Storage innovators Moixa are plugging into a Sussex energy co-operative, launching a pilot Virtual Power Plant (VPP) to cut DNO costs.
Via social enterprise Brighton & Hove Energy Services Cooperative (BHESCo), the battery maker is recruiting 30 homes in Worthing, willing to invest between £2,950 and £5,500 for a battery starting at 4.8kWh. Solar homes, or homeowners contemplating rooftop panels, are the targets.
The exercise is to establish a co-operatively-enabled aggregation pilot. Self-generated clean energy will be collected on Moixa’s GridShare platform.
For BHESCo, Dan Curtis explained the aggregation project would use batteries in homes to access provide network flexibility. “Moixa will run the service and operate the VPP delivering clean power into UKPN’s market”, he added.
“Customers…..can use more of their self-generated solar energy, [offering a] potential reduction on their energy bills”, said Curtis.
Participants will get £50 a year reward, he added, for being GridShare members and allowing their battery to be used as a part of the aggregate VPP pool.
Cathrin Stadler, Moixa’s project manager, said a primary benefit was easing or avoiding extra DNO costs in Worthing and Littlehampton, at points identified already by UKPN as constrained.
Moixa had approached the co-op, she said, after they worked together on a joint project three years ago in Lewes.
Payment balancing terms between participants are still in discussion, but would probably be by cash, she said.
No end date has been set on the project, and it could expand beyond 30 homes. “We are here to learn”, said Stadler. “With more micro-generated renewables coming onto the grid, we at Moixa would like to see services evolving, and additional services developed for consumers and the DNOs”.
Common in Germany and northern Europe, social enterprise energy co-operatives in England & Northern Ireland have hitherto been overlooked by Whitehall’s mandarins.
Freeing up UK co-operatives to trade their self-generated or collected power directly to consumers, might be one such innovation. This request headed demands last month made by Parliament’s environmental audit committee. Energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng’s reply is expected by 7 June.
Living in Worthing, and interested in this joint project? Contact Moixa through its contact form.