Duke Energy Renewables partners with Green Charge Networks to provide customers with solar firming

Written By: Stratton Report
December 8, 2015


On December 8, Duke Energy Renewables announced an alliance with Green Charge Networks, to provide customers with “solar firming,” Green Charge will work closely with solar provider Duke company REC Solar to market energy storage systems with REC’s solar projects, with an initial focus on the Southern California and Hawaiian markets.

Duke Energy acquired a majority interest in REC Solar and energy management company Phoenix Energy Technologies earlier this year. Both REC Solar and Green Charge Networks provide financing. Green Charge offers a financing model that allows customers to reduce energy costs with no capital output. REC Solar offers leases and power purchase agreements through a financing relationship with Duke Energy.

Greg Wolf, president Duke Energy Renewables and Commercial Portfolio commented:

“Our goal is to make it easier for customers to combine solar and storage, so they can benefit from high quality, consistent and economical power 24/7. In addition, through Phoenix ET, we’ll also have the ability to offer other energy management systems for those customers seeking a complete and integrated energy savings platform.”

According to Duke, solar firming is a way to smooth the peaks and valleys of a variable energy source via energy storage. It also saves customers money by offsetting the higher prices of peak demand power. With a combination of lithium-ion battery technology and predictive software, Green Charge systems will draw power from the REC Solar system and the grid during off-peak hours, when electricity is inexpensive, and release it during peak hours, when electricity is more expensive.

Al Bucknam, CEO, REC Solar remarked: “Energy storage adds to the list of compelling reasons why businesses should go solar. Commercial customers save money by adding energy storage to reduce their peak demand, which can account for up to 50 percent of their electricity bill.”

Vic Shao, CEO at Green Charge Networks noted: “Energy storage is the ideal complement to REC Solar’s offering, helping customers get the most out of a sustainable resource, securing their investment through solar firming and lowering energy costs. By partnering with the largest electric power holding company in the United States and REC Solar, we add momentum to our domestic expansion plans.”

Duke Energy Renewables’ Greg Wolf and REC Solar’s Al Bucknam further discuss solar, energy storage and the benefits of the alliance to customers.