Bord na Móna takes 50% stake in smart-grid technology firm

Semi-State eyes potential in Limerick-based Electricity Exchange

Bord na Móna chief executive Mike Quinn and Electricity Exchange co-founder Paddy Finn. Photograph: Andres Poveda

Bord na Móna chief executive Mike Quinn and Electricity Exchange co-founder Paddy Finn. Photograph: Andres Poveda

 

Bord na Móna has acquired a 50 per cent stake in smart-grid technology firm Electricity Exchange for an undisclosed sum.

The start-up, co-founded by entrepreneurs Paddy Finn and Duncan O’Toole, operates a virtual 24-hour power station from its base in Castletroy in Limerick.

Their technology allows them to remotely control back-up generators and reduce power consumption in large industries at specific times of power shortages on the grid.

Bord na Móna believes the technology will allow for greater penetration of renewables.

Ireland’s power system faces a challenge in delivering on its 2020 renewable-energy target, which commits the State to sourcing 40 per cent of its energy needs from renewables.

Vigilant management

Bord na Móna said the variable nature of wind, from which the State derives most of its renewable electricity generation, requires vigilant power-system management in order to maintain security of electricity supply.

“Bord na Móna Powergen has a significant development pipeline of renewable projects and we see the Electricity Exchange technology as an enabler to allow greater renewable penetration on to the Irish Electricity grid,” Bord na Móna chief executive Mike Quinn said.

“The power system is evolving at a fast pace and Electricity Exchange has a track record of constant innovation which allows them to stay ahead of the curve.”

He said working together with Electricity Exchange would allow it to deliver exciting new services to the company’s combined customer bases and create new opportunities.

Dr Finn, a University of Limerick engineering graduate, said: “This investment comes at an exciting time for the company and we are looking forward to accelerating our growth, expanding into other markets, and delivering the technologies necessary to make Ireland a smart-grid exemplar in partnership with Bord na Móna”.

He was a recent regional winner of the best start-up business category in the Best Young Entrepreneur competition.