Slovakian utility ZSE launches virtual battery for residential PV

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Slovakia’s largest power provider, Západoslovenská energetika a.s. (ZSE), has announced the launch of a SolarCloud virtual battery service for residential PV system owners.

The system was conceived to help household generators store and reuse surplus power without the need for a physical storage system.

“When the customer takes energy from the virtual battery, he pays only the costs of the distribution system operator, i.e. for electricity distribution from the battery to his home, thus saving costs for electricity supply. The virtual battery service is offered only for €2 per month,” said the utility, which is owned 51% by the Slovak government and 49% by E.on group.

That tariff, ZSE said, bridges the gap in cost between the value of the power at generation and consumption.

Incentive to reduce immediate consumption

The system is profitable if a client stores more than half the energy they generate. “The underlying principle is to allow our customer 100% effectiveness of solar power supply without the need for substantial battery investment,” said ZSE.

The utility added, the system supplies unlimited battery life and a positive return on investment from as low as 500 kWh of electricity stored per year.

The service is available only to customers with PV systems installed by ZSE under the Green Houses Program which is being implemented by the Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency. Launched in late 2015, the program grants incentives for the installation of solar water heaters, PV systems with a capacity of up to 10 kW, heat pumps and small windmills.

The same virtual storage solution has been launched by E.on in Germany, Czechia and Italy.