Cool Planet and SSE Airtricity working on venture to pay clients for curbing electricity use

Cool Planet is recruiting industrial customers that can take pressure off electricity supplies by switching off equipment

From left to right: Alan Keogh chief executive  of Cool Planet Group with Stephen Gallagher; director of strategy and  development, SSE energy customer solutions with Sam Alexander, head of demand response at Cool Planet Group.

From left to right: Alan Keogh chief executive of Cool Planet Group with Stephen Gallagher; director of strategy and development, SSE energy customer solutions with Sam Alexander, head of demand response at Cool Planet Group.

 

Energy businesses Cool Planet and SSE Airtricity are working on a venture that could pay clients up to €900,00 in total over the next year for curbing electricity use.

Cool Planet is recruiting industrial customers that can take pressure off electricity supplies when demand peaks by switching off equipment or switching on their own generators.

According to Alan Keogh, Cool Planet chief executive, in return the business pays its clients for not taking power from the national electricity grid. “We will give you money and you have no outlay,” he said.

Mr Keogh estimated that the venture’s 80 or so clients could share up to €900,000 in total over the coming 12 months for limiting their electricity consumption or firing up their own diesel generators when demand is high.

Cool Planet has brought together a group of industrial users which between them can lower demand by around 50 mega-watt hours, which he noted would be enough electricity to supply Kilkenny city or a similar-sized town.

According to Mr Keogh, the business makes its money by receiving payments from national grid operator, State company Eirgrid, most of which it passes on to its clients.

Eirgrid makes “capacity payments” to Cool Planet. This is money paid to power plants, alongside their earnings from generating electricity, for being available to meet energy demand in the first place.

Cool Planet receives these payments as it cuts demand on the national grid at peak times, making the electricity available to other consumers. “We’re like a virtual power plant in that sense,” said Mr Keogh.

* SSE Airtricity offers the Cool Planet service to its industrial electricity customers. Mr Keogh suggested that while the venture was focused on industry, it could ultimately recruit households, particularly as pressure on power supplies continues to grow.

Cool Planet launched the venture in the Republic after buying Northern Ireland-based management firm Powerhouse Generation, which was already offering the service to customers.

Cool Planet Group has a range of businesses, including AVA electric cars, developer Crowley Solar, energy manager Clarity and others.

* This article was edited on December 3rd, 2021

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