Electricity Exchange to double headcount as it targets turnover of €10m

Limerick-based smart grid operator to move to larger premises to grow R&D output

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

 

Limerick-based smart grid operator Electricity Exchange will double its headcount in the next 12 months as it moves to a new office, enabling it to grow its research and development output.

The company, which began trading in 2014, employs 24 people at present, but needs to hire software developers, sales staff and marketing personnel as it invests in growing the business.

Electricity Exchange is aiming to double turnover to about €10 million this year, having achieved 140 per cent revenue growth in the last financial year.

It offers a virtual power plant service, which pays clients to make excess energy available to the grid when its needed, eliminating the requirement for carbon-intensive plants to be put into action at short notice.

It also allows clients to shut down generating capacity at night when, for example, excess wind power may be available on the grid as a whole.

EY Entrepreneur finalist

The company was founded by Dr Paddy Finn, a finalist in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 competition, with his business partner Duncan O’Toole. The company plans to export its smart grid monitoring technologies this year, at first to European countries.

“We’re long-sighted. If we’re making any significant profit next year it’s because we weren’t able to spend the money fast enough on investable growth. It’s all about sustained growth,” Dr Finn said.

“We grew to become the second biggest in our market with €330,000 investment. We became bigger than Electric Ireland and Energia combined in our area,” he added.

Electricity Exchange is moving premises in Limerick due to size constraints. Its new location will allow it to grow to about 60 staff.

The company is backed by Bord Na Móna, which is a 50 per cent shareholder.

“They were mandated to manage turf, now they have to decarbonise their business so what we do aligns perfectly with where they want to go,” Dr Finn said.