Microgrid Battery prototype joins testing at Florida residential pilot project

June 6, 2022
NOVONIX developed the prototype, and it will support Emera Technologies’ residential microgrid system, BlockEnergy, which is operating in a residential pilot project south of Tampa, Florida

The prototype for a new, custom-designed microgrid battery has been delivered and will support a residential microgrid pilot project in Florida, the partnering companies reported Monday.

Emera Technologies and NOVONIX first announced their partnership to develop the battery storage technology in Halifax, Nova Scotia last year. NOVONIX developed the prototype, and it will support Emera Technologies’ residential microgrid system, BlockEnergy, which is operating in a residential pilot project south of Tampa, Florida.

“Innovation and emerging technologies will be key to shaping a viable path to a cleaner energy future, particularly as we work toward our vision to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050,” said Scott Balfour, President and Chief Executive Officer of Emera Inc. “We’re proud to be collaborating with NOVONIX on this leading-edge, purpose-built and utility-grade battery solution, and even prouder that this technology was conceived and built right here in Atlantic Canada.”

The BlockEnergy microgrid system connects homes in a shared energy network, enabling rooftop solar power to be stored and dispersed to the entire community through smart distributed controls.

“We’re continually innovating and investing in technologies that deliver high-performance battery materials to support longer life batteries and advanced storage systems,” said Dr. Chris Burns, Co-Founder and CEO of NOVONIX. “Our work with Emera for their BlockEnergy residential microgrid opens the gateway to exciting new possibilities for a cleaner, more reliable power grid with renewables being produced, stored and consumed within local communities. It will change the landscape of how we produce and consume energy going forward.”

Sandia National Laboratory helped with research and testing of the microgrid battery prototype. The testing is expected to be completed later this year, according to the report.

The battery pack systems are being developed to support microgrids that will provide solar power directly to homes. Emera Technologies launched BlockEnergy, a utility-owned community microgrid platform, in the fall of 2020.

Novonix originated out of work by Dr. Jeff Dahn’s Research Group at Dalhousie University that focuses on lithium-ion battery research.

Biden also announced plans to exempt several Asian nations from tariffs on solar panel imports for 24 months. Those nations are Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. 

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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]).

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