BYD is bringing a wee bit more sunshine into the grid with the announcement that it has partnered with Apparent, Inc. to develop a 2 megawatt solar installation at its Lancaster, California Coach & Bus plant. The installation will be paired with a 2 megawatt-hour stationary energy storage installation that will help the company to maximize the amount of power it uses from its own generation.
“Not only can BYD provide battery-electric vehicles, it can also provide green energy generation and storage systems that will save customers money, especially during peak energy demand hours,” BYD North America President Stella Li said. The move highlights the strong parallels between Chinese BYD and American Tesla’s business models as both continue to push to flesh out their end-to-end new energy businesses.
With batteries at the core of both businesses, each company has built up an impressive line up of plug-in vehicles that can be powered by solar panels or energy stored in their respective stationary energy storage systems. The primary difference between the two companies is that BYD is making a bullish push into electrifying heavy vehicles in the bus and truck segments while Tesla has largely focused its efforts on passenger vehicles to date. Similarly, BYD has made much more progress selling its stationary energy storage and solar systems to grid scale operators while Tesla’s focus has been on the residential market.
BYD and Apparent plan to flip the switch on the new system in the fall of 2019, after which BYD will purchase power from the system as part of a 25-year power purchase agreement. BYD expects the combined solar-plus-storage system to save it over $100,000 per year in energy costs, thanks to the abundant sunshine in the Antelope Valley.
Beyond the design and installation of the new solar-plus-storage project, BYD is partnering with Apparent to operate and maintain the system using Apparent’s intelligent grid operating system (igOS). The software will intelligently push power to the BYD energy storage system when demand is low and use power from the battery during peak usage periods.
“Apparent’s management services system is perfectly suited for BYD’s total green energy solution because it addresses customer demands in parallel with the energy market,” says Jacqueline DeSouza, President of Apparent. “Our partnership offers tailored zero emission energy solutions, that lower the total cost of energy for customers and improve its use—a triple win.”