Solo Energy – a ClimateLaunchpad alumni company – has teamed up with Cork City Council to install a state-of-the-art battery storage system at the Ballyvolane Fire Station. Cork-based Solo Energy, in collaboration with ESB Networks, is rolling out a network of distributed energy storage systems at a number of private and public buildings as part of an SEAI-funded R&D project called ‘eStore’. The operation of such a network will be the first of its kind for the power system in Ireland.
The eStore project involves the installation of ‘behind-the-meter’ battery storage devices, in some instances together with solar PV, at several locations with different customer types and use cases. Solo Energy is developing a cloud-connected software platform to control this network of batteries across the grid – enabling customers to get more from their solar PV systems and to access low-cost electricity during off peak times. Solo’s energy storage network can also provide a valuable service to grid operators by helping to alleviate bottlenecks on the grid.
Cork City Council installed 42 solar PV panels on the roof of Ballyvolane Fire Station in August 2016. The system currently offsets approximately 17% of the buildings electricity consumption and eliminates 4500 kg of CO2 from the atmosphere every year. The eStore project aims to improve these figures substantially through increasing solar PV self-consumption within the building whilst also trialling the provision of grid services to ESB Networks.
The project also makes use of the Industrial Internet Consortium’s INFINITE (INternational Future INdustrial Internet Testbed) testbed, an Industrial Internet innovation platform built specifically for the development of Industrial Internet products and solutions. Cork based Industrial Internet Consortium member, Dell EMC, is leading the INFINITE testbed.
The eStore project has received funding from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) as part of the Energy Research, Development & Demonstration (RD&D) fund. The fund aims to support sustainable energy research into new market solutions which overcome various barriers in the move to a secure and clean energy future. Priority areas include energy efficiency, citizen engagement and energy storage.
Solo Energy is a new low-cost 100% renewable electricity supplier business launching in 2018. Customers that sign-up to Solo will have a smart battery system installed at their home or business – with no up-front cost. The system-software will charge customer’s batteries when wind turbines and solar panels are generating clean energy – so a win-win.