Oshawa Power in partnership with New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a Japanese governmental organization that promotes research in the renewable energy field, successfully piloted one of the first grid-friendly residential solar-plus-storage systems.
The pilot is examining the efficiency and reliability of residential solar energy management systems (SEMS) in a live setting, while also defining business cases appropriate for the Canadian market.
Oshawa Power took the initiative and created this new local energy opportunity through building a unique public-private partnership that involves two layers of government, a utility and two multi-national corporations.
Oshawa Power was able to implement SEMS locally, based on specialized in-house expertise regarding battery storage and inverter technologies. Through this unique opportunity, standardized 7 kW systems were offered to participants, who were then able to tailor which loads in their home would be connected to the battery back-up.
SEMS are unique in terms of environmental benefit, in that they are designed to affect climate change mitigation (GHG gas reductions), as well as climate change adaptation (safety and resilience under new climate conditions). The goal of the SEMS pilot is to demonstrate and quantify beneficial climate change outcomes, as well as benefits to customers and the utility. The objectives are as follows.
1. Demonstrating climate change adaptation outcomes, including:
2. Demonstrating climate change mitigation outcome, including:
Oshawa Power’s pilot runs at no cost to homeowners, and allows approximately 30 homes in Oshawa to use solar energy at home and store it using a lithium-ion battery for shifting energy demand from on-peak to off-peak and provide backup power supply during power outages. This technology easily fits inside a home and allows the homeowners to simultaneously produce, store and manage the energy they need right in their own house. Using this technology, customers go from having very minimal control of their energy bill to total control and true energy management.
Initial reviews of load consumption profiles before and after installation of the system show that homes were able to avoid higher rates under the province’s tiered regulated price plan (applicable for all net meters) over half the time.
Throughout the installation year (2016), participants generated 124.8 MWh of electricity from the solar storage system. That is equivalent to:
2017 data is being verified at this time, however early measurements show that systems are reducing GHGs at a rate of approximately 40 gCO2e/kWh and saving customers $100-$300 per season on their bills. Back-up power was successfully supplied during a major outage in November 2016.
Additionally, participants self-reported engaging in energy-efficiency behaviours as a result of their newly gained understanding of energy generation, loads and usage. Some quotes from participants include:
“Our family has become more interested in saving energy.” “If our energy use increases, my husband calls me and asks what we’re doing!” “… We can understand the amount of energy we use. We are reducing the number of appliances that waste electricity.”
The data collected from this study will be used to propel the solar energy management systems out into the market. Key Metrics that will be quantified is the customer value proposition, the sale price and the fixed and variable costs including customer acquisition. The insight gained from the study will tremendously benefit our industry for years to come.
The pilot is also gathering important data to assist with product development and improvement. The Government of Japan, NEDO and Tabuchi Electric are gaining insights that allow them to solidify manufacturing specifications. Panasonic Eco Solutions has also gained lessons-learned in terms of installation processes. The City of Oshawa is realizing positive customer impacts for their taxpayers and Oshawa Power has assisted our customers in becoming energy producers.
Once the pilot is over the 30 participants will own their SEMS and will continue being effective managers of their energy needs.