Kaluza has become the first residential flexibility platform to provide a paid service to a UK distribution network operator, Western Power Distribution (WPD).
During peak times in the evenings over several weeks, Kaluza has used its portfolio of domestic sonnen batteries in Lincolnshire to help meet demand.
Using WPD’s flexibility interface ‘Flexible Power’, signals from the company’s control centre were sent to Kaluza, which automatically discharged the batteries.
Conor Maher-McWilliams, head of flexibility at Kaluza said this milestone was “a significant moment for the industry”.
“It clearly demonstrates how domestic flexibility, alongside new innovative markets like Flexible Power, can play a vital role in the transition to a smart, resilient grid. With this technology in place, we are enabling people at home to get the most out of their products, pay less for their energy, and reduce their carbon footprint.”
As the UK increasingly moves towards electrification and intermittent renewables in an effort to decarbonise, the need for flexibility is increasing.
A study released in December shows that Great Britain will need at least 30GW of energy storage if it hopes to reach net zero by 2050.
Ben Godfrey, WPD’s network strategy manager commented: “There is acute pressure on grid operators to find innovative ways to accommodate the UK’s growing electricity demand, without having to build larger networks.
“Technologies like Kaluza’s, that are able to securely connect and scale to many different IoT devices, create an exciting opportunity for the UK’s future energy system. We look forward to seeing the full impact that flexible technology can have as we push towards net-zero.”
WPD has been upgrading its operations in an effort to increase flexibility, including launching the UK’s largest tender for demand response, according to the company.
Sonnen’s batteries are being used elsewhere, including in a virtual power plant project with Centrica. The two companies have claimed that it is the UK’s most advanced, using 100 domestic batteries.
Kaluza has been forming a number of partnerships to help it grow its flexibility offerings, including with manufacturers like energy storage company PowerVault, and both network companies and energy suppliers.
In June 2019, it penned a new partnership with sonnen to introduce new flexibility onto the UK’s grid.