Judges’ Choice:

Stem 1.3-MW AI-Powered Energy Storage at LBA Park Place

What the Judges Said…

“Significant results from a unique solution coupled with AI technology increase its potential. The project addresses multiple needs of a robust clientele.”

LBA Realty, Black Bear Energy, and CSS partnered with energy storage solutions provider Stem to deploy 1.3 MW of artificial intelligence-driven energy storage at Park Place, a 2.1-million-square foot mixed-use corporate complex in Irvine, California.

The project, which has been operational since December 2016, is the largest indoor energy storage system in the nation. Stem owns and operates the system, automatically reducing electricity costs at Park Place by using Athena, its AI, to optimize the timing of energy use. The system also provides on-call demand reduction to help Southern California Edison balance the grid during critical peak times, supporting a more reliable grid and eliminating the need to build new carbon-emitting peaker power plants, Stem says. The project is part of the 85-MW virtual power plant — the largest digitally connected energy storage network in the country — that Stem is building and operating to provide grid relief in the West Los Angeles Basin.

Stem worked with LBA Realty’s operations and engineering teams, LBA’s energy engineering partner Black Bear Energy, and LBA’s sustainability consultants at CSS to execute the project. Using utility interval data from LBA, Stem’s Athena AI produced performance simulations to determine the right sized system for maximum savings. LBA’s engineering team worked with Black Bear and Stem to determine the best location for the system.

Having an indoor option was important to LBA because outdoor space was already designated for parking areas and recreation. Although a system with 1.3 MW of capacity has a large footprint, the property had enough space in the basement to accommodate the system. Stem installed the system during a single shutdown, which occurred after hours.

Through machine learning and predictive analytics, Stem’s Athena AI can deliver bill savings and grid support, maximizing the total project value, according to the company. Stem says its system has lowered monthly peak demand charges by as much as 13%, saving more than $100,000 in 2017.

While most energy projects allow a facility to decrease its individual carbon footprint, Stem also allows LBA to help reduce the carbon footprint of the large electric grid that serves the broader Irvine community. LBA also serves the broader Irvine community by contributing to a more reliable and sustainable grid. Within the last year, Park Place delivered 600 – 1,300 kilowatts of reliable electricity supply during multiple heat waves in 2017.

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