US solar tech companies team up to target microgrid market


Under the collaboration, Sungevity will include CleanSpark’s cyber-secure energy monitoring and management software with its commercial solar offering beginning Q2 2016.

In a joint statement, the two said CleanSpark’s software will provide Sungevity’s commercial customers with access to real-time system monitoring.

The collaboration follows successful implementation of its pilot in California Q4 2015.

Dave Dunlap, chief development officer of Sungevity, said:  “Customers will now have access to millisecond interval usage and generation data, enabling them to make assessments and take immediate action to further cut their energy costs.”

Sungevity has been present in residential solar energy market since 2008 before commercial entry Q1 2015. To date, Sungevity serves consumers in 12 US states, the District of Columbia, the Netherlands, the UK and Germany.

Microgrid development in the US

The partnership follows the release of a survey by GTM Research predicting that the US microgrid market will grow by 300% over the next five years, from US$225 million in 2016 to US$1 billion in 2020.

And in other North American microgrid news, last week Sierra Wireless partnered with US utility Duke Energy and other technology companies to form an organization aimed at enhancing microgrid development.

The partnership formed the Coalition of the Willing (COW-11) to pilot and implement a microgrid solution in North Carolina, US.

Canadian headquartered telecoms company Sierra Wireless said COW-11 will focus on establishing a simple and cost effective power grid by enabling advanced interoperability between grid monitoring and control systems.

Under the project, Sierra Wireless said it will provide its 4G LTE AirLink gateways using the embedded application ALEOS Application Framework (AAF) for translation of DNP3 protocol into MQTT.

DNP3 protocol is installed in electric utility’s equipment whilst MQTT is an IoT messaging protocol.

Jason Krause, Sierra Wireless senior vice president, Enterprise Solutions, said: “Conversion of DNP3 to MQTT protocol at the edge of the network enables our AirLink gateways to read and write data directly from connected electric meters, and publish-subscribe information to a common message bus.”

Krause added: “This feature allows disparate network components to communicate with one another, where they previously could not.”