Image: Paul Marriott (ecotricity).


Clean energy utility Ecotricity is to launch a trial of its residential energy storage technology ‘Black Box’ later this quarter, Solar Power Portal can reveal.

Speaking to SPP, Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said that the Black Box product was now coming to fruition after spending around five years in development.

Ecotricity first started to explicitly mention the Black Box last year, however the company has now entered into agreements with partners that Vince said would enable it to produce the technology at scale.

It now intends to launch a trial of the product with selected customers this quarter ahead of a possible wider release later this year.

“We’ve been working on it for five years or so now, and it was perhaps ahead of its time. We could just see the need coming and now battery technology has kind of caught up.

“Prices have fallen, and everyone is now talking about demand side response and that wasn’t around five years ago. Conditions are moving fast and it’s going to become a standard thing to have in every house and every small business,” Vince said.

However Vince also revealed that the company has no immediate plans to revive the SunEdison rooftop solar business it acquired last summer following the renewables developer’s collapse.

Vince said at the time that the business would be the “missing piece” in Ecotricity’s jigsaw but stressed that it was to be considered as a longer-term play with subsidy cuts rendering deployment less viable than before.

However he remains confident of deploying some solar this year.

“We’ve got some commercial solar rooftop work that will probably go ahead this year, and we’d like to bring back green field solar as well. We think it will come, the price of the technology is falling and we’re finding different routes to finance it,” he added. 


A full-length interview with Dale Vince will appear in Inside Clean Energy volume 3, which is released next week.