With Eddy Grid, companies no longer have to think about grid congestion

Countries that take steps to switch to green energy will sooner or later run into the problem of grid congestion. This problem already exists in the Netherlands, but the challenges are also increasing in France and England. Due to the early emergence of problems in the Netherlands, companies began developing solutions. Many of the companies working on smart solutions for the energy grid of the future come from the Utrecht region. One of the companies that offers such a smart solution is Eddy Grid. Sam Rohn, one of the founders, tells what their solution is.

13 May 2024 4 minutes

Fun fact: Eddy is not a person. Rohn: “Eddy is a technical term, it comes from Eddy Currents, a physical effect. For example, if you look at a river that flows in one direction, you often see eddies on the sides that flow in the other direction. It is also the effect that causes roller coasters to brake. Then magnets pass over aluminium, creating an opposite movement. That’s what you call an Eddy. We thought that was a nice name, because we also go against the current.”

So… What is it that you do with Eddy Grid? Rohn: “With Eddy Grid we help companies with sufficient power, despite grid congestion. We do this by using smart soft- and hardware. The service we offer is to take care of your energy management: we ensure that as a company you no longer have to think about your electricity. Companies sometimes don’t know they have a problem. Until the problem is in a very late stadium. Where everything initially runs smoothly, two months later, for example, when they have installed a few charging stations, there can suddenly be an acute problem.”

Make the grid smart and agile!

Rohn: “The founding team consists of very experienced, enterprising people. We started Eddy Grid because we really wanted to do something useful, something good for the world. One of the major challenges we face is the energy transition. And although you see enormous development on the generation side, you see that the electricity grid is coming under increasing pressure. Many solutions are still needed. That’s where we thought we could do the most useful work, so that’s where we started.”

Rohn: “Ultimately, we want to bring together the supply and demand of sustainable electricity. Not just from an administrative point of view, distinguishing between who has generation and who has a demand. But we want to ensure that the energy network becomes more proactive. The network is still very reactive. If there is no demand, no electricity should enter the grid. And if there is demand, it must be met promptly. This also keeps the costs for the government limited. The net does not need to be reinforced.”

Creating space for new players

Rohn: “You see that connections are gaining more and more value. This also poses a problem in itself. Companies are sticking to larger connections, with more capacity than they need. Because… You never know! This means the network is not used efficiently and there is little room for new players. We believe that if we work together towards more security in the field of power supply, we will create more space and we will be able to get through the energy transition more quickly.”

Rohn: “There are more companies offering solutions to the problem of grid congestion. They are often on the hardware side, in other words: they supply batteries and make money from them. We do something different. We first look at what a company has locally and at which parts can be better coordinated. The battery is a final piece in the puzzle. We do help the customer choose a supplier of such a battery. But we do not supply them ourselves and we do not make any money from the sale of the batteries. We do manage the battery after purchase so that it works in the total solution.”

Local solution and payback

Rohn: “The customer receives the hardware he needs through us. And then we manage it, so that the problem is solved locally. Excess generated sustainable electricity is stored locally in a battery and used again locally when necessary. Without burdening the electricity grid. And if there are opportunities in the market, for example to earn some extra money with overcapacity, we also help the customer so that the pricey hardware can be recouped more quickly.”

Rohn:  “We – and many people with us – spend a lot of time explaining how the energy market works. And where the certain bottlenecks are. You can’t just do that in a couple of minutes. Moreover, we use a lot of jargon. Network congestion, curtailment… You name it. It’s easy to explain using jargon, but someone has to understand the jargon. A very nice challenge that we have as a market, I think. Because by making it more understandable for a broad group of people, more people can help solve their problem. And ultimately we help ourselves, the entire market and the energy transition. Another nice puzzle”.

“Our target group is SME plus. Think of the amusement parks, industrial bakeries and dredgers. That’s mainly what we talk about. Those are big projects. The sales process is therefore quite extensive. We are initially very busy with all kinds of analyses, where we really think along with the customer. Sometimes it takes six months before decisions are made. That is not surprising, because the investments are of course very large. What I like about it is that every installation that you ultimately realize together really makes an impact.”

Against the current

Going against the current is not necessarily difficult or slow. They prove this at Eddy Grid: “We have done three pilot projects. And then we started talking to customers. The first customers are live. We recently entered into a great collaboration with Skoon, the world’s largest platform in the field of mobile energy solutions. They want to eliminate diesel generators from the world. At Skoon you rent a battery instead of a polluting generator for a festival, for example. But of course those batteries are not always rented out. What we can then do is use these batteries to combat grid congestion. We connect the batteries to the grid. And so we help Tennet to balance the grid. The first 1 megawatt hour (MWh) battery has just been deployed. A megawatt hour is quite rare, so we are proud of that. The best thing is that it only took us three weeks to go from idea to go live. Together we will also roll out a national network in the near future.”

Collaboration in the Utrecht region

Rohn is happy with the collaboration in the region: “A lot is happening in the field of energy in the Utrecht – Amersfoort region. We have already spoken to many parties. ROM Utrecht Region has already put us in touch with many parties. This is often aimed at collaboration, so we are linked to competitors or fellow companies. The ROM does that well. We also attended Earth Valley meet-ups. Collaborations are already emerging from this.”

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