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Kilroy Realty Trust Co-Locates Battery Storage with Solar at Commercial Properties in Los Angeles, San Francisco

Commercial real estate investors and developers are searching for ways to reduce energy consumption, pollution and waste in a bid to enhance their financial bottom lines, as well as align themselves with broad-based political, socioeconomic and environmental trends. They're turning to a new breed of energy efficiency and distributed energy services providers in doing so.

The owner and manager of 13.719 million square feet of commercial real estate in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and the Pacific Northwest, Kilroy Realty Trust prides itself on designing, building and managing buildings that are more than just spaces in which to work. “We understand how environments shape human creativity and productivity,” CEO John Kilroy states. “A commitment to sustainability is at the foundation of everything we do.:

Kilroy Realty recently chose Stem, a pioneering battery energy storage systems integrator,  to deploy over 7.5 MWh of artificial intelligence-driven energy storage at eight commercial buildings in the company’s California portfolio. Boulder, Colorado's Black Bear Energy, which specializes in advising real estate companies considering investments in energy efficiency and distributed energy resources, had a hand in Stem's selection. 
Adding to Stem's “behind the meter” energy storage networking

Stem is to install its Athena battery-based energy storage system at four Kilroy Realty office buildings in San Francisco and another four in Los Angeles over the course of 2018. That represents about 20 percent of the real estate company's office portfolio. 

Kilroy and Black Bear and Stem created a financial structure custom-designed specifically for real estate companies investing in deployment of distributed energy resources and energy efficiency projects to bring the deal to fruition. Once fully operational, the Kilroy properties' intelligent, lithium-ion battery energy strorage systems will be linked into a network of “behind the meter systems Stem operates on behalf of customers. 

California is a pioneer when it comes to leveraging the flexibility and efficiency today's intelligent, battery energy storage systems for the benefit of consumers, utilities and the state's power grids. Stem's network of “behind the meter” energy storage systems, for example, is used to support local grids when they're strained. It is also accelerating grid integration of distributed, renewable energy resources. 

“When it comes to real estate and energy storage for commercial buildings, it’s the brains behind the batteries that differentiate solutions. KRC is a renowned innovator in the real estate industry, and we are proud to support their corporate sustainability plans,” Stem CEO John Carrington said in a press release. “Real estate leaders recognize Stem’s innovative model and unparalleled experience, which allows us to execute with precision, address siting constraints, and deploy quickly.”

Co-locating solar and energy storage

“Intelligent energy storage helps reduce the environmental footprint of our building operations,” added Sara Neff, Kilroy Realty senior vice president of sustainability. “Black Bear’s expertise with clean energy and Stem’s AI-powered solution will help us achieve our environmental goals while helping to modernize the grid, which is a natural alignment with our business vision.”

Kilroy's deployment of 7.5 MWh of battery-based energy storage follows expands on the real estate company's work with Black Bear. Black Bear advised and represented Kilroy in the development of 5.2 MW of solar power capacity on-site at commercial properties Kilroy owns and manages in California, some of which are now to be equipped with Stem's Athena battery energy storage technology. Nautilus Solar Energy, a national solar project development company and Black Bear developed the portfolio of commercial solar projects.

“We typically help clients with multiple projects over course of our relationship with them,” Black Bear Energy CEO Drew Torbin, explained in an interview.

Kilroy, Black Bear and Nautilus held a ribbon-cutting ceremony upon commissioning of a distributed, 5.2 MW commercial solar power project last November. 

“In some instances the solar and storage is co-located, but these are not 'solar plus storage' solutions. You have solar on one meter and storage on the other. They're each doing there own thing independently,” Torbin explained. 

We delve further into this innovative commercial real estate battery energy storage and solar energy project with Torbin in a soon-to-be-published second installment.

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