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Huntington Beach, Calif., Uses AI and Battery to Save Money

The city installed a 235 kilowatt-hour-sized battery that predicts when demand charges occur. The building can then draw from the stored energy in the battery, rather than the grid, thus saving money.

by Priscella Vega, Daily Pilot / December 10, 2018

(TNS) — A battery powered by artificial intelligence that was installed recently in the basement of Huntington Beach, Calif.'s City Hall will help the city save about $82,000 in energy costs over 10 years, according to city officials.

The 235-kilowatt-hour-size battery, created by Stem Inc., will go live next year.

The company’s artificial intelligence uses predictive analytics, algorithms and other methods to lower costs while relieving overall stress on the power grid, according to Stem’s senior vice president, Alan Russo.

“Stem’s AI anticipates the building energy needs, using AI to discharge the battery in time to help the customer lower their energy bills,” Russo said.

Artificial intelligence, he said, can predict when demand charges will occur, allowing customers to use the energy stored in the battery as opposed to energy from the grid, meaning customers can avoid the higher costs.

City manager assistant Antonia Graham said the battery works in tandem with 2.13 megawatts of solar power and enables the city to buy energy from Southern California Edison when it’s cheaper.

“We’re a leader in sustainability in the county,” she said. “We’ve retro-commissioned our facilities; bought all our streetlights. It made sense [that] battery storage is the next thing.”

Councilman Mike Posey said in a statement that Huntington Beach has “robust community sustainability goals and a responsibility to control our operating costs.”

“We were attracted to Stem’s track record with automated customer savings while also using their storage networks to help integrate more renewable energy into the local grid,” he said.

©2018 the Daily Pilot (Costa Mesa, Calif.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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