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Capturing energy for better cost savings

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Jeremy Niederjohn, Director of Market Development, Johnson Controls

This post is sponsored by Johnson Controls.

As more companies search for ways to save on energy, implementing distributed energy storage solutions can improve energy generation, delivery and consumption.

Here we talk to Jeremy Niederjohn, Director of Market Development at Johnson Controls, about the rise in energy storage technology and how companies are using it to save on their energy bills.

Question: What is distributed energy storage?

Jeremy Niederjohn: Distributed energy storage captures energy produced at one time for use at a later time. Energy storage fundamentally improves the way we generate, deliver and consume energy, making power networks more resilient, efficient and cleaner.

Simply put, distributed energy storage is using batteries in buildings to store and distribute power and deliver economic benefits in the process. Scalable systems can provide hours of high-energy output to cut costs, improve power quality and help manage demand response programs, peak and load shifting, renewable energy support, frequency regulation and critical backup requirements.

Q: What is driving growth of this technology?

JN: A number of factors are driving growth, including utility costs, falling battery prices and growth in renewables, as well as energy resiliency and energy security. According to projections published by Navigant’s Q4 2014 Community, Residential Energy Storage report, the distributed energy storage market is forecast to grow to $16 billion by 2024.

Q: What benefits does this technology offer?

JN: The primary benefit is the ability to reduce utility costs. These costs may include demand charges, energy charges or power quality charges. Additionally, an energy storage asset can provide economic value by participating in various markets, including demand response and frequency regulation. Distributed energy storage can also provide benefits from the perspective of backup power and energy resiliency.

Q: What is required to integrate a distributed energy storage solution in an existing building or campus? Is it a difficult or costly process?

JN: It is customer dependent, but typically integrating the solution is not challenging.  Energy storage can be interconnected, like other controls equipment, into a building controls network using the ASHRAE standard BACnet Ethernet communications protocol. In addition, ASHRAE has just completed a new standard that creates smart-grid information models for buildings that include energy storage, so that a building can interconnect to utilities.