Energy Infrastructure / Innovations 11 March, 2020 10:00 am   
Editorial staff

Majewski: energy storage is a solution to RES supply variability (INTERVIEW) 

Improving management, efficiency and optimization of energy storage systems may be the answer to the variability of renewable energy sources (RES) supply – Bartosz Majewski, CEO of Codibly, a provider of IT services for the energy sector, told Codibly seems to be a small business from Cracow. Is such a little company able to provide energy storage? 

Bartosz Majewski: Energy storage is not the only service we provide, we also develop technology and innovations for the power industry. It’s true that energy storage is a growing trend from the point of view of innovation in the power sector. This is because the availability and value of sustainable energy is growing both in households and in the corporate sector. This allows to balance and level out energy scarcity and surplus in local power grids.

The American market for new technologies seems to be saturated with companies that are able to provide solutions for local energy companies. So why a Polish company has become a service provider across the pond?

Seven years ago we started our first energy project. It was a platform for managing electricity demand and supply for a company in London. At the time we put together a team of 20 engineers, programmers responsible for a demand side respond (DSR) system that managed energy demand and supply. Our job was to construct the entire infrastructure, architecture, data integration technology and its storage as well as the development of an intelligent system that would manage the purchases and sales of electricity. A company called Electriq Power noticed us because of our experience and the services we provided. Electriq Power is one of Tesla’s competitors in the US. Tesla has a product called Power Pack and we offer Power Pod. This solution generates and stores energy, and provides electricity to buildings from a network of solar panels, inverters and a complete set of batteries.

What does Codibly provide to the Americans?.

We are their technological partner. We are responsible for developing the entire intelligent software used to manage energy efficiency, it’s called the energy management platform. It is a versatile solution for a consumer portal, installation apps and IoT devices. As their partner we are responsible for the entire solution. The platform operates in a few modes that allow to provide energy at peak demand in order to avoid electricity bills; move the usage of electricity from one point to another and support the already mentioned DSR.

Are you present on any other markets apart from the US?

We are also engaged in projects in Great Britain and we have a growing presence in Germany. I think these markets invest heavily in innovations in the energy sector. There are a lot of companies that are bankrolled by capital funds, which enable them to generate new ideas.

So you are present in many countries. Is there demand for your services in Poland?

I think the demand will start to emerge. There is a growing need for innovations in this area. However, currently our portfolio does not include any company from the domestic market. I hope this will change soon. The solutions and innovations that we are implementing abroad can be utilized in Poland as well.

The number of companies that want to implement innovative solutions, such as smart metering is growing. Thanks to those solutions energy companies are gathering more knowledge. Is Codibly able to help in using that data?

We created a new division called CodiblyLabs that is working on information management. Its job is to build distinctive prototypes on the basis of data samples acquired thanks to smart meters. Our team wants to use the data to discover trends and patterns and correlate them with internal factors (e.g. weather, business). We are able to point out dependencies that will be used for business optimization. This will help to, e.g. decrease or increase expenditure. The programs will, e.g. increase the efficiency of wind turbines or investments in energy transmission. We have already implemented such projects in southern Italy and the US. We are hoping we will do this in Poland as well.

Poland joined an initiative called the EU Battery Alliance. Is it possible for your company to be part of Poland’s contribution to the development of energy storage?

A few recent projects that we have been working on are actually about implementing the goals of the Alliance. For instance the EV in grid project that is about using batteries in electric vehicles. Such batteries can be used to create an energy cluster of mobile battery systems that are interconnected to form a virtual power plant. A management system balances the demand and supply of electricity in the area where it operates. I hope that we will become part of the project soon. We are enhancing our experience through implementing large commercial projects, one of which was the construction of a battery power plant with a capacity of 6 MW in northern London. We were responsible for delivering the technology and the software for managing the Leighton Buzzard Battery Park.

Codibly is not a direct manufacturer of batteries and energy storage units, but is developing cooperation with companies that are. Can energy storage become the Holy Grail of the power industry?

I think that some of the solutions based on energy clusters can help in solving the challenges that the energy system is facing. I also think that innovations in the power industry are developing quickly. This is why implementing solutions such as optimization of management systems, virtual power plants, supply and demand management, optimization of energy transmission will, to a degree, solve the problem of instability of renewable energy sources. This will probably happen in the near future.

Interview by Bartłomiej Sawicki