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Power to the people of Franklin

The New Zealand company is working with several parties to assess future partnering opportunities, including a major electricity retailer

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This type of multi-party collaboration is new to New Zealand, says Counties Power
This type of multi-party collaboration is new to New Zealand, says Counties Power

It is hoped the pilot study will unearth opportunities for joint innovation to save consumers money

Counties Power will work with academia to help it build and test hypotheses for the future

The battery will enable the evaluation of benefits such as reduced transmission demand at peak periods

Consumer-owned electricity distribution company Counties Power in New Zealand has selected Electropar and S&C Electric Company to provide a network-class grid scale battery as the core of its supply-side energy management pilot.


Counties Power services more than 40,000 home, farm and business connections in the Franklin area of the North Island. It is 100 per cent locally owned and all profits are reinvested in the company or returned to consumers via an annual power account discount.


It is investing in a 250kW grid-scale battery with 500kWh of storage to pilot and test several core network and value-added services. The pilot, which will be housed at the company’s newest substation in Tuakau, North Waikato and go live in mid-2017, follows an extensive evaluation of options available from leading global suppliers. When operational, the battery will enable Counties Power to evaluate benefits such as reduced transmission demand at peak periods and improved power quality.


“As a consumer-owned distribution network, cost-effective, high quality and safe power supply are minimum expectations for our owners,” said Counties Power chief executive Sheridan Broadbent.


“The pilot will enable us to trial batteries as a core network element, which could help us to avoid or reduce future capital investment. We will be able to assess benefits for our customers such as supply quality enhancement, provision of ancillary network services and peak shaving.”


Pukekohe-based Counties Power is working with several parties in its pilot study to assess future partnering opportunities, including a major electricity retailer.


"This kind of multi-party collaboration is quite new to New Zealand and we think it will unearth terrific opportunities for joint innovation that will save consumers money, while removing inefficiency and excess costs. We will also be working with at least one tertiary institution to help us build and test hypotheses for future innovation," said Broadbent.


S&C Electric Company, headquartered in Chicago with regional business units and manufacturing facilities around the globe, provides energy management and grid-scale storage solutions to transmission and distribution network operators. With an office in Melbourne, Australia, S&C is able to provide local, technical and engineering project support. This will be S&C’s third grid-scale storage installation in the region and first in New Zealand.


"We are delighted to be selected by Counties Power as their pilot partner, particularly given the range of services the company and its associates wish to explore," said Jason Lander, S&C vice president, Asia Pacific. "With some of the most mature grid-scale technology in the world and an already large installed base, we know we are up for the challenge they’ve laid out for us."


Counties Power has procured the solution through S&C’s local representative of more than 50 years, PLP Electropar, which will be providing local support, service and expertise.


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