Habitat Energy Limited, the UK based algorithmic optimization and trading platform for grid-scale battery storage and renewables assets, announces a major expansion into the US power market with an initial team of 18 data science and power trading specialists, and is positioned to be operational in all major US power markets by the end of next year. Habitat has partnered with battery storage developer, Glidepath Power Solutions, LLC, to optimize an initial portfolio of 60MW of BESS assets to be operational in ERCOT by end 2023. Habitat and Glidepath are both portfolio companies of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners.
Habitat’s first optimization asset is Glidepath’s 10MW/10MWh “Prospect” battery storage project located in West Columbia, TX. Habitat recently commenced optimizing Prospect in the Responsive Reserve Service (RRS) and wholesale power markets using the firm’s proprietary AI and machine learning capabilities. Habitat will also optimize Glidepath’s 50MW Byrd Ranch storage project located in Sweeny TX. The Byrd Ranch project is in the late stages of construction and commissioning.
Habitat is a market leader in the UK with an operating portfolio of over 700MW of storage capacity dynamically optimized across the UK real time wholesale power markets, Balancing Mechanism, and regulated ancillary services markets including Dynamic Containment. Habitat uses advanced artificial intelligence to analyze power market dynamics to optimize split-second dispatch instructions that are specific to each storage and renewable power supply asset under active management based on their respective operational capabilities and location. Habitat’s algorithmic tools are complemented with oversight from an experienced 24/7 trading team and in-house Route to Market and execution capability. Habitat possesses sophisticated in-house modeling of battery degradation, enabling it to calculate the marginal degradation cost of each dispatch action and factor that into real time optimization decisions. Habitat has been ranked the top performing battery optimizer in the UK by independent third parties such as LCP Enact, earning up to twice as much revenue per MW for their clients’ assets relative to competitors.
Habitat’s rapidly growing US team is led by Mike Kirshner, who most recently led Vistra’s optimization strategy for the milestone Moss Landing storage project in California. Habitat’s US team is supported from Habitat’s head office in Oxford, UK which comprises over 60 battery storage, data science and trading professionals. For the US market, Habitat will not only focus on battery storage optimization, but also on renewables and hybrid facilities, recognizing the substantial revenue opportunity that sophisticated AI optimization can deliver by trading across Day Ahead and Real Time markets and dynamically analyzing Hub/Node price differentials in real time.
Chris McKissack, CEO of Glidepath, said “Our team knows that making storage projects succeed in a rapidly evolving energy sector requires deep understanding of both technology and market specifics. We’ve seen that Habitat’s tools can give our projects a competitive edge and help us provide the more flexible, reliable grid that energy users need.”
Habitat plans to have a full operational capability across ERCOT, PJM, CAISO and MISO by the end of 2023. With gas prices and market volatility higher than ever, Habitat is seeing market demand for storage optimization services increasing as asset owners recognize the unique challenges of optimally managing increasing power market volatility which requires highly specialist capability.
Mike Kirschner, Managing Director of Habitat Energy USA said, “I am excited to lead Habitat’s US launch in Texas with committed plans, supported by Quinbrook, to expand rapidly into other ISOs next year. The power sector is in a period of dramatic change, with renewables and storage now dominating new capacity investment. AI-enabled forecasting and optimization is a critical functional need in order to respond to the hectic pace of the energy transition. Habitat is at the forefront of this digital revolution in power markets, with the demonstrated ability to consistently outperform its competitors in the UK. Habitat’s unique algorithmic and data science skills is what attracted me to take on the leadership role here in the US and help realize the huge potential in this market.”
Habitat was acquired in 2021 by Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, a specialist global investment manager focused exclusively on renewables, storage and grid support infrastructure. Quinbrook’s investment in Habitat reflects confidence in the growing role of AI-enabled automated forecasting and dispatch in ensuring that dispatchable renewable power and storage assets achieve their full revenue potential whilst also ensuring that more renewable capacity can be efficiently added to the power system.
David Scaysbrook, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Quinbrook commented, “We believe that the ‘Net Zero’ power systems of tomorrow are moving rapidly and inexorably to a place where renewable power assets and storage in all its forms will be managed and optimized with advanced algorithmic capabilities. We view Habitat as truly ahead of the game in devising ‘state of the art’ methods at the leading edge of data science combined with the power markets know-how to maintain competitive edge. Habitat’s launch in the US is part of our long-term strategic vision for this business and we celebrate Habitat onboarding their first operating assets in the US in what we believe will be the first of many.”