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Elisa granted £3.9m to roll-out distributed storage

February 22, 2023

Telecommunications and digital services company Elisa has been granted €3.9 million in funding from the Finnish government to accelerate the roll out of a distributed energy storage (DES) system that will enable it to “optimise the energy procurement of its base stations and offer electricity grid balancing services to the local Transmission Service Operator”.

It is anticipated that the DES will have a total capacity of 150MWh, which, Elisa says, will make it the “largest such project in Europe”.

Elisa’s DES system is an AI/machine learning-powered engine that allows it to transform its radio access networks into a distributed virtual power plant that optimises energy management through the charging and discharging of storage batteries.

The system enables the telecom network infrastructure to provide part of its flexible capacity from base station batteries to Transmission System Operators (TSO) for grid balancing purposes.

Elisa has already run successful trials of the system across 200 base stations in its Finnish mobile network during 2022 and got the technical pre-qualification acceptance from Fingrid, Finland’s TSO for participation in the automatic frequency restoration reserve (aFRR) electricity market. The trials proved that the solution can cut Elisa’s electricity costs, by buying and storing electricity when it is inexpensive, and also provide “electricity grid balancing services” to Fingrid.