Bloom Energy, Southern Company/PowerSecure form strategic alliance to integrate distributed power generation, smart storage technologies

Nov. 8, 2016
The new partners announced acquisition of an estimated 50 megawatts of distributed fuel cells.

ATLANTA and SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- On Oct. 25, Bloom Energy, Southern Company (NYSE: SO) and its subsidiary PowerSecure announced a strategic alliance, which will include project investment and joint-technology development to provide behind-the-meter energy solutions. PowerSecure will acquire an estimated 50 megawatts of Bloom Energy Servers under long-term power purchase agreements with high-quality commercial and industrial customers.

The solution is designed to fully integrate Bloom's firm 24x7x365 Energy Server platform with PowerSecure's smart storage solutions. The result will deliver a reliable on-site generation solution tuned to the customer's precise power requirements that will also flexibly adapt to changing conditions, bringing customers intelligent optimization of their energy usage while driving meaningful cost savings and long-term cost certainty.

Per a joint press release, the companies stated: "By bringing together the scale and utility sector leadership of Southern Company, its industry-leading suite of PowerSecure distributed infrastructure assets, and the Silicon Valley-style innovation and distributed generation leadership of Bloom Energy, the alliance will provide an integrated, comprehensive energy solution. This fully-supported integrated platform will be designed to meet customer needs on several critical dimensions:

• Enabling optimized use of power to drive cost predictability and strategic savings.

• Delivering the quality and exact type of power required by each part of their business, for example, AC power for offices and DC power for data centers.

• The ability to dial-in the level of reliability required from "no need" all the way up to mission critical reliability for tier IV data centers and critical operations.

• Providing the level of resiliency needed to ensure that the risk of operational disruption due to external events such as weather or other natural disasters is minimized.

• Enabling preferred level of performance on sustainability attributes.

The alliance begins with customer momentum. The Home Depot is expected to deploy the joint Bloom fuel cell + PowerSecure storage solution at approximately 60 stores, in addition to the 140 stores currently operating Bloom Energy Servers. Another customer will deploy 30 megawatts of distributed power through this alliance supporting hospitals, clinics and administrative centers."

"As the technology revolution in energy evolves, we must continue developing innovative solutions on the other side of the meter to deliver greater value for customers," commented Southern Company chairman, president and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "This strategic relationship marrying PowerSecure's smart storage and other distributed energy solutions with Bloom Energy's fuel cell technology allows us to play offense in the rapidly changing energy landscape by expanding our distributed infrastructure business."

"Like the computing and mobile telephony revolutions before, technology innovation is challenging assumptions of what is possible in electric power. Today, offering a customized power solution that is tailored to the needs of an individual business is technologically possible and economically attractive," added KR Sridhar, founder, chairman and CEO of Bloom Energy.

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