Growing a solar portfolio with certainty, speed and trust
Company: Madison Energy Investments
Type: Asset manager, developer, EPC, owner and operator
Location: Tysons Corner, Virginia, and New York, New York
PowerTrack: 160 operating assets, nearly 140 MW
AlsoEnergy Solution: Full edge-to-cloud platform
Beginning of partnership: 2019
With offices in New York, Virginia and Alabama, asset manager Madison Energy Investments (MEI) serves public and private entities and capital partners looking to add or invest in distributed energy resources across the U.S. MEI’s knowledgeable team works to structure financing and develop, construct and own/operate onsite solar, storage and solar-plus-storage projects, as well as offsite community solar generation and electric fleets with associated charging infrastructure.
Driven by its motto of “Certainty. Speed. Trust.,” MEI employs best practices across all phases of the industry, from origination to asset management. Quality partnerships and an execution mindset have made MEI a leader in renewables.
“Our ability to maximize energy production and provide a return on investment starts with understanding what’s happening across all of our sites… PowerTrack serves as our eyes and ears throughout our portfolio to provide us with that clarity.” — Ben Hunter, Vice President of MEI
Scaling quickly for customers
MEI is among the fastest growing asset owners in distributed energy resources. The company works to identify and create opportunities that offer savings and certainty to its customers, and stable returns to its investor partners, so its team knew that having an asset management platform to accommodate its constant scaling into new technologies and markets was critical from the start. Determining site production for accurate PPA billing was also a challenge because some utilities use their own revenue meters.
“We knew the importance of having good data on all of our sites for optimal monitoring and maintenance,” said Ben Hunter, Vice President of MEI. “Our ability to maximize energy production and provide a return on investment starts with understanding what’s happening across all of our sites.”
Since the company’s founding in 2019, MEI has worked with AlsoEnergy to enable speedy bidding and commissioning and reduce underperformance risk to save costs and create budget certainty.
Smart insights for informed decisions
By standardizing on AlsoEnergy’s edge-to-cloud optimization platform, MEI has confidently accelerated project development and portfolio growth. AlsoEnergy enables MEI to manage data from a variety of projects in different locations, and then analyze it to gain insights, allowing better decision making to increase uptime and control expenses.
MEI requires that its EPC partners use AlsoEnergy edge solutions on all of its assets to simplify and accelerate the biding and commissioning of projects. This is because AlsoEnergy’s edge solutions are the starting point for MEI’s entire revenue model, helping MEI determine site production for accurate PPA billing.
“AlsoEnergy’s solutions have enabled us to continue to complete monthly billing on time while maintaining 100% collections across hundreds of offtakers,” Hunter said.
Additionally, AlsoEnergy’s edge-to-cloud platform allows comparing actual production versus expected production under current site conditions.
“We do a lot of analysis at the inverter level to determine if inverters have ‘left the pack,’ gone offline, or are not producing as much as others,” he said. “Having all our data in one place allows us to use it in smart ways.”
This helps MEI optimize its O&M and reduce truck rolls.
A trusted partner for new technologies
“We typically do 50+ deals each year,” Hunter said. “PowerTrack serves as our eyes and ears on our assets to provide us with the clarity we seek. Having a technical specification to standardize on AlsoEnergy’s edge solutions means that our EPC partners know what to expect, eliminating any guesswork or confusion that could hinder progress. They can work directly with AlsoEnergy’s customer success team to efficiently commission assets while our analysts have the reporting they need right at their fingertips. If they see something unexpected, they can work with AlsoEnergy’s support team to quickly troubleshoot and solve the problem.”
MEI has found a partner it can trust moving into the future, enabling customers to achieve their resiliency and ESG initiatives. With more than 35 projects in its pipeline for Q3 and Q4 2022, it will be taking on more energy storage assets, which will involve a great deal of data. Having been acquired by Stem, AlsoEnergy is strongly positioned to support the growing solar-plus-storage market. AlsoEnergy’s storage expertise and familiarity with MEI’s business gives Hunter and his team confidence that AlsoEnergy can continue to provide the support required to meet their goals.
“With storage, there are more moving parts so it’s going to be critical that we understand what’s happening with those systems because more hardware means more decisions, such as deciding when to charge and discharge,” Hunter said. “We know that AlsoEnergy’s products and services are up to the growing needs of MEI’s business goals, and its professional services team is readily available to make sure everything is set up correctly so that MEI and its customers are getting what they need and expect.”