October 31, 2016
GTM Research has identified generator makers like General Electric, Cummins and Generac as key players the microgrid field. That makes sense, since they provide one of the cornerstone pieces of equipment for customer categories for which losing power isn’t an option, like data centers or hospitals.
But to earn their keep during the vast majority of time the power isn’t out, these generators are increasingly being hooked up with communications technology and software to use them for demand-charge management, bidding into energy markets, or as a resource to help stabilize the grid. That, in turn, can allow generator companies to bundle them into a service, complete with low-cost financing, to access a much broader set of customers.
That’s how Satish Jayaram, director of Cummins Energy Ventures, described the logic behind last week’s joint venture with distributed energy controls software company Tangent Energy. Under the terms of the agreement, Cummins will be offering its EdgeGEN generators pre-integrated with Tangent’s distributed energy resource management system, a class of software that can monitor and control them as a unified energy resource. The newly formed joint venture will be marketed as “edgeGEN.”
The two companies have been working together for the past year and a half, integrating Tangent’s software into Cummins generators for a few customers. But “moving this to a joint-venture type model allows us to standardize our offering in the market, and make it sustainable for all customers,” said Jayaram.
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