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GE Partners With Tiny Arista Power To Dominate Huge Energy-Storage Market

GE is moving rapidly to establish its imprint and influence in clean, renewable energy. Its most recent move is to partner with a tiny company it believes has a foothold in the complex multi-billion dollar clean-energy storage market.

According to the GE-Arista partnership, GE, the largest maker of power-generation equipment, will join with Arista Power to sell systems that store electricity for commercial customers and release it when demand is at its highest, which would help reduce the cost of electricity.

Arista will use GE’s new, unique Durathon Battery as a key component for its renewable energy power management system, called “Power on Demand Systems.” The unit consists of a wind turbine, solar panels, and specially designed “smart” delivery battery storage that stores energy from the grid. In essence, the Power on Demand system, which Arista has installed in several of its small-business customers, is a storage and power management unit rolled into one.

Designed to use energy inputs from multiple sources, Arista’s custom-designed battery storage bank reduces grid demand because it mostly provides power when a customer’ demand reaches its peak levels. It works to smooth power demand on the grid and effectively lowers electricity costs to the customer.

‘We are excited that Arista Power has chosen our new Durathon Battery as a key component for its renewable power systems,” said Prescott Logan, general manager of GE Energy Storage in a statement announcing the pact. “We feel this combination offers customers clean energy systems that provides an attractive return on investment,” he added, and “we look forward to jointly promoting this new system.”

GE’s Durathon Battery is the product of a $100 million investment in next generation battery technology. Durathon is a nickel salt battery that is marketed for telecoms, utilities, and uninterruptible power supply applications.

The battery is 50% smaller and 25% lighter than traditional batteries and, equally important, they can last up to 20 years. The batteries operate effectively in extreme weather, and require only minimal maintenance, doesn’t need cooling, and could be recycled, according to GE.

The savings in electric costs from using Arista’s system can account for up to 30% to 70% of a commercial electric bill, says Schmitz. The system uses energy generated by wind turbines, solar PV, the electric grid, and other power sources in conjunction with a custom-designed battery storage system and proprietary real-time demand monitoring technology.

This monitoring system is designed to smooth power demand on the grid by maintaining grid demand within optimal parameters and releasing stored power only during peak-demand periods, says Schmitz, thereby reducing peak demand charges, and prolongs the life of the battery and reduces commercial electricity costs.
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