Moixa has secured £267,750 from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Energy Entrepreneurs Fund to expand its Gridshare platform to manage a wider range of third party home, electric vehicle and IoT batteries.
Gridshare aggregates the capacity of multiple distributed batteries to create a virtual power plant and aims to have 200MWh of battery capacity under management by 2020. That will involve installing batteries in 50,000 UK homes and managing twice as many on Gridshare.
So far the company has around 1000 Gridshare customers, but it is ramping up sales of the product. It has opened a new sales office in Manchester with 10 staff and it expects to triple that complement by the end of 2018.
Early on, the company found it had to rethink its offer to customers. Speaking at the Utility 4.0 conference, the company’s Ed Gunn said that in an offer to 200 customers “not one” took the offer up [note that contact was pre-launch, not, as an earlier version of this story said, the response to Gridshare]. The company had found customers had an “emotional connection to their home and assets” and Moixa had “gone back to the drawing board for the customer proposition”.
It found it had to offer a simple concept using non-industry language. That was the genesis of the ‘Gridshare’ brand, which was launched in November last year. Now most battery customers have taken up the offer and the company has added a simple app for customers to join the scheme.
Meanwhile, Moixa has three other UK projects under way:
- Working with Hitachi on a £10.8 million project on the Scilly Isles developing platforms to enable home batteries and electric vehicles to help balance supply and demand within the islands’ energy system.
- A trial with Northern Powergrid near Barnsley links 40 home batteries to demonstrate how virtual power plants can relieve pressures on the electricity network and enable more homes to install solar panels without having to upgrade the local network.
- A two-year project with Oxford City Council that links smart batteries in 82 homes, a school and community centre with 300kWp of solar panels creating a virtual smart local energy grid.