In August 2016, Bord na Móna acquired a 50% share of Electricity Exchange, a leading provider of smart grid technology and services. Electricity Exchange developed technology that enables commercial and industrial electricity consumers to save money and support the grid with minimal impact on their business. The Company operates a Virtual Power Station that pays businesses for making themselves available to support Ireland’s electricity grid when required.
Speaking about the joint venture, Mike Quinn, former Bord na Móna CEO, stated: “Bord na Móna Powergen have a significant development pipeline of renewable projects and we see the Electricity Exchange technology as an enabler to allow greater renewable penetration onto the Irish Electricity grid. The power system is evolving at a fast pace and Electricity Exchange has a track record of constant innovation which allows them to stay ahead of the curve. They have built a reputation as an honest company that works hard for their customers which aligns perfectly with the ethos of Bord na Móna.
“We have been watching Electricity Exchange continually raising the bar in the areas of smart grid and distributed power systems. The next generation technology, IoTAS, will allow us to take this to another level and will offer a multitude of benefits including frequency response services that are critical for grid operators looking to increase the share of renewable generation on the power system. Working together will allow us to deliver exciting new services to our combined customer bases and create new opportunities going forward.”
Ireland’s power system faces unique challenges in pursuit of delivering 40% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. Unlike the majority of its European counterparts, as an island, Ireland has limited opportunity to borrow from neighbouring countries when its own power generation falls short. The variable nature of wind, from which we derive the majority of our renewable electricity generation, requires vigilant power system management in order to maintain the security of electricity supply.
On the investment, Dr. Paddy Finn, Managing Director at Electricity Exchange commented: “This investment comes at an exciting time for the company and we are looking forward to accelerating our growth, expanding into other markets, and delivering the technologies necessary to make Ireland a Smart Grid exemplar in partnership with Bord na Mona.”