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Partnership trials battery-based energy trading

2 August, 2017

Media Release

Partnership trials battery-based energy trading

Counties Power and Genesis Energy have today signed an innovative partnership to trial energy trading using radical new battery technology.

Counties Power’s grid-scale battery has a capacity of 250kW and stored energy capacity of 500kWh, is the size of a 20-foot shipping container, and has the capacity to fully power around 100 houses for two hours.

The collaboration between the parties will study how this battery technology and associated energy trading arrangements could potentially save consumers money, by taking the power at off-peak transmission rates from Transpower, storing it, and then releasing it at peak times when consumers would usually be paying a higher price.

Counties Power Acting Chief Executive – Corporate, Andrew Toop, says the joint initiative between an energy retailer and distributor is New Zealand’s first battery trial using energy arbitrage - storing and releasing energy to take advantage of price differentials.

“We’re very pleased to have teamed up with Genesis Energy for this exciting collaboration and learning opportunity,” said Mr Toop.

“We are bringing together several interested parties to work on different aspects of the grid storage business case. On the network side, we’ll also be working with vendors, the grid operator and other parties to mine opportunities for better management of demand peaks and more sustainable delivery of high quality, reliable power - an increasingly critical requirement for New Zealand’s manufacturing and industrial base to remain internationally competitive.

“It is important for electricity distribution businesses and retailers to start investing in and utilising this technology where it is cost-effective to do so.

“It’s great to be working with Genesis - New Zealand’s biggest energy retailer - to determine under what conditions and environments electricity arbitrage will be valuable,” said Mr Toop.

Genesis Energy Wholesale Manager Shaun Goldsbury said the trial was an opportunity for Genesis to work with a progressive lines company and learn more about how grid-scale batteries can work in a New Zealand context.

“Ultimately we see these batteries as having the potential to provide electricity for our customers in a cheaper, more efficient and cleaner way by reducing the generation, distribution and transmission costs associated with electricity, especially at peak times.

“We see energy management as the future of the market and this project will help us to manage energy for our customers at a grid-scale level,” said Mr Goldsbury.

The trial will last for a year initially with agreement to extend for a further 12 months.


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