreement that Edison currently has with the startup Advanced Microgrid Solutions a developer of energy storage in San Francisco along with SunEdison, an energy developer and financier in suburban St. Louis

The agreement is set to deliver 50 megawatts of storage for energy for Edison.

Advance Microgrid wants to become a big player in the market of energy storage. The business is led by Susan Kennedy its CEO and former PUC commissioner to Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis.

It received more than $18 million in funding from venture capitalists this year. In June, it also announced a deal to purchase 500 megawatts an hour of battery storage from Tesla.