Upside Energy has secured £545,000 in seed funding to expand operations and run a large scale pilot with National Grid to create a Virtual Energy Store™.
This aggregates unused energy from devices owned by households and small business sites that inherently store energy, to sell balancing services to grid operators which helps reduce the need to turn on the older, most polluting and expensive power stations during peak demand times.
Upside exceeded its target raise of £500,000 from high-net-worth angel investors, along with support from industry leaders such as Ian Marchant, chairman of Nova Innovation and former SSE chief executive, and Chris Joly from Vitol.
Joly has joined Upside Energy as a non-executive director to represent investors. Ian Marchant, Neil Hughes, former Head of Technology at National Grid, and Ivan Berkes, former Director of Corporate Planning and Business Development at Emerson Network Power have joined Upside’s Advisory Board.
Prior to this seed funding Upside had received grants from Nesta, EU Climate KIC, Department for Energy and Climate Change and Innovate UK totalling £810,000.
Upside’s solution has an immediate positive environmental impact by replacing a portion of the Balancing Services market that uses traditional carbon-intensive generation. Upside anticipates that during the first twelve months of operation it will recruit approximately a total capacity of 27 megawatts (9 megawatt hours of energy under management) and save 653 tonnes of greenhouse gases (based on calculations by National Physical Laboratory’s Centre for Carbon Measurement). Additional benefits are gained by displacing the need for “spinning reserve”, i.e. power stations operating at reduced capacity.
Graham Oakes, Chief Executive of Upside Energy, said: “By unleashing the flexibility within domestic and small business sites, we can reduce the cost and environmental impact of energy while improving the resilience of the grid. This funding is a big step on our path towards a cleaner, more equitable energy system.”
Ian Marchant is one of the key speakers at SCOTLAND’S RENEWABLE FUTURE conference in Edinburgh on 26 May 2016. For more information: – http://www.scotlandsrenewablefuture.co.uk/