Green-exclusive generator Octopus Energy, Britain’s third biggest supplier, is enabling multi-site companies who self-generate their renewable power to spread it between sites, even nationwide.
The energyco has stolen a march on rivals by launching Max Power, its innovative tariff enabling supply origination and demand sharing across several locations, provided they’re hooked into a single corporate client.
Max Power allows businesses with two or more sites to send any excess renewable energy they’re generating to their other locations in the UK. Octopus estimates it could save some businesses as much as 25% from annual bills.
The model works, regardless of whether firms run their own generation from solar PV, wind turbines, hydro power, geothermal or even battery storage in one location, and share it with their other sites.
‘Panel Power’, Octopus’ existing smart export tariff, already pays solar-generating businesses 15p per kWh for unused power released to the grid.
‘Max Power’ goes further, so multi-site businesses can get the maximum out of the green power they generate by keeping it within their own business.
Octopus positions multi-site sharing of single-site self-generation as helping customers in sectors including retail, logistics, warehousing, FMCG and agriculture.
As ever, Kraken, the industry-leading fulfilment and billing platform around which Octopus functions, is behind the innovation, believed unrivalled among other green providers. Kraken, was purchased in 2017, by Greg Jackson’s then one year-old debutant.
Kraken was essential to Octopus’ participation last month in National Grid ESO’s new ‘Demand Flexibility Service’, which paid businesses & households to shift consumption out of peak day parts.
Octopus Energy for Business CEO Zoisa North-Bond commented: “Businesses generating their own renewable energy can now bring their bills down further by sharing their cheap green power across their entire estate. Innovation like this puts money back in the pockets of British businesses and gives them greater control over how they use their energy. We’re showing that the greener choice can and should also be the cheaper choice.”
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Max Power’s launch came the day before the supplier announced it had built Britain’s biggest Virtual Power Plant, yoking together more than 100 MW of EV batteries across the grid.
‘Intelligent Octopus’, another new tariff, is behind Octopus’ VPP success. Charging vehicles at overnight off-peak rates, can saves electric car drivers over £760 a year, the firm maintains.
Leicester is this innovation’s chosen city of comparison. The supplier says 100 MW managed by Intelligent Octopus is enough to run the Midlands community’s population of 370,000 for a full hour.
The power firm says its VPP capacity exceeds that of Britain’s current biggest battery now in operation, Penso Power’s 100MW facility at Minety, Wiltshire, funded by China’s Hua Neng Group and subsequently optimised by Shell-owned Limejump. At stages during its implementation, Penso has earmarked the Minety facility for future expansion to 150MW.
Intelligent Octopus customers use Octopus’ app to set the time and amount they want their vehicle charged by. Kraken works in the background to automatically charge the cars up when there is abundant, low cost energy and when the grid is less busy, helping to balance out demand and supply on the grid.
By doing so, Intelligent Octopus is able to contribute to a flexible grid that doesn’t require expensive balancing costs – bringing down energy bills for everyone.
Octopus head of flexibility Alex Schoch commented: “We urgently need to build flexible grid technology to turbocharge the green energy system. The Intelligent Octopus tariff acts as a virtual power plant, shifting demand out of peak times and therefore cutting bills for everyone.
“As more electric cars take the road and steal market share from old-school gas-guzzlers,” Schoch went on, “we need even more solutions like Intelligent Octopus to handle the extra devices, increase the grid’s resilience and promote a green energy future.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly implied that the Minety 100MW battery is owned by Limejump. The Energyst is happy to clarify the true position, which is that ownership of the facility continues to reside with Penso Power.