A new energy demand response start-up is preparing to launch within weeks which will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to manage a portfolio of storage assets and provide real-time energy reserves to the grid.
Upside Energy’s Virtual Energy Store aims to relieve stress on the grid by using predictive algorithms to manage a number of distributed storage resources to reduce reliance on the spinning reserve capacity provided by traditional power stations.
The energy start-up’s cloud service currently coordinates batteries and other devices at around 40 sites but has the potential to manage thousands more across a broad portfolio of technologies, including small batteries within uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), electric vehicles and solar PV.
The company signed a firm frequency response (FFR) bridging contract with the National Grid in November and is currently qualifying its assets before officially launching its commercial service by early March.
Upside will begin by providing initial service to large batteries at Sheffield and Manchester Universities before seeking to take advantage of National Grid’s decision to lower the minimum entry point for its main frequency response tendering market from 10MW to 1MW from April.
The company will seek to build its access to batteries and other smart devices, such as home storage, intelligent hot water tanks or businesses’ reserve power supplies, by offering a second revenue stream in the form of frequency response.
Speaking toSolar Power Portal yesterday Dr Graham Oakes, founder and chief executive of Upside Energy, said: “Somebody with a home battery system is maximising their self-consumption of PV which is giving them an arbitrage value because they're avoiding buying from the grid. That gives you a 15-20 year payback on a home battery system.