CUC partners with Electriq Power in residential battery storage project

CUC has contracted Electriq Power for a Behind-the-Meter Energy Storage pilot programme.

Electriq will supply 10 homes in Grand Cayman with its PowerPod energy storage system to showcase the technology.

Under the contract, Electriq will market, install, deploy and manage these behind-the-meter systems as a virtual power plant. A VPP works remotely to combine several independent energy sources from separate locations in a network that provides reliable power continuously. Local contractors will carry out the installations.

CUC said in a press release that its studies had shown that “a substantial amount of front-of-meter and behind-the-meter battery storage will be needed to integrate more solar and wind energy”.

Government’s energy policy aims for 70% of electricity to come from renewable energy by 2037.

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CUC said the pilot programme will test the efficacy of battery storage systems in 10 residential homes, where the PowerPod 2 systems will provide backup during power outages and grid services to support CUC’s distribution infrastructure.

One of the goals of the initiative is to discover best practices for installation and operation, understand capital and operational costs, and demonstrate and measure multiple value propositions for the residential user and CUC, the utility said.

Electriq Power’s PowerPod 2 includes a cobalt-free Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LFP) battery, a hybrid battery/solar inverter, a home energy management system, and an energy consumption meter. The system is controlled by an energy software app to manage electricity use.

“This new supply agreement in Grand Cayman is our latest project in the Caribbean, where renewables and resilience are so vital to the region’s future,” said Frank Magnotti, CEO of Electriq Power.

He added it was also an opportunity to partner with a utility and demonstrate the capabilities of the system in a virtual power plant application.

Sacha Tibbetts, vice president of customer services and technology for CUC, said battery storage is an enabling component in the company’s integrated resource plan to transition to an energy mix that is dominated by renewables.

“While the value proposition to CUC and its customers from large-scale battery installations is well understood, small customer-sited batteries are relatively new and not yet fully understood by the industry,” Tibbetts said.

“CUC is looking forward to working with Electriq Power and to piloting small-scale batteries at 10 residential customer sites. This will allow us to better understand the value to CUC and our customers.”

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