Unburdening the energy grid
In December 2022, already 133,000 Dutch households made use of dynamic energy contracts. At times when there is a surplus of energy, from wind or solar production for example, they can benefit from low or even negative energy prices. In this way, consumers are financially incentivised to relieve the grid. “As long as we all consume energy at inconvenient times, there is a risk that the energy grid cannot handle this anymore. We would like to prevent that. With our dynamic energy contract, you are financially rewarded for smart consumption,” says Milan van der Meulen, co-founder of Soly.
Additional earnings for owners of solar panels
Soly already installed solar at 30,000 homes in the Netherlands. However, at the times when energy prices are low or negative, solar panel owners actually generate power and thus cannot benefit from the advantages of a dynamic energy contract. For this reason, the company is introducing the Soly Brain®. A smart energy management system that ensures solar panels are automatically switched off when the power price is negative. In this way, solar panel owners can also save and earn money with dynamic energy. The system provides smart control of the home battery and charging station, so that at favorable times the home battery and electric car will be charged. Van der Meulen: “We are extremely happy that we can also let owners of solar panels benefit from dynamic energy. It allows them to create additional savings while directly balancing the energy grid.”
Virtual Power Plant
Gradually, a network consisting of tens of thousands of homes with solar panels, home batteries, charging stations and heat pumps is unfolding. Along with solar energy generated on company roofs and solar carports. In the future, the company wants to connect and smartly control this network, actively helping to balance the energy grid. Van der Meulen: “We will recognise when there is a surplus or shortage on the energy grid. Within seconds, we can switch assets on or off and thus balance the grid. In addition, the system enables customers within the Soly network to exchange energy with each other.”
Soly was founded in the Netherlands in 2013 by brothers Patrick and Milan van der Meulen with the mission to make solar energy available to everyone. Since its foundation, the company has become one of the leaders in the solar energy market. In 2022, Shell Ventures and pension fund ABP took a minority stake in the company. In addition to the Netherlands, Soly operates in Belgium, South Africa and Germany. Soly is a certified B Corp, which is an international hallmark for companies striving for the highest standards of sustainability, financial transparency and social equality.