Residential battery storage to pilot in Caribbean

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Grand Cayman’s Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC) is to pilot behind the meter battery energy storage in ten island homes.

The project will implement California based Electriq Power’s PowerPod 2 storage in the ten homes, along with a virtual power plant management system.

The batteries will be operated as a VPP to provide both backups during power outages as well as grid services to support CUC’s distribution infrastructure.

Aims of the project include developing best practices for the installation and operation of battery storage, gaining an understanding of the capital and operational costs and demonstrating multiple value propositions for users and CUC.

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The Cayman Islands government’s energy policy targets 70% of electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2037. Studies have indicated that a substantial amount of both front of meter and behind the meter storage will be needed to integrate those levels of solar and wind energy.

“Battery storage is foreseen in CUC’s Integrated Resource Plan as an enabling component in a transition to a renewable-dominated portfolio,” says Sacha Tibbetts, Vice President Customer Services & Technology.

“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. [The pilot] will allow us to better understand the value to CUC and our customers.”

Electriq Power’s PowerPod 2 system includes a lithium-iron-phosphate battery, hybrid battery/solar inverter, home energy management system and an energy meter, along with a smart home energy app for users to manage their consumption.

Caribbean Utilities Company is the public electric utility of Grand Cayman, the largest of the three Cayman Islands.

Under CUC’s CORE (consumer owned renewable energy) programme, almost 500 residential and commercial customers have connected small scale solar or wind with a capacity of approximately 6MW to the island’s distribution system.

In addition to this residential storage project, two 20MW utility scale battery storage projects are under development.