StoreNet is a €1.12m collaborative research project that includes SMS, the International Energy Research Centre (IERC), Electric Ireland, and ESB Networks
The project aims to demonstrate the potential of distributed demand-side energy storage to support the transition of the Irish electricity grid to a 100% renewable future, whilst at same time delivering value to consumers, the grid operator, utility suppliers, renewable generators and aggregators.
Launched in 2018, the StoreNet consortium has so far installed residential battery storage and solar PV systems across 20 homes located in the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry. Using SMS’s FlexiGrid™ aggregation and control technology, the batteries are operated in the form of Virtual Power Plant (VPP) to manage and balance demand with local renewable generation and, furthermore, to demonstrate the provision of local grid services to Ireland’s DSO, ESB Networks.
In September 2020, the StoreNet Project was nominated as a finalist at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) annual Energy Awards (Excellence in Research & Innovation category).
Our StoreNet partners
International Energy Research Centre (IERC) is an industry-led research centre in the field of integrated sustainable energy systems and is jointly funded by the Irish government and industry members.
Electric Ireland is Ireland’s leading energy provider that supplies electricity and gas to business and residential customers. It is the retail division of the state-owned Electricity Supply Board (ESB).
ESB Networks is the Distribution System Operator (DSO) in the Republic of Ireland.
How StoreNet works
This unique pilot, the first time distributed battery storage systems have ever been trialled at scale in Ireland, serves as a testbed for demonstration of flexibility at the domestic level. StoreNet also provides local network services, including localised network voltage support, and reduces consumption at peak times to offset new capacity requirements.
This is delivered via interaction between SMS’s FlexiGrid™ software and ESB Networks’ SERVO platform. When aggregated, the systems will act together as a VPP, providing services to the grid at times of peak demand. For instance, residents who generate electricity from solar PV panels installed on their premises will store excess power in the battery, with FlexiGrid™ remotely operating the asset to deploy energy for use during peak times. Additional ‘smart’ charging of the batteries during off-peak times will not only relieve pressure on the grid but will also reduce the cost of supply to the residents.
From a commercial perspective, the project will identify the energy services that can be delivered by a distributed energy storage network and assess the business model in terms of 100% renewable electricity, retail sales, and grid services.
Based on early results, when aggregating 20 homes the consortium has found that 100% clean energy can be utilised for self use amongst participating residents. In addition, optimised control has so far resulted in cost savings in the area of 28-42% for the consumer and 10-15% for the utility.
These research results from the StoreNet project will support the case for increased use of variable renewable resources as a means of enhancing the self-generation and effective consumption of electricity, thereby achieving decarbonisation and aiding our electricity grid stability, reliability and resilience.
With battery storage in domestic installations at a very early stage, this project will also provide an in-depth understanding of the application of battery technology and critical data for future battery applications.
Through the provision of its FlexiGrid software and team of aggregation and asset control experts, SMS has been integral to the success of this pioneering battery storage project. Working in harmony with local renewable generation, SMS’s ability to operate residential batteries as a Virtual Power Plant has allowed the consortium to clearly demonstrate the value for consumers, and potentially for the energy system as a whole. The project therefore will help further develop our understanding of the application of battery technology and its deployment at scale across the grid, providing critical data for future battery applications and services.