Advanced Microgrid Solutions Chooses Tesla For 500 MWh Battery Energy Storage Project

JUN 19 2015 BY TDILLARD 19

Via this release, Advanced Microgrid announced the signing with Tesla for its 500MWh microgrid storage system.  Advanced is a “technology-agnostic” group that designs, finances, installs and manages advanced energy storage solutions for commercial, industrial and government building owners.  (As an interesting aside, it’s top management are all women, with Susan Kennedy as the CEO, Jackalyne Pfannenstiel as the co-founder, and Katherine Ryzhaya as the CCO.)

AMS and "Hybrid Electric Buildings"

AMS and “Hybrid Electric Buildings”

“Tesla’s focus on performance and design makes them the stand out technology choice for our projects,” said Susan Kennedy, CEO of AMS. “AMS’ projects require intelligent, powerful and scalable energy storage solutions. Tesla’s technology gives us the edge we are looking for.”

AMS’ first 10-megawatt Hybrid-Electric Building Project will be installed in Irvine, California in 2016.  Read more about AMS here, on their main site.

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19 Comments on "Advanced Microgrid Solutions Chooses Tesla For 500 MWh Battery Energy Storage Project"

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“Advanced Microgrid announced the signing with Tesla for its 500MWh microgrid storage system.”

They’re labeling a 500 MWh storage system “microgrid”?

Wow, I guess electric utilities really do think on a larger scale than us EV enthusiasts! That would be enough storage capacity to hold five hours of the entire output of an average sized modern power plant.

Yeah seems so.

Surely they are not going to use 18650 cells to store 500 MWh?

Yes they are? The article says they are using teslas batteries, i doubt they are different size inside. Of cource the company buys the manufactured pack from Tesla which are more like half a Meter wide, one Meter high.

“Someone out there” asked:

“Surely they are not going to use 18650 cells to store 500 MWh?”

Well, the article says:

“AMS’ first 10-megawatt Hybrid-Electric Building Project will be installed in Irvine, California in 2016.”

If they’re not going to start installation until next year, they may plan to use the new, slightly larger cells from Tesla’s Gigafactory, which are said to be about 10% larger than 18650 cells in every dimension.

But yeah, we’re still talking about a very large number of fairly small battery cells.

Scroll down and I give some details on sizes in KW of 9 sites making up the Irvine installs. At least double the KW will be the per site kWh capacity. Adds up to about 10MWh over nine sizes. You do this to get the maximum state rebates. Sizes over 1MW get 50% less per KW for the amount over 1MW. 2-3MW get 25% rebate. Keeping sites under 1MW is to get the highest state funding.

You can see projects laid out from the weekly projects spreadsheets here:

Just filter on Tesla and Irvine to see the 9 sites. Also, you can look around at other sites and their status.

Affordable energy storage, mostly in terms of electrifying transportation and turning intermittent renewable generation into dispatchable power, is easily one of the biggest technological developments of the early 21st century.

And the best thing is, we get to see how at least the early stages of it play out.

That’s something on the order of 500 40-foot shipping containers. Is that all going to be in one place or distributed?

Doesnt microgrid imply distrbuted?

If its called microgrid, it is probably many smaller (e.g. 10 MWh) installations spread over California for a total of 500 MWh project.

Really Interesting model and sales pitch.

“We’ll take a building off grid for a short time to help support weak areas in the grid”

I love it, looks like building provides a home for the batteries, the utility provides capex and running costs are paid for via load shifting, genius. I wonder if it stacks up in enough places to make a big difference?

It makes a big difference if your building is, say, hosting servers, or a telecom exchange, or a hospital with ER/IC/neonatal, a trading hub, etc. These people will pay a premium, and thus amortize the R&D for the rest of us. Afterward the rest of us get cheap battery prices.

The headline says project. This is for many projects (many sites, over many years). It is an intention to order up to that many MWh to fulfill future project expectations.

Most of the projects are under 1MWh. One reason to do small systems is they can qualify for the california rebate program which is tiered and gives up to 1.75/Watt for a system. For example – a 500 KW system can get $875,000 in rebate money. That sized system just needs to produce 500KW for two hours or more. So, you would install about 1.2MWh of batteries for that so you don’t fully discharge the system daily.

More info. There have been various degrees of articles on this, some with more others with less details.

Another link:

Some of the B & V projects are already in the CA SGIP program from November 2014.
The sizes in KW (not kWh) are as follows:


This is 4,250 KW – and you need at least two times that in Wh (SGIP requires 2hours+ of runtime), so this is right in line with the statement of:

“The company’s first 10 MHw Hybrid-Electric Building Project will be built in Irvine, California next year. Depending on the project type, the company may use other battery types, other than the lithium-ion. It will also sign batteries agreements with other technology companies.”

Looks like about 9 to a low-teens “sites” with an aggregate of 10 MWh.

What people are taking away from this type of announcement is it sounds like the order is for “right now, ship me 500 MWh”. The notion that this type of order may take many years to develop, install and oversee is not being discussed. This may take the full window of the SGIP program (through 2019) and possibly all the way through the end of the California storage mandates (contracts in place by 2020 and installations done by 2023).

Bonaire, thanks for all the great info!!! 😀

I agree, great info.

Sounds more like Advanced Microgrid Systems is reassuring Tesla share holders that Tesla Energy is a real product customers will buy unlike Tesla Battery Swap.