Emera deal testing shared residential solar power grids in Florida before wider launch | Regional-Business | Business

A Halifax tech company and a subsidiary of Nova Scotia’s electricity provider are teaming up on a project to expand the reach of solar power.

Novonix Battery Technology Solutions and Emera Technologies will develop battery pack systems for microgrids to connect homes to solar power.

Last fall, Emera Technologies launched the first utility-owned community microgrid platform, BlockEnergy, and partnered with homebuilders to use the technology in a new residential community in Florida — Emera Technologies is headquartered in Tampa.

According to a recent news release, Emera and Novonix have worked together for the past year on the battery pack as a tool to support the BlockEnergy microgrid.

“Emera’s BlockEnergy platform is a great example of applying our technology to real life projects and developing systems with specifications not available currently in commercial products, and that have tangible downstream applications,” said Chris Burns, co-founder and CEO of Novonix, in the release.

Burns said Novonix and Emera Technologies will explore opportunities to reach markets throughout North America, including Canada.

“We’re developing something that doesn’t exist today, that will help provide people with cleaner, more reliable energy, and we’re able to capitalize on expertise at home in Nova Scotia to do that,” said Rob Bennett, president and CEO of Emera Technologies.

Field tests for the first demo units will help finalize further decisions on system specifics and design.

Novonix came into existence through work at the Jeff Dahn Research Group — part of Dalhousie University’s physics and atmospheric sciences department — on lithium-ion battery research. Dahn, whose research group has partnered extensively with Tesla, will become Novonix’s chief scientific officer starting July 1.