Envirotec

Battery aggregator secures funds to advance grid-balancing plans

Home battery firm Moixa has secured £2.5 million in new investment to help realise its goal of creating a virtual power plant aggregating the capacity of 100,000 home batteries, it announced in late June at the Housing 2017 conference in Manchester.



A £1 million funding facility from Greater Manchester Combined Authority will see Moixa open a regional sales and delivery centre in the city and it expects to have 20 local staff within a year, with ultimate plans to grow to 60. The office will drive the company’s growth in the north west by offering solar and storage products to private customers and pursuing multi-thousand unit deployments with social housing clients.

Moixa has also secured £1.5 million in equity investment, including £500,000 from Japan’s largest utility, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and £500,000 from First Imagine! Ventures, the venture capital investor.

Moixa expects to pilot its cost effective and compact battery systems in Tokyo in a proof of concept trial with TEPCO and other Japanese partners later this year. It is also planning trials in Europe and the US within the next 12 months.

Lady Barbara Judge CBE, chairman of the Institute of Directors and Athene Capital, is an investor in the latest round and will sit on Moixa’s international advisory group as it starts to consider export markets. She joins existing high-profile investors from the energy industry, Sam Laidlaw and Ian Marchant, the former CEOs of Centrica and SSE, and Brian Count former Chief Operating Officer of RWE npower.

By 2020 Moixa expects to have installed 50,000 UK batteries and to be managing twice as many using its patented, cloud-based “GridShare” platform. This will create a Virtual Power Plant aggregating around 250MWh of capacity to deliver services to the National Grid and utilities that will help reduce the costs of running the electricity network and allow it to support increased levels of renewables. Moixa has been awarded UK and US patents on managing distributed batteries for grid services.

Simon Daniel, CEO of Moixa, said: “Smart home batteries are transforming our electricity system, saving money for households and communities and supporting a cost-effective, reliable, low-carbon network. We are developing solar plus storage solutions for social housing that will help councils tackle fuel poverty and we look forward to collaborating with Greater Manchester and supporting the low carbon energy transition in the Northern Powerhouse region.”

Councillor Kieran Quinn, Lead Member for Investment and Finance on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said: “The GMCA is determined to make Greater Manchester a centre of low-carbon innovation to transform our economy, create new jobs and cut our CO2 emissions by 48%. We are delighted to partner with Moixa; in addition to the clear environmental benefits, their battery storage technology with solar panels has huge potential to cut household bills and tackle fuel poverty.”

Moixa is pioneering battery aggregation in a series of projects working with a wide range of councils, utilities and community energy groups.

 

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. The project is expected to halve residents’ energy bills and save millions in the costs of running the UK’s power network.

 

It is working with Oxford City Council on a two-year project which aims to tackle fuel poverty in one of the city’s most deprived communities. It links smart batteries in 82 homes, a school and community centre with 300kWp of solar panels creating a virtual smart local energy grid allowing the community to maximise use of the free energy it generates.

 

Moixa is working with Hitachi on a £10.8 million project on the Scilly Isles which will lay the foundations for the islands to cut electricity bills by 40% and boost renewables by 40%. It is developing platforms to enable home batteries and electric vehicles to help balance supply and demand within the islands’ energy system.

 

Moixa has supplied smart batteries to National Energy Action projects in social housing in Camden, Islington and Waltham Forest.   

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