Powin Delivers Innovative DC-Coupled Solar + Storage Solution for Amp Energy

3.07 MW DC / 6.3 MWh DC System; DC coupled power plant controller developed for this project

The U.S. operations of Amp Energy (“Amp”), a leading energy transitions platform that entered the U.S. market in 2015, surpassed 150 megawatts (MW) of operating and in-construction assets in 2020. Amp ended 2019 having acquired and developed an additional 80+ MW of solar projects, paired with more than 69 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy storage projects across Massachusetts and New York.

In 2020, Amp closed their first solar + storage project financing for a Massachusetts-based portfolio that represents some of the first non-residential DC-coupled solar + storage systems to be successfully financed in the United States.

Amp selected Powin as a trusted advisor and battery storage partner in this portfolio effort to develop innovative DC-coupled solar + storage solutions throughout Massachusetts. Solar + storage can smooth electricity prices through arbitrage, manage evening energy ramps, mitigate the risk of curtailment, ancillary service capability, and more.

DC-coupled system configurations combining solar and storage technologies are being deployed and proven at pilot scale across the country, allowing for greater use of low-cost, clean, dispatchable energy.

Powin has been working diligently with PV inverter and DC-DC converter vendors to ensure compatibility and optimization between the different system components. The Adams Project, the first Massachusetts- based Amp portfolio project that Powin partnered on, demonstrates that Powin’s DC-coupled solar + storage solution has become commercially viable at MW scale.

Powin partnered with Amp from the early stages in development to iterate the planning and design of this project in order to arrive at an optimized solar + storage solution.

Powin’s StackOS software (an integrated Battery Management System, Energy Management System, and Thermal Management System) contains a unique DC- coupled solution which acts as a Power Plant Controller, controlling the interface between Powin Stacks, DC to DC converters, and DC to AC inverters as a single system.

Combining control of these components into a single interface provides the end user with a predictable control functionality. Additionally, Powin’s inherently flexible control strategy enables users to integrate with a wide range of hardware vendors for inverters and converters.

For the Adams Project, Dynapower DPS500 DC converters were placed between Powin’s Stack225 product and a Power Electronics FS3190K PV inverter in what is referred to as ‘traditional DC-coupling’.

In this project, Amp utilizes Powin’s StackOS+ offering, which allows them to monitor and control the system via a RESTful API hosted in Powin’s Cloud.

Control is accomplished through a scheduled Dispatch Plan that incorporates the commands for each of the four operating modes for dynamic time intervals. The four operating modes include: grid operating mode, battery operating mode, PV to grid operating mode, and PV to battery operating mode.

Dispatch plans are also able to be set through a local Modbus API or through Powin’s Command Center UI, a web-based graphic UI. Powin’s StackOS+ is capable of optimizing solar production independent of a Dispatch Plan to maximize revenue for the site.

Powin’s DC-coupled solution provides industry leading flexibility of operation, along with deep visibility and predictability of BESS performance, enabled by their fully vertically integrated product.

Additional Projects in the Region

This project is one of a series of our first projects in MA, a rapidly growing energy storage market.

“Powin has supported us well through the execution of this project,” said Kevin Foster, the Director of US Projects for Amp, “and we look forward to continuing to work with Powin on many more storage projects in the future.”