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Current±’s 2018 Review: E.On and Microsoft’s buddy act, and Ireland to welcome ‘world leading’ batteries

Image: E.On.

Image: E.On.

We reach the business end of the year in this edition of our re-cap of 2018, with the biggest stories of September and October featuring an interesting energy partnership between E.On and Microsoft and there’s talk of Ireland’s DS3 market, as it looks set to become home to “world leading” battery projects.

E.On and Microsoft partner for ‘next step’ in home tech

Energy giant E.On announced a new partnership with tech firm Microsoft in early October, seeking to develop a new smart home technology platform that will enable households to aggregate data and energy capacity of their electrical devices.

E.On called the platform ‘the next step in smart home technology’, and it will aim to bring together all smart technologies, including heating and cooling systems, PV installations, battery storage or chargers for electric vehicles, on a single platform.

By offering a single dashboard to monitor and control all these energy resources, the Big Six supplier says it is offering households a single point of control for every unit for the first time.

It’s unlikely to be the last we’ll hear of tech players in the energy space.

AI-enabled home batteries prep for launch

Smarter home systems were evidently all the rage in October, and just a day after E.On and Microsoft’s partnership was announced a new player in the domestic energy sphere broke cover with an Artificial Intelligence-powered battery system that promised to take homeowners into DSR and grid balancing markets.

Social Energy is to launch its Duracell-branded batteries in Q1 2019, and they’ll use cloud-based AI and software platforms to allow connected energy storage systems to trade energy and participate in grid-balancing and network services platforms.

National Grid has approved the domestic battery offering to participate in demand side response (DSR) as well as provide grid-balancing services such as frequency response.

Ireland’s DS3 market home to be home to ‘world leading’ batteries

Later that month, preparations started in earnest for the Ireland’s maiden flexibility market, dubbed DS3, and Everoze partner Felicity Jones said the design of the market would allow for Ireland to become home to “world leading” battery projects.

Jones went onto described DS3 as “Enhanced Frequency Response on steroids”, with the DS3 market set to procure up to 140MW of capacity with the capability to respond within 150 – 300 milliseconds, and all under potentially lucrative six-year contracts.

While Eirgrid has not specified that battery storage will be the only technology procured, only this is expected to be able to deliver on the requirements of the scheme. This, Jones said, made DS3’s ancillary services “really battery friendly”.

The industry will be watching closely when the auction takes place in September 2019.

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