ROUNDUP: Ontario explores dynamic pricing for all 50kW-plus users, Yotta Energy and TWAICE extend investment rounds

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Ontario to trial dynamic electricity pricing for all 50kW-plus consumers

A pilot programme to implement dynamic electricity pricing for all users of electricity with over 50kW in peak demand in the Canadian province of Ontario is set to begin in 2024.

The regulator of the power sector Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is working with the province’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to develop the programme which will assess the benefits for Class B consumers.

In Ontario, Class B electricity consumers include anyone with a peak demand of 50kW up to 5MW. Those with an average peak demand of over 500kW can already participate in the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI), which allows them to reduce their demand during peak periods of electricity consumption on the grid: those who take part are classified as Class A consumers.

Part of the ICI is the Global Adjustment Charge (GAC) which offers electricity cost savings to companies that use battery storage to do peak shaving. The programme has seen the behind-the-meter (BTM) commercial & industrial (C&I) storage sector in Ontario bloom in recent years.

For example, Enel X recently announced a 40MWh BTM battery energy storage system (BESS) at Imperial Oil’s petrochemical complex in Sarnia which it said would be the largest in North America.

A consultation is expected to begin in July this year, with an application process starting in November followed by 18 months of design and recruitment before in-field testing begins in March 2024. Measurement and evaluation will run from September 2025 to June 2026.

Battery analytics firm TWAICE raises US$30 million Series B extension

Germany-based battery analytics firm TWAICE has raised US$30 million in an extension to last year’s Series B funding round, bringing its total amount raised to-date to US$75 million.

It has raised the additional funding from global investment firm Coatue, personal investment from Lip-Bu Tan and participation from existing investors. It raised its US$26 million Series B in May last year.

TWAICE, which targets both the energy storage and EV market, said the money will be used to further optimise its cloud analytics platform and expand its presence in Europe and North America, including growing its new office in Chicago.

It added that it has increased its sales by roughly 250% since May 2021, and counts five of the world’s leading battery OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) as its customers.

In August last year, business development manager Sebastian Becker wrote a guest article for our publisher Solar Media’s quarterly journal PV Tech Power, in which he explained the benefits of battery analytics software.

Yotta extends Series A and bags military contract

Yotta Energy, which produces batteries designed to be integrated with rooftop solar PV, has also extended its recent fundraising round.

It has bagged a US$3.5 million extension to a US$13 million Series A round held in November 2021. The new money includes a strategic investment from inverter manufacturer APsystems, with which Yotta collaborated to develop the company’s first power conversion system (PCS) designed to be interchangeable between solar and energy storage.

Yotta’s flagship product is the SolarLEAF, a lithium iron-phosphate (LFP) battery designed to be installed directly atop racking systems on the rear side of PV panels. The company claims the battery’s built-in fireproof cases and thermal protection tech will save installers from having to add fire containment and HVAC systems.

Olivier Jacques, APsystems president of global business units, commented: “During our time working with Yotta, we have seen firsthand the positive disruption they are making in the industry. No zoning, no concrete, and efficient energy storage direct to DC. It was an obvious choice to support Yotta in its Series A raise.”

In addition to the Series A extension, Yotta has also been awarded a US$1.97 million grant from the US Department of Defense’s Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP). Yotta will build a new solar and storage microgrid project at the Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Yotta Energy is a great candidate for this [ESTCP] program because of the distributed and flexible solution the technology provides for different use-cases on military installations,” said Timothy Tetreault, Project Manager at ESTCP.

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