UK-based Kiwi Power is kicking its distributed energy resource optimization technology business into high gear as it officially pushes into North American markets. Thanks to a long standing relationship with ENGIE, Kiwi Power is able to move into this lucrative new market having already secured its first customer in the region, ENGIE North America.
Distributed energy resource optimization is like installing a conductor to direct the consumption, production, and storage of electricity from a network of typically large players on an electrical grid. They typically contract with grid operators, utilities, and storage owners to provide grid services including price-based trading, frequency balancing, demand response, and more. Solutions like this are crucial to maximizing the return on investment in stationary energy storage, installed generating capacity, while increasing the reliability and resilience of the grid.
“As renewable generation, energy storage and distributed energy resources continue to penetrate global electric grids, value is migrating away from the supply of power and toward the supply of flexibility,” said Jay Zoellner, CEO of Kiwi Power. In a world with distributed energy resources ranging from massive coal-fired power generating stations to small residential rooftop systems connecting to the grid, managing complexity while ensuring stability is the order of the day.
I spoke with a few of the experts from Kiwi Power at CES 2019 in Las Vegas about their distributed energy resource optimization technology and the criticality of grid solutions like this to help integrate more renewables to grids around the world. It’s not a simple matter of connecting new solar panels to the grid, or bolting on massive energy storage installation, as the grid must supply exactly as much power as grid users are pulling from it, in realtime.
Kiwi Power is no stranger to the space, having spent the last ten years toiling in ten countries to refine their approach and solution for bundling advanced virtual power plant (VPP) functionality with electricity generation, storage, and consumption units across the grid. Its class-leading virtual power plant products and energy market optimization services were recognized as the world leaders by Guidehouse Insights (formerly Navigant) in Q1 2020. The company also took the top spot in execution, leaving little doubt about Kiwi Power’s prowess in the world of distributed energy resource optimization.
Launching with ENGIE North America translates to Kiwi Power ramping up its sales team in the region, but its operational team is no stranger to North America. The two companies piloted a solution last summer in Texas to optimize the return on investment of assets in the Electrical Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region. With the official launch in North America, Kiwi Power will help ENGIE North America to ramp the project up to full capacity, integrating market signals and analytics to more effectively take advantage of real time electricity prices.
“As an independent power producer, the work we are doing with Kiwi Power bolsters ENGIE North America’s existing objectives and areas of strength,” said Vikram Kulkarni, Vice President of Sustainability Solutions at ENGIE North America. “We were impressed with the simplicity and power of the Kiwi Power solution and see it as a competitive advantage to expand our energy flexibility presence in North America at scale.”
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