BlockEnergy is a modular, turnkey power system that capitalizes on battery storage, power electronics and the lowering cost of renewables. Combined, these emerging innovations form the first utility-focused business model for rate-based, distributed energy to be owned and operated as a utility asset. The result is a flexible, scalable, distributed power platform that’s able to seamlessly interoperate with the grid.
Emera Technologies is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a $32 billion energy company based in Canada, serving approximately 2.5 million utility customers in Canada, the U.S. and the Caribbean.
“Our focus at Emera is to safely deliver cleaner, reliable energy, while maintaining affordability for customers,” says Scott Balfour, President and CEO of Emera Inc. “Our investment in Emera Technologies and BlockEnergy is an example of our strategy in action as we position for the evolving energy landscape that’s transforming the utility industry,” said Balfour.
As customer demand for renewable energy increases, there is also a growing expectation for greater reliability, more choice and more control over energy use. Emera is strategically exploring emerging technologies and solutions to serve changing customer needs and to help shape the future of the industry.
“BlockEnergy is an innovative solution for utilities to drive the adoption of distributed energy resources to incorporate more renewables, while optimizing system efficiency and managing affordability for customers,” says Rob Bennett, CEO, Emera Technologies. “This technology is a truly independent, seamless, community-level solution, based primarily on solar energy.”
BlockEnergy goes beyond the needs of one home to a greater vision by serving the needs of a community, powered by a modular, highly renewable power platform with advanced reliability.
PARTNERSHIP WITH LENNAR + METRO DEVELOPMENT GROUP
Emera Technologies has partnered with Lennar Homes and Metro Development Group for the Medley subdivision within the Southshore Bay master-planned community in Tampa, Florida. It consists of 40 new Lennar homes, all powered by BlockEnergy. It will be the first residential deployment of the BlockEnergy platform in the U.S.
Each BlockEnergy BlockBox sits beside the home and will be custom color-matched to the main, exterior wall so it sits naturally within the residential neighborhood, while delivering superior energy reliability and resilience.
“We’re so excited about BlockEnergy at our Medley community in Southshore Bay. Being able to provide cleaner, reliable and affordable energy to these new homeowners is a real differentiator. More importantly, this unique energy system provides peace of mind; assurance that they will have an energy source at all times, especially when they need it the most. This will be just one of many features in this highly amenitized community, but surely one of the most exciting” said Mark Metheny, Division President for Lennar Homes.
“A year ago, we were introduced to the team at Emera Technologies who gave us an advanced look at BlockEnergy. Needless to say, it caught our attention and here we are a year later ready to launch our new project. Now, we have the first community in the nation to be deployed with BlockEnergy at Southshore Bay using an advanced community microgrid. This dovetails perfectly with the innovation of Metro Places communities. As a true, 21st century developer, we are committed to bringing some of the most innovative technologies and world-class amenities to our growing portfolio of communities,” said Kartik Goyani, VP of Operations at Metro Development Group.
The utility territory for Southshore Bay belongs to the Tampa Electric Co, (TECO), which serves over 780,000 customers in the region. “Our TECO team is excited to assess the potential of BlockEnergy by installing this new community power system in the Medley community at Southshore Bay,“ said Nancy Tower, president and chief executive officer of Tampa Electric.
HOW THE BLOCKENERGY RESIDENTIAL PRODUCT WORKS
Each home in a community has four levels of energy assurance: rooftop solar, local battery storage, community generation and storage and the capability for interoperability with the grid. Paired together, BlockEnergy delivers advanced power security and maximum reliability. The technology powering BlockEnergy is able to connect to the local, utility grid without interruption. All of these connections joined together result in the most reliable power available today.
Operating as a mesh network, BlockEnergy puts new homes on resilient, renewable energy at the community level in loops of up to 50 homes at a time. As communities grow, BlockEnergy neighborhoods are simply linked together, leaving no stranded assets, now or in the future.
Designed to meet new load growth, BlockEnergy integrates with the AC system, able to seamlessly disconnect and run autonomously with very little supervisory control required by the utility. It uses an advanced control platform and algorithm to optimize the movement of energy around the system. BlockEnergy represents the first of its kind — a front-of-the-meter energy solution able to be deployed today to meet new residential loads.
MEETS THE CHALLENGE OF ENERGY AND UTILITY INDUSTRY TRENDS
With the infrastructure already in place, utilities are best positioned to make the greatest impact on renewable proliferation and community power transformation. By choosing to deploy a system like BlockEnergy, utilities provide customers with levels of reliability that directly impact security, resilience and best of all, affordability.
BlockEnergy is an immediate and future-ready solution, fully digitized, delivering the data utilities need to serve customers efficiently and effectively. It helps utilities decarbonize and decentralize — aligning with the major trends in the energy sector today.
COMING IN 2021 – NEIGHBORHOOD UNVEILING
BlockEnergy will be unveiled community-wide in the new Medley at Southshore Bay community in Florida in 2021. More news to follow.