Checking in with our epA 2019 winners – a blog series: SOLshare
Below is an interview with Sebastian Groh, Managing Director of SOLshare.
SOLbox Next Generation (NG):
Set to release in 2020, SOLbox NG will have several improvements in terms of function, usability, and longevity. SOLbox NG will have significant improvement in the use of higher power appliances, allowing customers to buy an array of appliances with different specifications to use. The newer box will have a game-changing dynamic pricing system and flexible scheduling to offer users various bonuses and discounts to incentivize electricity buying and selling in bulk.
SOLbox NG will be a lot more reliable and robust as it has greater durability and lesser power distribution loss which essentially means more power distribution. The newer version will have a jump in voltage which means it can travel at a further distance between households and run more productive appliances. Consumers and prosumers will be able to buy from the grid and sell excess energy back into the grid into a more seamless way. The machine will also be artificially intelligent, which means it will not require user interaction from the owners. It will also be integrated with Amazon Web Services (AWS). This will mean that SOLshare will not be bound by the limitation of the network. This cloud integration allows us to solve any bug fixes and update the software over the cloud.
Since late 2019, SOLshare has started to seriously look at leveraging its grids to feed into the national grid; a 100% renewable energy supply – at the right time (as all grids are with storage) and at the right location, namely at the edge of the grid, its weakest point – can provide major benefits. This can support the Government of Bangladesh’s (GoB) binding commitment to achieve Paris Climate Agreement targets, e.g. the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which is a binding contract requiring the GoB to make good on their promise to achieve 1,000MW of Solar PV generation by 2030. This would equal a 4x increase to our current Solar PV capacity and a 12x increase to on-grid Solar PV capacity. In our proposal, put forward to the authorities as well as a few donor agencies, will be yet another first in the world where neighbors not only start swapping solar electricity house-to-house and shop-to-shop (turning them from passive consumers to pro-active prosumers), but also where the public electricity grid acts as a third agent in a mutual beneficial smart grid set-up. Again, this presents a double win given that the 6 million solar home systems connected to SOLshare not only have 300MW generation capacity but also 2400 MWh of storage. Also, we are able to set up a fully-controllable virtual power plant that can feed into the grid through a community power purchasing agreement (CPPA) at the right time and at the right place. The latter aspect is given since these solar homes are all in fairly remote areas, so at the edge of the grid where low voltage problems often occur. If SHS owners receive a CPPA that is multiple times higher than the grid tariff, they can become net off-takers and, at the same time, net-earners. This makes this a pro-poor and pro-RE policy.
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