Behind-the-meter energy storage systems at C&I sites are well positioned to provide benefits to the end customer (e.g., demand charge management and back-up power) and utilities (e.g., meet capacity requirements and provide demand response). As such, they form a crucial part of a more decentralized energy system.

C&I customers are increasingly looking to achieve long-term stability and predictability for energy spending, improve reliability and increase corporate sustainability. This situation creates new opportunities for distributed and renewable energy solutions. Within these types of solutions, energy storage can fulfil a range of functions, including demand charge management, self-consumption maximization, time-of-use optimization and back-up power. Software and system aggregation providing a range of ancillary and demand-response services is crucial to long-term success in a highly competitive market.

IHS Markit has evaluated each of the biggest suppliers based on 11 metrics, to arrive at overall scores for market presence, growth and capabilities regarding software, value stacking and demand response.

This diverse group of companies has effectively overcome challenges, to position themselves at the forefront of the market. Although Stem, Green Charge and AMS have implemented different growth strategies with regards to target customers and ownership models, all three have successfully built on their domestic market in California, investing heavily in software and aggregation capabilities and securing significant utility contracts and repeat business.

A number of smaller players are also looking to exploit growing commercial and industrial opportunities, by focusing on their key strengths. Battery suppliers such as JLM Energy and SimpliPhi focus on battery and technology leadership. Flow battery suppliers such as ESS and Primus Power focus on microgrids and long duration applications. While Go Electric and other new entrants look to monetize uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units, by also providing grid services.