CUC begins home battery pilot for green energy

| 27/04/2021 | 14 Comments
PowerPod 2 systems by Electriq Power

(CNS): CUC is about to begin a pilot project, testing home battery storage for domestic solar panels and wind turbines. In a press release issued Tuesday, the power provider for Grand Cayman said it has partnered with a California-based company to try out its energy storage, management and monitoring system in ten test homes across the island. The current national energy policy calls for 70% of electricity to come from renewable sources within the next 16 years, and CUC said a substantial amount of battery storage will be needed to integrate more solar and wind energy and meet that target.

The contract with Electriq Power will test the efficacy of battery storage systems in residential homes. The goals of the initiative include discovering best practices for installation and operation, understanding capital and operational costs, as well as demonstrating and measuring multiple value propositions for the residential user and CUC.

“Battery storage is foreseen in CUC’s Integrated Resource Plan as an enabling component in a transition to a renewable dominated portfolio,” said Sacha Tibbetts, VP Customer Services and Technology. “While the value proposition to CUC and its customers from large-scale battery installations is well understood, small customer-sited batteries are relatively new and not yet fully understood by the industry. CUC is looking forward to working with Electriq Power and to piloting small-scale batteries at ten residential customer sites. This will allow us to better understand the value to CUC and our customers.”

CNS has asked CUC about how and why the homes were selected and we are awaiting a response.

The release stated that Electriq will be using local contractors to install the equipment and they will then manage these behind-the-meter systems as a virtual power plant (VPP). These PowerPod 2 systems will provide both backup to the homes during power-outages and grid services to support CUC’s distribution infrastructure.

This PowerPod includes a cobalt-free Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LFP) battery, hybrid battery/solar inverter, home energy management system, and an energy consumption meter and smart home energy software app to manage electricity use and optimise efficiency.

Frank Magnotti, CEO of Electriq Power, said this was an opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of the PowerPod 2 system in a VPP application.

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Category: Business, Energy, Science & Nature, utilities

Comments (14)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    CNS are you aware of the recent demands on CORE customers to re-file all their equipment specs with CUC or be cut off in 3 months? It’s a quite blatant attempt to blame CORE customers for their poor grid performance and place the burden of proof on consumers to prove they are not the problem, obviously they are looking for any excuse to cancel CORE agreements.

  2. Anonymous says:

    CUC currently trying to cancel everyone’s CORE agreements by claiming CORE customers are causing grid problems despite the fact that it was CUC who okayed everyone’s equipment in the first place. Getting people to use batteries is just forcing the cost of maintaining their grid on to us.

  3. Green Cayman says:

    CUC needs to have a battery backup system in each district using TESLA battery systems like Australia and only use diesel for emergency backup. All government buildings especially schools and hospitals should be equipped with solar panels and batteries feeding back to the grid. This is long overdue. Stop the foot dragging and waiting for consultants, it’s calculated time wasting. The new government has a mandate to meet green targets now. Import solar panels and peripherals in bulk so that they are affordable to the man in the street. Going green should not be a luxury.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sounds expensive. Wonder what it will cost to install

  5. Anonymous says:

    Let’s see who gets these batteries..

  6. Fred says:

    Any thought going to vehicle-to-grid battery storage from electric vehicles that are rapidly becoming more popular? These cars have large batteries (by home storage standards) and sharing the value of these batteries between transport and renewable energy storage could be very realistic and cost effective given the short distances typically driven on this island each day.

    • Anonymous says:

      V2G is an interesting concept but has lost popularity in practice because of the strain it puts on the vehicle’s battery accelerating the need to replace it. Ultimately, the benefit has been proven to be for the power company not the consumer in most applications.

    • Guido Marsupio says:

      How many electric vehicles are on Grand? CNS, do you know? Anyone? Ask DVDL?

  7. Anonymous says:

    This makes it sound like some ground breaking technology is about to be released when in reality this should now be a mature market here in Cayman given the abundance of power (sun) we have.

  8. Anonymous says:

    More moke and smirrors.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Just go off the grid and forget CUC, they hate that.

  10. Anonymous says:

    CUC looking to get rid of CORE. Tell owners to store their own power, with all the battery requirements and inefficiency involved in house by house power storage, sobtheyvdontvhave to take home generated power on to the grid. Of a piece with their announcement that they wish to retrospectively inspect all CORE installations and see if they can find a reason to cancel the agreements on a technical specifications basis.

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